FaaSter, Better, Cheaper: The Prospect of Serverless Scientific Computing and HPC
Spillner, Josef; ; (2017). FaaSter, Better, Cheaper: The Prospect of Serverless Scientific Computing and HPC. In: 4th Latin American Conference on High Performance Computing (CARLA). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Springer. Peer reviewed.
The adoption of cloud computing facilities and programming models differs vastly between different application domains. Scalable web applications, low-latency mobile backends and on-demand provisioned databases are typical cases for which cloud services on the platform or infrastructure level exist and are convincing when considering technical and economical arguments. Applications with specific processing demands, including high-performance computing, high-throughput computing and certain flavours of scientific computing, have historically required special configurations such as compute- or memory-optimised virtual machine instances. With the rise of function-level compute instances through Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) models, the fitness of generic configurations needs to be re-evaluated for these applications. We analyse several demanding computing tasks with regards to how FaaS models compare against conventional monolithic algorithm execution. Beside the comparison, we contribute a refined FaaSification process for legacy software and provide a roadmap for future work.