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  1. Serverless computing, or Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), enables a new way of building and scaling applications by allowing users to deploy fine-grained functions while providing fully-managed resource provisioning and auto-scaling. Custom FaaS container support is gaining traction as it enables better control over OSes, versioning, and tooling for modernizing FaaS applications. However, providing rapid container provisioning introduces non-trivial challenges for FaaS providers, since container provisioning is costly, and real-world FaaS workloads exhibit highly dynamic patterns. In this paper, we design FaaSNet, a highly-scalable middleware system for accelerating FaaS container provisioning. FaaSNet is driven by the workload and infrastructure requirements of the FaaS platform at one of the world's largest cloud providers, Alibaba Cloud Function Compute. FaaSNet enables scalable container provisioning via a lightweight, adaptive function tree (FT) structure. FaaSNet uses an I/O efficient, on-demand fetching mechanism to further reduce provisioning costs at scale. We implement and integrate FaaSNet in Alibaba Cloud Function Compute. Evaluation results show that FaaSNet: (1) finishes provisioning 2,500 function containers on 1,000 virtual machines in 8.3 seconds, (2) scales 13.4× and 16.3× faster than Alibaba Cloud's current FaaS platform and a state-of-the-art P2P container registry (Kraken), respectively, and (3) sustains a bursty workload using 75.2% less time thanmore »an optimized baseline.« less
  2. Executing complex, burst-parallel, directed acyclic graph (DAG) jobs poses a major challenge for serverless execution frameworks, which will need to rapidly scale and schedule tasks at high throughput, while minimizing data movement across tasks. We demonstrate that, for serverless parallel computations, decentralized scheduling enables scheduling to be distributed across Lambda executors that can schedule tasks in parallel, and brings multiple benefits, including enhanced data locality, reduced network I/Os, automatic resource elasticity, and improved cost effectiveness. We describe the implementation and deployment of our new serverless parallel framework, called Wukong, on AWS Lambda. We show that Wukong achieves near-ideal scalability, executes parallel computation jobs up to 68.17X faster, reduces network I/O by multiple orders of magnitude, and achieves 92.96% tenant-side cost savings compared to numpywren.
  3. 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.