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Serverless Computing: An Investigation of Deployment Environments for Web APIs

Department of Computer Science, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 400027 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Qiagen, 400000 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Computers 2019, 8(2), 50;
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
PDF [5065 KB, uploaded 26 June 2019]


Cloud vendors offer a variety of serverless technologies promising high availability and dynamic scaling while reducing operational and maintenance costs. One such technology, serverless computing, or function-as-a-service (FaaS), is advertised as a good candidate for web applications, data-processing, or backend services, where you only pay for usage. Unlike virtual machines (VMs), they come with automatic resource provisioning and allocation, providing elastic and automatic scaling. We present the results from our investigation of a specific serverless candidate, Web Application Programming Interface or Web API, deployed on virtual machines and as function(s)-as-a-service. We contrast these deployments by varying the number of concurrent users for measuring response times and costs. We found no significant response time differences between deployments when VMs are configured for the expected load, and test scenarios are within the FaaS hardware limitations. Higher numbers of concurrent users or unexpected user growths are effortlessly handled by FaaS, whereas additional labor must be invested in VMs for equivalent results. We identified that despite the advantages serverless computing brings, there is no clear choice between serverless or virtual machines for a Web API application because one needs to carefully measure costs and factor-in all components that are included with FaaS. View Full-Text
Keywords: serverless; Function-as-a-Service; response time; Web API serverless; Function-as-a-Service; response time; Web API

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ivan, C.; Vasile, R.; Dadarlat, V. Serverless Computing: An Investigation of Deployment Environments for Web APIs. Computers 2019, 8, 50.

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