Serverless

Running serverless applications on Kubernetes is quite new. Most of the options available are still under major development.

You can find the ever growing number of FaaS platforms that run on top of Kubernetes in our FaaS category.

At lot of the value proposition people are seeing from using AWS Lambda, to quickly string together batch operations, don’t transfer well to Kubernetes. It is currently quicker and easier to simply use containers for this scenario. Similarly, pushing functions straight to Kubernetes provides little more value than wrapping kubectl deployments.

I expect this to change over time as interfaces standardise. Until that happens I’m taking a bit of a back seat and observing while continuing to play with the technology.

If you’re looking for an in-depth comparison of the current state of serverless right now then TheNewStack has produced a great eBook on the subject. I’d suggest that you download this and use that to form your opinion. This picture came from the eBook, and there are many other interesting data points inside.

Kubeless and OpenFaas seem to be neck and neck. This lines up with my experience when browsing forum posts.

OpenLambda doesn’t seem to be Kubernetes specific but it’s interesting that people are voting for it. Similarly, AppScale appears to be better suited to running on cloud instances.

Dispatch is actually a framework. It will let you write functions that deploy on top of Knative. Similar to how the serverless framework will abstract where you can deploy to.

Lunchbadger looks like a paid product. They have a cool name so it may be worth taking a look.

 

Platforms I’m evaluating

You may have heard about Knative which is a new platform from Google built on top of Istio.

OpenFaas has a great community and lots of activity and is backed by VMWare.

Apache OpenWhisk is incubating but according to popularity stats this has the most contributors currently.

Kubeless, Fission, Fn and Nuclio all have very interesting integrations and architectures.

Platforms I’m not testing (yet)

Rainbond is being developed by a Chinese team but looks like it’s under constant development.

BlueNimble, Gestalt and Riff look really early in development. I’ll try these out when they become more mature and have more contributors.

Sanfran and Iron Functions look abandoned or temporarily stalled.

 

My Recomendation

I’d just wait and see what becomes the standard. If I was a gambling man I’d put money on Google with their Knative framework in the long run. If forced at gunpoint to install something tomorrow it would probably be Kubeless although I don’t really see the value beyond appeasing a manager who has fallen for the hype.

 

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