Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Serverless Computing - A New Addition to Google's Cloud Platform

Google recently alpha-tested its new feature named "Google Cloud Functions", thus adding Serverless computing to its existing Cloud platform. By deploying this feature, developers can upload JavaScript code snippets which get triggered as a response to some events. Currently, this new feature being in Alpha stage is made available for deployment by selected Google customers only. App Engine, Container Engine and Compute Engine, are some computing services complemented well by Google's Cloud Functions. 

The simplicity and “NoOps” based model of Serverless computing has fetched it enormous industry attention in the recent past. Following the fire & forget paradigm, the current genre of developers upload individual code snippets hooked to multiple events at runtime. However, Serverless computing helps implement a low-risk, no-friction mechanism that's absolutely free of any sort of administrative overheads. So, it would not be wrong to say that a new wave of web-scale computing has risen with the Serverless computing model. 

Google Cloud Functions as a Medium for Serverless Computing...

As per Google official documentation, Google Cloud Functions being an event-based, asynchronous Cloud computing platform, or precisely solution, helps developers to build single-purpose functions. A physical server or runtime environment is not required at all for these functions to respond to Cloud events. Provisioning or configuring virtual machines thus becomes pretty much avoidable in such scenario. Events raised by Google Cloud Storage and Google Cloud Pub/Sub invoke the uploaded snippets. It’s also possible to invoke the same synchronously via HTTP calls.

Few Interesting Scenarios Discussed for Google Cloud Functions...

Uploading a new document to Google Cloud Storage Bucket immediately causes a function to get invoked; thus converting the document into a PDF that is further uploaded to some different location. Also, there is no requirement of VMs running image software for converting the high-resolution images that are uploaded to cloud storage into suitable thumbnails. It’s also possible to validate scanned documents/forms and sending the relevant response to relevant parties. Google Cloud Pub/Sub offers opportunities of reliable messaging between different applications; specifically allowing applications to communicate with each other.

Is Google on the Same Path as Amazon??

Prior to Google, Amazon already launched its Serverless computing service under the name AWS Lambda in the year 2014. Over the past two years, Lambda has gained enormous popularity as one of the Amazon's Web Service. Precisely, Lambda is serving the purpose of Amazon’s micro services strategy and Amazon is on its way to strengthening it further by adding support for Python & Java quickly. So, it seems like Google will also be following the same strategy in the coming time by customizing its recently-tested Serverless computing feature in the coming time.

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