Community Blog Function Compute: Introduction and Build a Serverless Meme Generator with it

Function Compute: Introduction and Build a Serverless Meme Generator with it

This blog describes how to build a meme generator with Function Compute, the real-world applications and limitless development of Function Compute.

What is Serverless?

Serverless computing, in its most simplistic nature, is a type of cloud infrastructure in which the bulk of maintenance activities are assigned to the server provider: users merely upload code and decide when it should run (typically in response to an event, like an HTTP request).

The user isn't even expected to install the software required to execute their code, such as PHP or Python. The service company is in charge of everything. Function Compute, a serverless computing product from Alibaba Cloud, supports a number of common languages, including Java, Python (2 and 3), PHP, and Node.js. We'll use it to build our meme generator later in this post.

Why Serverless?

It's no longer news that on-premises servers are being replaced by cloud servers. Cloud providers, such as Alibaba Cloud, have experienced exponential growth in the last ten years as corporations adopt the cloud's reliability, convenience, and stability.

Early cloud adopters were driven by two key benefits: no need to manage your own hardware, and the flexibility to scale up (or down) almost instantly. With time and experience, enterprises began to invent entirely new ways to build, manage, and deploy applications on the cloud (something often called cloud native), with a focus on further reducing operations and maintenance costs by embracing managed services.

Cloud companies have responded by developing products and services aimed at removing more and more of the burden of managing hardware and software. Services like Alibaba Cloud's ApsaraDB for RDS or Container Service for Kubernetes remove the overhead of managing some of the software stack, allowing businesses to focus more of their resources on delivering valuable products and services, rather than on patching and upgrades.

Serverless computing is simply an extension of this already well-established trend: it takes away maintenance burdens and replaces them with scalability and flexibility.

Oh, and it's cheap. Serverless computing services typically charge users only when their functions are run, meaning you pay only for the resources you use, saving costs. No wonder interest in serverless has more than tripled since 2017, according to this Google Trends Data!

Fun with Functions: Building a Serverless Meme Generator with Function Compute

It's mostly about how to make funny memes using Alibaba Cloud Function Compute, which is a serverless computing platform. If you're more of a video person, you can see the whole process of building, testing, and deploying the function in this video, from the Alibaba Cloud YouTube channel.

The actual code you need to upload to Function Compute is already written, so this tutorial is mostly about showing you how Function Compute itself works, and why serverless in general is such a cool concept.

The Evolution and Real-World Applications of Function Compute

How Has Serverless Evolved?

The initial idea behind the serverless architecture was to keep infrastructure management (O&M) at bay and save costs for the businesses to expand rapidly. When businesses expand, the economy expands with them. Virtualization has played a key role in this process.

Virtualization | Serverless

In every development cycle, testing scenarios play a crucial role in rolling out applications to the world. Sandboxing has allowed the developers to mimic the deployment environments for faster and more efficient debugging to release ratio.

Virtualization has enabled a more convenient server resource allocation than ever before. Individual VM resources can be allocated and scaled easier compared to physical server allocation. With the evolution of the cloud and virtualization tech, the serverless practice has automatically evolved. Virtualization clusters account for simpler orchestration service scenarios, leading to less O&M.

Containers | Microservices | Serverless

DevOps has been the center of evolution for both microservices culture and Continuous Integration (CI) scenarios. Using Docker containers with Alibaba Cloud lets you cut down on operational costs even further. Why Docker? Function Compute can work as the core operational platform for applications built with Docker. These applications are management independent and do not require any external runtime environment.

Limitless Development with Function Compute

Alibaba Cloud created Function Compute. It is a fully-managed compute service that doesn't require the user to work for any resources or O&M needs. Without the need for infrastructure management, developers can flexibly and reliably run your code.

Function Compute automatically adjusts the resources depending on the traffic demand incursion. For further performance acceleration, it uses a reserved instance. Alongside maintaining latency glitches, this reserved instance also helps with the online migration of applications to Function Compute.

How Does It Work?

  1. Developers submit the code based on the supported programming languages
  2. Function Compute is triggered by the submission through API, Function Compute Console, or SDK
  3. A function is triggered based on your call. It could be an Object Storage Service, API Gateway, or another trigger.
  4. Function Compute scales depending on your traffic peak data and delivers seamless deployment.
    Here, multiple instances of the compute service are triggered to match the traffic peak usage.
  5. Pay-as-you-go is billed accordingly

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 Documentation

How to use Function Compute

This topic briefly describes how to use Function Compute. Function Compute allows you to quickly build applications by writing function code without the need to manage servers. With Function Compute, you can elastically scale computing resources.


This topic provides links to questions that you may have when you use Function Compute.

Related Course

Using Function Compute To Acquire Users Registration Info

This course is designed to assist users who want to get knowledge of serverless computing technology, and who like to use cloud product to apply data processing. In this course, users can understand what is serverless compute, the advantage of function compute, and can apply function compute to satisfy simple business demands.

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