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  1. Serverless platforms offer on-demand computation and represent a significant shift from previous platforms that typically required resources to be pre-allocated (e.g., virtual machines). As serverless platforms have evolved, they have become suitable for a much wider range of applications than their original use cases. However, storage access remains a pain point that holds serverless back from becoming a completely generic computation platform. Existing storage for serverless typically uses an object interface. Although object APIs are simple to use, they lack the richness, versatility, and performance of file based APIs. Additionally, there is a large body of existing applications that relies on file-based interfaces. The lack of file based storage options prevents these applications from being ported to serverless environments. In this paper, we present F3, a file system that offers features to improve file access in serverless platforms: (1) efficient handling of ephemeral data, by placing ephemeral and non-ephemeral data on storage that exists at a different points along the durability-performance tradeoff continuum, (2) locality-aware data scheduling, and (3) efficient reading while writing. We modified OpenWhisk to support attaching file-based storage and to leverage F3's features using hints. Our prototype evaluation of F3 shows improved performance of up to 1.5--6.5x compared to existing storage systems. 
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Cloud object storage such as AWS S3 is cost-effective and highly elastic but relatively slow, while high-performance cloud storage such as AWS ElastiCache is expensive and provides limited elasticity. We present a new cloud storage service called ServerlessMemory, which stores data using the memory of serverless functions. ServerlessMemory employs a sliding-window-based memory management strategy inspired by the garbage collection mechanisms used in the programming language to effectively segregate hot/cold data and provides fine-grained elasticity, good performance, and a pay-per-access cost model with extremely low cost. We then design and implement InfiniStore, a persistent and elastic cloud storage system, which seamlessly couples the function-based ServerlessMemory layer with a persistent, inexpensive cloud object store layer. InfiniStore enables durability despite function failures using a fast parallel recovery scheme built on the auto-scaling functionality of a FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) platform. We evaluate InfiniStore extensively using both microbenchmarking and two real-world applications. Results show that InfiniStore has more performance benefits for objects larger than 10 MB compared to AWS ElastiCache and Anna, and InfiniStore achieves 26.25% and 97.24% tenant-side cost reduction compared to InfiniCache and ElastiCache, respectively. 
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  4. Internet-scale web applications are becoming increasingly storage-intensive and rely heavily on in-memory object caching to attain required I/O performance. We argue that the emerging serverless computing paradigm provides a well-suited, cost-effective platform for object caching. We present InfiniCache, a first-of-its-kind in-memory object caching system that is completely built and deployed atop ephemeral serverless functions. InfiniCache exploits and orchestrates serverless functions' memory resources to enable elastic pay-per-use caching. InfiniCache's design combines erasure coding, intelligent billed duration control, and an efficient data backup mechanism to maximize data availability and cost-effectiveness while balancing the risk of losing cached state and performance. We implement InfiniCache on AWS Lambda and show that it: (1) achieves 31 – 96× tenant-side cost savings compared to AWS ElastiCache for a large-object-only production workload, (2) can effectively provide 95.4% data availability for each one hour window, and (3) enables comparative performance seen in a typical in-memory cache. 
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  5. null (Ed.)