David Schall and Prof. Boris Grot of the University of Edinburgh presented a ground-breaking paper at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture in New York.
Lukewarm Serverless Functions: Characterization and Optimization
In serverless computing, developers organize their applications as a set of functions, which are invoked on-demand in response to events, such as an HTTP request. To avoid long start-up delays of launching a new function instance, cloud providers tend to keep recently-triggered instances idle (or warm) for some time after the most recent invocation in anticipation of future invocations.
This paper identifies areas of latency and performance loss in the use of severless functions, and proposes Jukebox: a record-and-replay instruction prefetcher specifically designed for reducing the start-up latency of warm function instances. Jukebox requires just 32KB of metadata per function instance and boosts performance by an average of 18.7% for a wide range of functions, which translates into a corresponding throughput improvement.
Their work is the first step towards the characterization of serverless workloads, so that we can bring Midgard support for them in due time.
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