Google Takes On Amazon's Lambda
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 12 February 2016

Google has released Cloud Functions, a rival for the Amazon's AWS Lambda service.

The Cloud Functions service is currently in alpha version, and is a managed Node.js environment that you can use to create small, single-purpose functions that respond to cloud events without the need to manage a server or a runtime environment.

 

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The only language supported in the alpha is JavaScript via Node.js, so Cloud Functions is currently more limited (at least in language terms) than AWS Lambda, which supports JavaScript, Python, and Java. On the plus side, Cloud Functions apps can make use of any of the modules in the Npm library. Any dependencies will be automatically downloaded on demand. Both AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions are fully managed platforms with automatic scaling support.

Cloud Functions are written in Javascript and execute in a managed Node.js environment on Google Cloud Platform. Events from Google Cloud Storage and Google Cloud Pub/Sub can trigger Cloud Functions asynchronously, or you can use HTTP invocation for synchronous execution.

Once created, the functions are available in a number of ways. They contain the code that executes in response to a trigger in order to process an event.

The first type of trigger is a pub/sub trigger. Cloud Pub/Sub is a globally distributed message bus. Functions invoked from Cloud Pub/Sub triggers will be invoked with the data (in the form of a JSON document) contained in the message that was published to the Pub/Sub topic.

Functions can also respond to notifications from Google Cloud Storage. The change notifications are triggered when objects are added, updated on deleted in the storage.

The third trigger type is HTTP notifications.Functions can be invoked synchronously via an HTTP POST, and the result is be returned as the HTTP response body.

Finally, functions can be invoked directly using a call command in the Cloud Functions CLI (Command Line Interface, so you can test and debug your code.

Because Cloud Functions can be invoked by messages on a Cloud Pub/Sub topic, you can also integrate Cloud Functions with any other Google service that supports Cloud Pub/Sub as an event bus, or by using HTTP invocation with any service that provides HTTP callbacks.

As this is an alpha, you have to request access if you're interest in trying it for yourself. 

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More Information

Request Form For Joining Alpha Testing

What Are Cloud Functions

Related Articles

AWS Adds Java Lambda Support

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 February 2016 )