Serverless Isn't Server-Less: Measuring and Exploiting Resource Variability on Cloud FaaS Platforms

Samuel Ginzburg, Michael J. Freedman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Serverless computing in the cloud, or functions as a service (FaaS), poses new and unique systems design challenges. Serverless offers improved programmability for customers, yet at the cost of increased design complexity for cloud providers. One such challenge is effective and consistent resource management for serverless platforms, the implications of which we explore in this paper. In this paper, we conduct one of the first detailed in situ measurement studies of performance variability in AWS Lambda. We show that the observed variations in performance are not only significant, but stable enough to exploit. We then design and evaluate an end-to-end system that takes advantage of this resource variability to exploit the FaaS consumption-based pricing model, in which functions are charged based on their fine-grain execution time rather than actual low-level resource consumption. By using both light-weight resource probing and function execution times to identify attractive servers in serverless platforms, customers of FaaS services can cause their functions to execute on better performing servers and realize a cost savings of up to 13% in the same AWS region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWOSC 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 6th International Workshop on Serverless Computing, Part of Middleware 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages43-48
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382045
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2020
Event6th International Workshop on Serverless Computing, WOSC 2020 - Part of Middleware 2020 - Virtual, Online, Netherlands
Duration: Dec 7 2020Dec 11 2020

Publication series

NameWOSC 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 6th International Workshop on Serverless Computing, Part of Middleware 2020

Conference

Conference6th International Workshop on Serverless Computing, WOSC 2020 - Part of Middleware 2020
CountryNetherlands
CityVirtual, Online
Period12/7/2012/11/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Software

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