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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SoK: Function-As-A-Service: From An Application Developer’s Perspective


In the past few years, FaaS has gained significant popularity and became a go-to choice for deploying cloud applications and micro-services. FaaS with its unique ‘pay as you go’ pricing model and key performance benefits over other cloud services, offers an easy and intuitive programming model to build cloud applications. In this model, a developer focuses on writing the code of the application while infrastructure management is left to the cloud provider who is responsible for the underlying resources, security, isolation, and scaling of the application. Recently, a number of commercial and open-source FaaS platforms have emerged, offering a wide range of features to application developers. In this paper, first, we present measurement studies demystifying various fea- tures and performance of commercial and open-source FaaS platforms that can help developers with deploying and con- figuring their serverless applications. Second, we discuss the distinct performance and cost benefits of FaaS and interesting use cases that leverage the performance, cost, or both aspects of FaaS. Lastly, we discuss challenges a developer may face while developing or deploying a serverless application. We also discuss state of the art solutions and open problems.

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