Cloudflare has released Workers Unbound, a serverless platform that it says delivers "unparalleled" flexibility, performance, security, ease of use, and pricing, and the focus has changed. It has been three years since Cloudflare first introduced its Cloudflare Workers, which it now describes as serverless code deployed to data centers across 200 cities in 95 countries.
“Edge computing, that’s the icing on top of the cake. That’s not what people wanted to start with. What they really wanted was just a simple platform where they could write code, not think about it, and it just worked,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told The New Stack. “What we got wrong three years ago, and I think what almost every edge computing platform has gotten wrong over the years, was they lead with speed. That’s, again, the icing on top, it’s not what a really great serverless platform is.”
Instead, Prince said, what teams and developers really want from serverless is cost efficiency, ease of use, and most importantly, compliance.
“The thing that is actually even more important than ease of use is actually compliance. Not very sexy, it’s not very fun to talk about, but if your general counsel or your CIO says you must do X or you can’t do Y, that really ties the developers hands,” said Prince. “So compliance is a really important piece. And I actually think that that’s going to be the killer feature of any edge computing platform going forward.”
Whereas Cloudflare Workers were limited with certain restrictions regarding things like CPU time, memory usage, and program size, Workers Unbound are left comparatively unrestrained, with unthrottled CPU usage, automatic scaling, and the ability to “run heavy workloads without having to worry about overly restrictive CPU constraints.” This allows users to perform more complex tasks than with Workers, while at the same time spending less. According to the company, Workers Unbound, for the same workload, “can be 75 percent less expensive than AWS Lambda, 24 percent less expensive than Microsoft Azure Functions, and 52 percent less expensive than Google Cloud Functions.”
Prince explained that there were a couple factors that made Workers Unbound so much cheaper than its competitors.
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Happy Serverless September 2020! We at Coding Sans love working with serverless technology. This is why we decided to publish a report with the latest serverless trends this year. We partnered up with nine other companies who share our love to make it happen.
In this post, I will go through the process of predicting key performance characteristics and the cost of scale-per-request serverless platforms (like AWS Lambda, IBM Cloud Functions, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions) with different workload intensities (in terms of requests per second) using a performance model.