Apache OpenWhisk

What is OpenWhisk?

OpenWhisk is an enterprise distributed server platform for "Serverless" or Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) computing.  Amazon introduced the world to similar technology with it's AWS Lambda service.  OpenWhisk is a platform which allows you to run a Lambba-like platform in your own data center, or in any cloud to avoid vendor lock-in. This is a very new platform, but it is already widely used in production as it is a core technology in IBM's cloud offering.

The purpose of systems like this is to provide optimal usage of computing hardware with minimal management. OpenWhisk focuses on being able to deploy code very quickly on demand.  In a traditional application server, code is typically deployed to a minimal number of servers in a cluster and can scale up based on need.  In OpenWhisk code is never guaranteed to be deployed at all unless it is needed.  If a function is triggered and is not already deployed and available it will deploy on demand.  Thus the need for quick and efficient deployment.  It is an ideal environment for applications following a microservices architecture.

OpenWhisk builds its components using containers using frameworks like Kubernetes. Red Hat recently demonstrated an integration with OpenShift.

What is Serverless and FaaS?

Serverless and Function-as-a-Service are often used interchangeably and aren't always used consistently.  Generally these terms are used to describe systems in which the platform manages all aspects of code deployment and the code being deployed is one or more stateless function entry points.  In OpenWhisk terms this is described as "a platform that executes functions in response to events at any scale".  Events could be triggered by REST APIs, streams, 

What Does Open Source Architect Offer?

Open Source Architect prides itself on being in the forefront of enterprise technologies.  As such, we stand ready to assist our clients in understanding and adopting OpenWhisk.  Due to our close relationship with Red Hat and our years of experience with Red Hat technologies, we are actively monitoring and experimenting with OpenWhisk on Red Hat OpenShift.

Please note that Open Source Architect does not have a formal relationship with The Apache Software Foundation (the project lead and trademark holder of Apache OpenWhisk). We informally, but strongly support the work of the ASF.