The Evolution and Real-World Applications of Function Compute

By Shantanu Kaushik

The evolution of cloud computing has made way for more productive and agile ways to build applications and services. Serverless Architecture describes this shift perfectly. Rapid innovation and faster response to development practices is the prime mover behind every technological paradigm shift.

With Serverless Architecture, infrastructure management operations, such as resource provisioning and patching, are taken care of with Alibaba Cloud Function Compute. The remaining coding part is left for the developer. With Serverless Architecture, you can also quickly move from the drafting board to the market. With lowered costs for operations, finances can be managed for more revenue gains with a faster and more efficient code release cycle.

Peak demands can be met easily when you can scale to match demand within milliseconds. Integration scenarios automatically adapt to platform changes and let the developer focus on code.

How Has Serverless Evolved?

Virtualization | Serverless

Virtualization has enabled a more convenient server resource allocation than ever before. Individual VM resources can be allocated and scaled easier compared to physical server allocation. With the evolution of the cloud and virtualization tech, the serverless practice has automatically evolved. Virtualization clusters account for simpler orchestration service scenarios, leading to less O&M.

Containers | Microservices | Serverless

Use-Case Scenarios

Web Applications

The Alibaba Cloud storage, Object Storage Service (OSS), or the Network Assisted Storage (NAS), works with the model that isolates static content from dynamic content and uses the content delivery network to optimize the delivery of content for a seamless experience. The static content is delivered using the cache storage, and the dynamic content is linked for delivery using the backend resource. This example uses Function Compute.

Function Compute retrieves the information that is sought after and delivers it back to the CDN. With that, it records this information to the log service and uses the Table Store to read and write the meta-information while processing information that will be sent back to the CDN. Then, the metadata is fed to the search engines for indexing.

Real-Time Processing | IoT | Serverless

It could be an Object Storage Service trigger when a large file is sent for decompression, and the resources need to be adjusted for the process to complete successfully. After the trigger, Function Compute receives the event notification and uploads the relevant information to the respective services for processing, scales up to meet the task requirements, and scales down back to normal operating parameters after the processing is complete. Thereafter, updating the log service and table store with relevant information.

When it comes to IoT, the devices that are applied to work with the configuration are smart devices. Function Compute is used to process the device status. APIs are used for communication between Function Compute and the IoT enabled device. Events are triggered based on device-level interaction and request scenarios.

As a developer, you are expected to write code that simplifies event communication between Function Compute and the IoT device. The flow of information is not limited to the device and Function Compute. It gets stored and retrieved for further processing, so the architecture here is needed to operate and update the workflow to achieve a better trigger-delivery scenario.

AI Reasoning | Function Compute

Sandboxing is an important module for AI training. Function Compute provides support for multiple version testing. This reduces the risk of model launch failure. The Sandboxing technique provides the replica environment for the developer to work with and compare results between versions for more efficient release cycles.

With that, Function Compute utilizes local debugging using third-party libraries. Alibaba Cloud supports TensorFlow and PyTorch to enable one-click deployment on Alibaba Cloud.

Video Transcoding | Function Compute

Function Compute provides support for parallel processing of multiple video files and can provision multiple instances of Function Compute resources for uninterrupted processing. Function Compute also supports direct processing of commands, such as FFmpeg, given that the FFmpeg based service is deployed on VMs connected to Function Compute.

Order-Delivery | Real-Time | Function Compute

This order-delivery process can leverage the serverless infrastructure easily. It is the most suited architecture for such mechanisms. Alibaba Cloud Function Compute can be used for such systems, as most data is handled in real-time, and resources can be scaled on-demand to meet traffic peaks.

In this scenario, order placement via an API is the event. This event is managed by the API Gateway and forwarded to Function Compute. After this order reaches the processing center, a trigger function enables scaling, logging, processing, and notifications using Function Compute.

Wrapping Up

Upcoming Articles

Original Source:

Follow me to keep abreast with the latest technology news, industry insights, and developer trends.