Google Product Manager Jason Polites today personally appealed to the application developer community to try out Google Functions, the serverless functions component of its Google Cloud Platform.
Google Functions is easy to use, open, and even has a free tier for those looking to try it out, Polites said in his blog post.
Google is scurrying to keep up with its biggest cloud service rivals with serverless functions on its Google Cloud Platform. Cloud Functions was announced about a year ago, but Google released the public beta version only last week. Amazon has AWS Lambda; Microsoft has Azure Functions.
Serverless functions are programs that are not assigned a permanent place in a cloud; with this approach, an always-on, manually connected server is not necessary. Functions are loaded and run only in response to requests for those functions, in a fully automated process managed in the cloud.
One of the key advantages of using serverless functions, according to Google, is that customers are charged only when the function is invoked, in contrast to having to pay for continuous availability. Billing is metered down to the nearest 100 milliseconds, which makes it the smallest unit of compute offered through the Google Cloud Platform, the company said.
The types of apps that can make good use of this approach include “synchronous workloads like lightweight ETL, or cloud automation tasks such as triggering an application build,” Polites wrote. Cloud Functions is also good for building lightweight application program interfaces (APIs), microservices, and webhooks.
Developers can securely invoke Cloud Functions directly over HTTP right out of the box without the need for any add-on services, Polites said at the announcement of the public beta.
“Your code executes in a fully managed environment and can effectively connect or extend services in Google’s cloud, or services in other clouds across the Internet; no need to provision any infrastructure or worry about managing servers,” Polites wrote. “A function can scale from a few invocations a day to many millions of invocations without any work from you.”
Boosting Google Cloud
Google has been working tirelessly to increase the utility of Google Cloud.
In December, Google made Red Hat’s OpenShift Dedicated container platform available through Google Cloud. Aimed at enterprise customers, the dedicated version puts Red Hat in the role of a service provider, taking care of infrastructure and operations.
Since the new year, security company Check Point used Google APIs to integrate its vSEC cloud security software into the Google Cloud Platform, and software analytics company SevOne combined its performance monitoring platform with Google Cloud.