Serverless Computing: An Investigation of Factors Influencing Microservice Performance

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Conference Proceeding


Serverless computing platforms provide function(s)-as-a-Service (FaaS) to end users while promising reduced hosting costs, high availability, fault tolerance, and dynamic elasticity for hosting individual functions known as microservices. Serverless Computing environments, unlike Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms, abstract infrastructure management including creation of virtual machines (VMs), operating system containers, and request load balancing from users. To conserve cloud server capacity and energy, cloud providers allow hosting infrastructure to go COLD, deprovisioning containers when service demand is low freeing infrastructure to be harnessed by others. In this paper, we present results from our comprehensive investigation into the factors which influence microservice performance afforded by serverless computing. We examine hosting implications related to infrastructure elasticity, load balancing, provisioning variation, infrastructure retention, and memory reservation size. We identify four states of serverless infrastructure including: provider cold, VM cold, container cold, and warm and demonstrate how microservice performance varies up to 15x based on these states. © 2018 IEEE.

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