OpenFaaS - Why Functions

There is a lot I want to write about Functions as a Service (FaaS), and I don’t know whether to start with a dermo or explanation. Since I don’t have a demo ready right now I guess I’ll go with an explanation of why I’m so excited by the idea.

Functions address the smallest unit of meaningful code you produce, it does something for you. What that means to you will depend on you. For me it when I was on the Automation team one of the pain points was how best to distribute your work to other teams. When we wrote a bit of code we didn’t want to stand up a server to run it, it was probably just a script run infrequently, so a long lived server was over kill. We instead stood up an automation server and ran multiple smally tasks from it, but that placed a lot of eggs in one basket. What we needed for a platform like OpenFaas where we could just run code on a scheule or on demand without having to worry about the infrastructure underneat.

I know we could have used containers but FaaS is the better option and brings a lower entry point for other teams. Using containers would have necessitated explaining how to run the container and getting them access to the container platform, which for running a report seems too much.

I see FaaS taking up anywhere from 20-40% of compute down the road, I think it is very likely that our datacentres will be 20% FaaS, 40% Servers 40% Containers, but FaaS will eat into the percentage of containers the same way that containers are eating into servers. For refactoring tasks FaaS makes more sense than a container if you are peeling out small microservices from a monolith.

Written on October 4, 2018
[ OpenFaaS  Serverless  ]