AWS Lambda Functionality Spreads to Other Clouds

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) was the first major public cloud provider to offer serverless, event-driven computing with Lambda, but two of its main competitors have now caught up -- and another company has announced a project to provide Lambda functionality on other clouds.

IBM today announced OpenWhisk for its Bluemix cloud service. It's described as "a new event-driven platform that lets developers quickly and easily build feature-rich apps that automatically trigger responses to events." In other words: Lambda.

IBM said the service can help mobile, Web and Internet of Things (IoT) developers. "For example" the company said, "it can enable mobile developers to interface with back-end logic running in a cloud without installing server-side middleware or infrastructure."

For the Web devs, "OpenWhisk provides Web developers with access to cognitive and other services," IBM said. "It provides IoT developers with access to analytical services to help them properly react to sensor data, and can even be used to automate DevOps tasks such as kicking off an appropriate action when a build system indicates a successful failed build through an event."

Another of AWS' main competitors in the public cloud space, Google, was a step ahead of IBM, as it's now featuring similar technology in an alpha preview: Google Cloud Functions.

The search giant describes it as "a lightweight, event-based, asynchronous compute solution that allows you to create small, single-purpose functions that respond to cloud events without the need to manage a server or a runtime environment." In other words: Lambda.

Furthermore, earlier this month, announced Project Kratos, "which will enable enterprises to run AWS Lambda functionality in any cloud provider, as well as on-premise, eliminating vendor lock-in."

The six-year-old San Francisco company is now soliciting developers to participate in the project. Those who do so will qualify to become beta users of the technology. The project fits in with's microservices approach.

"Software development is a complex, time-consuming process, requiring a number of specific skills. Enterprises are now moving to a microservices approach, which enables them to put together small, specialized teams which work independently on evolvable systems," the company quoted IDC analyst Al Hilwa as saying. "This microservices approach, combined with cloud services -- whether taking a public, private or hybrid approach -- is the key to fostering greater developer productivity and innovation, as well as enabling enterprises to stand out in highly competitive markets."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.