Community Blog Function Compute: A Secure and Stable Serverless Computing Platform

Function Compute: A Secure and Stable Serverless Computing Platform

Alibaba Cloud Function Compute is a secure and stable, elastically scaled, O&M-free, pay-as-you-go, serverless computing platform.

What is Function Compute?

Alibaba Cloud Function Compute is a fully-managed event-driven computing service. With Function Compute, you can focus on writing and uploading code, without the need to procure and manage infrastructure resources such as servers. Function Compute prepares computing resources for you, runs code elastically and reliably, and provides features such as log query, performance monitoring, and alert.

With Function Compute, you can quickly create any type of applications and services and only pay for the resources actually consumed when you run your code.

Function Compute Introduction Video

Function Compute Workflow

The following figure shows the workflow of Function Compute.


The corresponding steps are described as follows:

  • The developer writes code to create an application and a service by using a programming language.
  • The developer uploads the application to Function Compute.
  • The developer or an event triggers function execution. Functions can be triggered by Object Storage Service (OSS), API Gateway, Log Service, Tablestore, and Function Compute API and SDKs.
  • Function Compute dynamically scales out to respond to the request. Function Compute can automatically scale out based on the number of user requests. This process is transparent to you and your customers.
  • Alibaba Cloud billing centre bills Function Compute based on the actual execution duration. After the function is executed, you can view the execution fees on the bill. The billing granularity is accurate to 1 ms.

Function Compute Is Integrated Services

Function Compute integrates different services in an event-driven manner. Based on this, you can create elastic, reliable, and secure applications and services, and even complete a set of backend services for processing multimedia data within a few days. When an event source triggers an event, the associated function is automatically called to process the event. For example, when an OSS object creation event (ObjectCreated) or deletion event (ObjectRemoved) occurs, the associated function is automatically triggered to process the event. When API Gateway receives an HTTP request, it automatically triggers the associated function to process the request. Besides, functions can be triggered by other Alibaba Cloud services such as Log Service and Tablestore.

Function Compute Is Serverless Architecture

If you plan to purchase a server to develop a social short video application, you need to consider many issues. The following lists some examples:

  • How do I create and maintain a set of stable and elastic backend video processing services?
  • How many servers do I need to purchase?
  • What specifications does a server use?
  • How do I configure the network and operating system?
  • How do I deploy an environment?
  • How do I implement load balancing?
  • How do I implement dynamical scaling?
  • How do I upgrade the configuration?
  • What can I do when a server fails?
  • How do I handle user request peaks?
  • How do I handle system monitoring alerts?

Fortunately, cloud-based infrastructure allows you to quickly schedule and use massive computing resources, without worrying about finding servers of appropriate specifications within a short period of time. However, the abstraction granularity of most existing cloud computing resources is at the instance level. As a result, it is still difficult and costly to manage and use these computing resources. Alibaba Cloud Function Compute is designed to reduce computing costs and improve computing efficiency. It increases the abstraction granularity of computing services to the function level, providing a serverless application design pattern.

Function Compute spares you from the management of the underlying infrastructure. You can run services by simply deploying your code to Function Compute and triggering function execution in an event-driven manner. You do not need to worry about issues such as environment deployment, server scale-out, and server breakdown. Function Compute provides an elastic scale-out mechanism and is billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. Besides, Function Compute provides features such as log query, performance monitoring, and alert to help you quickly locate and troubleshoot problems.

Why Use Function Compute?

The Function Compute has the following benefits:

  • Function Compute spares you from procurement and management of infrastructure such as servers, greatly reducing O&M costs.
  • Function Compute allows you to focus on developing business logic. You can design, optimize, test, review, and upload your application code by using the programming languages supported by Function Compute.
  • Function Compute uses events to trigger an application to respond to user requests. Function Compute seamlessly connects to Alibaba Cloud services such as OSS, API Gateway, Log Service, and Tablestore, helping you quickly build applications. For example, you can store pictures and videos by using OSS and enable Function Compute to automatically trigger a function to process new data that is written into your OSS resources.
  • Function Compute provides features such as log query, performance monitoring, and alert to help you quickly troubleshoot problems.
  • Function Compute provides millisecond-level auto-scaling, allowing you to quickly scale out the underlying system to cope with traffic peaks.
  • Function Compute is billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. The billing granularity is accurate to 1 millisecond. You only need to pay for the computing resources that are actually consumed. This is particularly applicable to user access scenarios with high traffic fluctuation.

Related Product

Function Compute

Alibaba Cloud Function Compute is a fully managed, event-driven compute service. Function Compute allows you to focus on writing and uploading code without having to manage infrastructure such as servers. Function Compute provides compute resources to run code flexibly and reliably. Additionally, Function Compute provides a generous amount of free resources. No fees are incurred for up to 1,000,000 invocations and 400,000 CU-second compute resources per month.

Related Learning Path

Function Compute Learning Path

Deploy an application in Function Compute without managing and setting up servers. Work together with multiple Alibaba Cloud services to perform complicated tasks.

Related Customer Success Stories

Sina Weibo Is a Social Media Platform That Is Aimed at Helping Users Build Better Connections

Sina Weibo is continuously saving costs by using Function Compute to process image files. We do not need to reserve a large number of idle machine resources to handle traffic surges during peak hours any more. Our engineers do not need to waste time on infrastructure management, such as monitoring server status. Instead, they can focus on working with our product teams to increase business value.

Xianyu (Idle Fish) Is a Used Goods Platform That Relies on the E-Commerce System of Alibaba Group

In Xianyu, the serverless architecture empowers the cloud-based integrated programming model. Under this model, the people-days required to develop have been reduced by more than 30%. At the same time, the bug rate has been decreased by 20% because we use less code that is more standardized.

Century Mart (Shiji Lianhua) Is a Supermarket Chain with Over 170 Branch Stores Across China

Century Mart deploys Function Compute, API Gateway, and Tablestore to facilitate the computing and storage of its core business. The deployment allows Century Mart to flexibly to provide the resources needed for daily and peak promotions. The research and development efficiency is increased by more than 50%, and the cost of resource upgrading is reduced by 100%.

Autonavi Is a Leading Provider of Digital Map Content, Navigation, and Location-Based Solutions in China

With Function Compute, AutoNavi delivered outstanding performance during the peak hours of the 2020 Chinese National Day (Golden Week). The overall service success rate was greater than 99.99%, with a total of more than 1,000,000 triggers per minute and 20,000 queries per second (QPS). The average service response time for each scenario is less than 60ms, and service stability exceeded expectations.

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