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From James Thomas <jthomas...@gmail.com>
Subject Supporting user-configurable warm action containers?
Date Thu, 31 May 2018 11:22:11 GMT
One of most frequent complaints[1][2][3] I hear from developers using
serverless platforms is coping with cold-start latency when dealing with
sudden bursts of traffic.

Developers often ask for a feature where they can set the number of warm
containers kept in the cache for a function. This would allow them to keep
a higher number of warm containers for applications with bursty traffic
and/or upgrade the cached number prior to an anticpated burst of traffic
arriving. This would be exposed by the managed platforms as a chargable
feature.

Is this something we could support on OpenWhisk? Ignoring the complexity
and feasibility of any solution, from a developer POV I can image having an
action annotation `max-warm` which would set the maximum number of warm
containers allowed in the cache.

Tyson is currently working on concurrent activation processing, which is
one approach to reducing cold-start delays[4]. However, there are some
downsides to concurrent activations, like no runtime isolation for request
processing, which might make this feature inappropraite for some users.

[1]
https://www.reddit.com/r/aws/comments/6w1hip/how_many_successive_lambda_invocations_will_use_a/
[2]
https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=%20%23AWSWishlist%20warm&src=typd
[3]
https://theburningmonk.com/2018/01/im-afraid-youre-thinking-about-aws-lambda-cold-starts-all-wrong/
[4] - https://github.com/apache/incubator-openwhisk/pull/2795

-- 
Regards,
James Thomas

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