Serverless Architectures and VMware Dispatch Framework (BAW3)

Now I am by no way an expert with Serverless Architectures, but I saw an announcement from VMware the other day about VMware releasing the Dispatch Framework, and I thought that I would investigate a little further.

Having utilised servers as the main part of my career to date, the idea of a ‘Serverless’ environment seems a little strange.  Here is my brief crash course in ‘Serverless Architectures’:

  • Serverless architectures refer to applications that significantly depend on third-party services or code that is run in ephemeral containers
  • These are known as Backend-as-a-service or Function-as-a-service
  • Backend-as-a-service refers more to applications that significantly or fully depend on 3rd party applications / services (‘in the cloud’) to manage server-side logic and state.  These are typically ‘rich-client’ applications (like mobile apps) that use the vast ecosystem of cloud accessible databases, authentication services etc.
  • Function-as-a-service is more to do with applications where some amount of server-side logic is still written by the application developer but unlike traditional architectures, is run in stateless compute containers that are event-triggered, ephemeral and fully managed by a 3rd party.  AWS Lambda is one of the most popular implementations of Function-as-a-service

To learn more about Function-as-a-Service, please head over to this web page by Mike Roberts (https://martinfowler.com/articles/serverless.html)

This therefore brings us onto the announcement by VMware of Dispatch, an Open Source Serverless Framework.

This was first announced during VMWorld 2017 with an early demo but the team behind the framework have been working to define what a VMware-based serverless framework would look like.

Dispatch is built on Kubernetes and provides tools and services to deploy and manage production-ready, function-backed serverless applications.

Dispatch is available as an Apache 2.0 open source project.  The feature set is limited in this early release but you can bet that VMware will be developing this heavily moving forward.  Below is a diagram showing the architecture for Dispatch.

 

More information about the release of this product can be found in the blog post by Mark Peek (https://blogs.vmware.com/opensource/2018/01/12/dispatch-project-open-source-serverless-framework/?src=so_5a314d05e49f5&cid=70134000001SkJn) and the source can be found on GitHub at the following location:  https://github.com/vmware/dispatch

Blog-a-Week 2018 Posting (BAW):

In previous years, I have had periods throughout the year where I have been unable to post an entry to my blog.  During 2018, my aim is to post a blog entry each week of the year.  I’m hoping that the blog entries will all be useful bits of information or items that I’ve been working on recently but if the standard of the entries drops, I apologise now, as this could have been a busy week and I wasn’t able to put in as much time as I would have liked into the post

About the Author

Dinger

I have been in IT for the past 15 years and using virtualisation technologies for around the past 8 years. I started, as quite a lot of people do, working with PCs after playing with such iconic systems like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and then progressing through 386s, 486s, Pentiums etc. After being headhunted at sixth form to work for a small company based around Hertfordshire, UK. I began working with small businesses and gaining a lot of hardware experience. Three years later, after helping to increase the size of the business, I needed to gain exposure to a larger environment to progress my own career. I joined a large manufacturing company around Electronic Test and Measurement which progressed my skills onto more PC work, hardware work and then onto Server Operating Systems. I progressed again onto a consultancy company based in Reading, UK. Initially working as an engineer performing hardware / software installations for larger companies contracted out to the consultancy company, I moved up into a Consultant position continuing my travel across the UK assisting and providing solutions to companies. I finally moved on again to my current position, working back in Hertfordshire, UK. Again working for a large manufacturing company, this time with over 50,000 users worldwide. I am responsible for the datacenter hardware, the storage environment, the vmware environment and also implementing their new Citrix XenApp farm. My days are busy but also productive, its a friendly environment and in my four years of being with the company, I have seen many changes in technology and infrastructure in use within the company. About the site I started this site as I had been thinking of having more of a presence on the web for a while. On a daily basis, I perform tasks and use tools that others may not use or may not think to do and therefore I thought that I would share some of these experiences and tips with others to help with their day to day work. Currently, my main focus of work is around VMware and Veeam Backup & Replication but hopefully as my tasks progress, I’ll be able to share useful bits of information about other areas of IT as well.

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