Serverless.com has developed a plugin for the Bitnami-helmed Kubeless open source serverless computing framework. The package provides a Kubernetes-native platform supported by the Serverless toolkit.
The Serverless Framework tool is designed to support deployment of serverless functions and events. A function is similar to the deployment of a microservice in a serverless environment, consisting of code deployed into the cloud and designed to perform a single task. An event is anything that triggers a Kubeless function to execute its task.
The Serverless.com tool supports Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Lambda, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM OpenWhisk. The Bitnami partnership adds an on-premise Kubernetes cluster to the mix.
Bitnami leads the Kubeless native serverless framework. A serverless architecture is similar to containers, and designed to reduce the amount of overhead associated with offering services in the cloud. This includes the ability for a cloud provider to dynamically manage server resources.
Kubeless provides a function-as-a-service (FaaS) solution that runs on top of a Kubernetes cluster. This supports an “out-of-the-box” serverless implementation that is command-line interface compatible with Google cloud functions and supports Python, Nodejs, and Ruby language runtimes.
“Kubeless lets you deploy small bits of code without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure,” explained David Wells, senior developer advocate at Serverless.com, in a blog post. “It leverages Kubernetes resources to provide auto-scaling, API routing, monitoring, troubleshooting, and more.”
Wells said the company had been hearing requests for greater serverless support in Kubernetes. The container orchestrator has quickly become one of the leading platforms in the space.
“Not a day goes by without a user of the framework shooting us an email asking about on-prem support,” Wells wrote. “It’s a widely requested feature and Kubeless delivers on-premise to the enterprise.”
Serverless computing has been around for years, but has recently gained attention as a deployment method for short-lived microservices in the cloud.
Nate Taggart, CEO of serverless-focused startup Stackery, said serverless is ideal for compute functions that are designed to last four seconds or less. Compared with containers, which Taggart said are better for longer running applications, “Serverless is more flexible, with much quicker start up and a shorter lifespan,” he explained.
While still early, Taggart said Kubeless was drawing strong Kubernetes-native support and was a “mature approach.” He also explained these FaaS approaches on Kubernetes were important to the developing ecosystem.
“They pave the way for on-prem/self-managed FaaS adoption,” Taggart said. “A considerable chunk of the market is still self-hosting their infrastructure, and for serverless to go widely mainstream, solutions like this will be pivotal.”
However, Taggart did note Kubeless was only beneficial to those running Kubernetes.
“Since Kubernetes is a relatively new technology, and fits into the container-pattern of architecture, many potential on-prem centric [organizations] may still struggle to adopt a solution like this,” Taggart said.
In a recent report, 451 Research noted serverless compute pricing is typically based on three parameters: script duration, or how long the code is used; the number of requests; and the memory required for the function.
The report favorably compared the total cost of ownership of serverless computing to that of virtual machines (VMs). Owen Rogers, research director at the analyst firm, explained VMs needed to be up and running before a function request was placed, thus an enterprise would “need to pay for that, and there is an element of waste when capacity is not being used.”
“With serverless, we don’t have this problem,” Rogers said. “It scales instantly with a request. You just need to configure the request with the function and no other concerns.”
Analysts have noted that these potential cost savings have garnered attention from enterprises.
“There is a lot of interest in serverless as it’s in tune with consuming and paying for exactly what I need and not any more,” said Clifford Grossner, senior research director and advisor at IHS Markit.