How to Create a Serverless Meme-as-a-Service

How to Create a Serverless Meme-as-a-Service

Learn how to create a Serverless Meme-as-a-Service. Build your own meme-as-a-service Make changes to the Rust code and the HTML document. We will use a template project on GitHub to deploy our Rust meme-as-a-service on Tencent Cloud. The template is based on the open source Serverless Framework.

Create a JAMStack app to generate memes as a service! Learn to create and deploy serverless functions in Rust and a static frontend for user interface.

The “meme economy” is apparently the next big thing. It is a natural extension of the Internet’s “attention economy”. Among many others, even Elon Musk is doing it. By some estimate, the meme economy is already worth $250 million USD.

The meme economy is where FOMO meets YOLO. — Felix Salmon from AXIOS

However, it takes time to create a meme. How about a web app that allows anyone to customize a meme and generate a new one? That is a meme-as-a-service (MaaS)!

Why Serverless?

As a developer, it is probably not difficult to create a web application that adds text captions to images. However, a meme-as-a-service has some additional requirements.

  • The imaging processing task is often computationally intensive and requires high performance.
  • The meme service can see very little use or it could explode in popularity. In other words, it needs to be scalable and the developer only pays for actual use.

There are solutions to the above issues. First, we will use a modern high-performance programming language to write the image and text manipulation function. We'll use Rust for this purpose, which delivers native performance but with memory safety.

Next, we can best address the scalability requirement with a serverless function in a public cloud. A serverless function is free when it is not used and can quickly scale to millions of users.

While it is possible to run a native program compiled from Rust as a serverless function, a better way is to run the Rust program in a WebAssembly VM as a serverless function.

The WebAssembly VM acts as a compatibility layer and the security sandbox between the native application and the serverless host environment. It allows the Rust program to be more portable as the WebAssembly VM is pre-configured to run in a variety of operating systems and container images required by public cloud serverless runtimes.

In addition, WebAssembly makes it easy for Rust programs to securely access software libraries written in C/C++. An example is to access Tensorflow libraries in legacy operating systems from Rust.

Quick start

In this tutorial, we will use a template project on GitHub to deploy our Rust meme-as-a-service on Tencent Cloud. The template is based on the open source Serverless Framework.

The Rust program compiles to and runs on the Second State VM (SSVM), which is a WebAssembly VM optimized to run in cloud-based host environments.

While we use Tencent Cloud in this example, the Serverless Framework is agnostic to all leading public clouds. You can easily deploy to AWS or Azure with minor changes.

serverless developer web-development

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