Onward! 2017
Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada
co-located with SPLASH 2017
Thu 26 Oct 2017 13:30 - 14:00 at Regency B - Programming Models Chair(s): Karim Ali

The field of serverless computing has recently emerged in support of highly scalable, event-driven applications. A serverless application is a set of stateless functions, along with the events that should trigger their activation. A serverless runtime allocates resources as events arrive, avoiding the need for costly pre-allocated or dedicated hardware.

While an attractive economic proposition, serverless computing currently lags behind the state of the art when it comes to function composition. This paper addresses the challenge of programming a composition of functions, where the composition is itself a serverless function.

We demonstrate that engineering function composition into a serverless application is possible, but requires a careful evaluation of trade-offs. To help in evaluating these trade-offs, we identify three competing constraints: functions should be considered as black boxes; function composition should obey a substitution principle with respect to synchronous invocation; and invocations should not be double-billed.

Furthermore, we argue that, if the serverless runtime is limited to a reactive core, i.e. one that deals only with dispatching functions in response to events, that these constraints form the serverless trilemma. Without specific runtime support, compositions-as-functions must violate at least one of the three constraints.

Finally, we demonstrate an extension to the reactive core of an open-source serverless runtime that enables the sequential composition of functions in a trilemma-satisfying way. We conjecture that this technique could be generalized to support other combinations of functions.

Thu 26 Oct

Displayed time zone: Tijuana, Baja California change

13:30 - 15:00
Programming ModelsOnward! Papers at Regency B
Chair(s): Karim Ali University of Alberta
The Serverless Trilemma: Function Composition for Serverless Computing
Onward! Papers
Ioana Baldini IBM T.J. Watson Research, Perry Cheng IBM Research, Stephen J Fink IBM, Nick Mitchell , Vinod Muthusamy IBM T.J. Watson Research, Rodric Rabbah IBM Research, Philippe Suter Two Sigma, Olivier Tardieu IBM Research
Encoding the building blocks of communication
Onward! Papers
IoTa: A Calculus for Internet of Things Automation
Onward! Papers
Julie L. Newcomb University of California at Berkeley, Satish Chandra Facebook, Jean-Baptiste Jeannin Carnegie Mellon University , Cole Schlesinger Samsung Research America, Manu Sridharan Uber