Zurich, Switzerland, 21 December 2018

Symposium Technical Program Details

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Education track / Tutorials:

Image Erez Freiberger, Epsagon:
Monitoring/debugging AWS Lambda applications (tutorial, main room, 9.00)

Abstract: The way we develop and deploy software has changed dramatically in the last few years. This makes the ecosystems of our applications even more complicated than ever. In this session, we will go through the evolution and the monitoring challenges, while using the right tools to keep developer velocity. We'll discuss the monitoring challenges in serverless systems, explore existing solutions for monitoring and debugging serverless applications (mostly around AWS), and introduce modern tools which can help in this task. Intended tutorial: * Starting with an existing AWS serverless application, including Lambda, managed services (API Gateway, S3, SNS, DynamoDB, triggers), and external APIs (Auth0, Twilio). * I'll show how the application behaves and what business flows exist in it. * We'll discuss the potential risks and challenges in such an application - e.g. debugging a distributed flows, performance monitoring of user flow (as opposed to a single function), as well as the cost challenges due to the pay-per-use nature. * We'll demonstrate several solutions, including log aggregation, distributed tracing, and modern tools like Epsagon (see my blog for an idea). Target audience and prerequisites: The target audience should be familiar with AWS Lambda and hopefully, the CloudWatch console as well. No other prerequisite is needed.

Bio: Erez Freiberger, Software Engineer for almost a decade now. I used to work on on-premise dedicated software then with containers and containers management. Over the time I got interested in the serverless field and its benefits so when opportunity presented itself I joined Epsagon to improve serverless observability.

Image Andreas Nauerz, IBM:
Developing event-driven and serverless applications with IBM Cloud Functions & Apache OpenWhisk (tutorial, room D23, 9.00) CANCELLED

Abstract: Learn the basics and strengths of IBM Cloud Functions & Apache OpenWhisk. In this workshop you will learn how to develop serverless applications composed of loosely coupled microservice-alike functions. You’ll learn about the key concepts and work with our CLI and UI tp become a FaaS star by implementing a real-world application. You will also learn how to make use of related technologies such as our API Gateway, Message Hub and App Connect integration as well as other event providers. Finally, you will learn how to package and deploy your entire serverless application together using the the open Serverless Framework as well as IBM’s wskdeply.

Bio: TBD

Image Diego Martín, UPM:
Building a serverless application using FaaS workflows (tutorial, room D27, 9.00)

Abstract: The present tutorial will give the participants a basic understanding of the new-style workflow languages for FaaS through a tech-talk with an on-hand project. The tutorial is open to anybody interested on FaaS and FaaS composition (AKA workflows, e.g. Fission Workflows, IBM Composer, AWS Step Functions) with no need of prior knowledge on the matter. Ideally the participants should have a basic understanding of programming and what a JSON/YAML file is, and bring a laptop in case they want to follow the on-hands part.

Bio: The tutorial will be delivered by Diego, an enthusiast in cloud-native applications and cloud functions, who is currently working on his bachelor thesis for the Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunication Technologies and Services Engineering at ETSIT UPM in Spain and doing a researching internship in the Cloud Native Applications field at the Service Prototyping Lab at ZHAW in Winterthur.

Industry and Community track:

Image Erwin van Eyk, Platform9:
Going FaaSter: Cost-performance optimizations of serverless on Kubernetes (11.00)

Abstract: Serverless promises on-demand, optimal performance for a fixed cost. Yet, we see that the current serverless platforms do not always hold up this promise in practice; serverless applications can suffer from platform overhead, unreliable performance, “cold starts”, and more. In this talk we review optimizations used in popular FaaS platforms, and recent research findings that aim to optimize the trade-off between cost and performance. We will review function reuse, resource pooling, function locality, and predictive scheduling. To illustrate, we will use the open source, Kubernetes-based Fission FaaS platform to demonstrate how you can achieve specific goals around latency, throughput, resource utilization and cost. Finally, we take a look at the horizon; what are the current performance challenges and opportunities to make FaaS even faster?

Bio: Erwin works at the intersection between industry and academia. As a software engineer at Platform9, he contributes to Fission: an open-source, Kubernetes-native, Serverless platform. At the same time, he is a researcher investigating “Function Scheduling and Composition in FaaS Deployments” in the International Research Team @large at the Delft University of Technology. As a part of this, he leads the industry and academia combined serverless research effort at the SPEC Cloud Research Group.

Image Andreas Nauerz, IBM:
Insights into real-world customer scenarios: What customers are really building using serverless platforms (13.50) CANCELLED

Abstract: IBM Cloud Functions is IBM’s Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) platform based on Apache OpenWhisk, an entirely open serverless platform. During this presentation we are going to recap key concepts and strength. In this talk we will focus on why (and how) different customers ranging from small startups to bigger enterprises, all working on solutions falling into totally different domains such as cognitive, data, IoT, microservices, and mobile workloads, have decided to go for an IBM Cloud Functions-based serverless architecture. We will discuss their concrete business cases, architectures, design considerations and economical benefits. We will show these customers run serverless solutions in production. Finally, we will highlight some of the key lessons they have learned so far.

Bio: TBD

Image Soubhik Das, Intel:
Serverless Computing - The biggest game changer having entrepreneurship within... (15.40) CANCELLED

Abstract: When we talk about Serverless Computing, we’re talking about arguably the biggest computational breakthrough. It would create a drastic change in the nascent market. It hits the next technology, when it comes to IaaS. Some of its’ major pros include: Scalability; Revenue Model; Flexibility; Safety and Reliability. The way complex software is managed and deployed is complete changed using this type of computing. Discussion of various entrepreneurial aspects with: Abstraction Layer building; Much more than Tooling; Ease of Maintenance; Discussion about the scope keeping its’ game-changing nature in mind.

Bio: Soubhik Das is an Indian Innovators based at Pune and was a nominee by Forbes 30 under 30 from India.

Image Maciej Pawlik, AGH:
Performance considerations on execution of large scale workflow applications on cloud functions (11.30)

Abstract: Function-as-a-Service is a novel type of cloud service used for creating distributed applications and utilizing computing resources. Application developer supplies source code of cloud functions, which are small applications or application components, while the service provider is responsible for provisioning the infrastructure, scaling and exposing a REST style API. This environment seems to be adequate for running scientific workflows, which in recent years, have become an established paradigm for implementing and preserving complex scientific processes. In this paper, we present work done on evaluating three major FaaS providers (Amazon, Google, IBM) as a platform for running scientific workflows. The experiments were performed with a dedicated benchmarking framework, which consisted of instrumented workflow execution engine. The testing load was implemented as a large scale bag-of-tasks style workflow, where task count reached 5120 running in parallel. The studied parameters include raw performance, efficiency of infrastructure provisioning, overhead introduced by the API and network layers, as well as aspects related to run time accounting. Conclusions include insights into available performance, expressed as raw GFlops values and charts depicting relation of performance to function size. The infrastructure provisioning proved to be governed by parallelism and rate limits, which can be deducted from included charts. The overhead imposed by using a REST API proved to be a significant contribution to overall run time of individual tasks, and possibly the whole workflow. The paper ends with pointing out possible future work, which includes building performance models and designing a dedicated scheduling algorithms for running scientific workflows on FaaS.

Bio: M.Sc. in Applied Computer Science from AGH University of Science and Technology Krakow, currently I’m pursuing a PhD in Computer Science. I’m a HPC Specialist at ACC Cyfronet AGH, where I’m involved in design and operation of HPC systems, main areas of my scientific interest are: novel cloud infrastructures, workflow scheduling and big data analysis.

Image Oleksii Serhiienko, Apalia/ZHAW:
Distributed Lambda functions to improve and extend the functionality of cloud management platforms (live demo, 17.20)

Abstract: Cloud Management Platforms (CMP) such as ManageIQ or CloudcheckR gained much popularity recently since multi-cloud solutions take more and more places in the industry. With the increasing usage of platforms, more requirements have appeared which can't be satisfied only by one platform also policies and concepts which are unique to each of them brings limitations. With the help of functions and event gateway, we can bring the required functionality into centralised endpoint in a distributed manner to provide security, performance and aggregated feature benefits into the customised platform to satisfy business models.

Bio: Oleksii works with the cloud engineering and governance company Apalia in Switzerland and France in a joint innovation project on universal multi-cloud connectors. He has been graduated at the Kiev Polytechnic University majoring computer engineering. In 2014, he started research in Switzerland as intern by IAESTE program. During that year, he was working on OpenStack development, in particular at the Ceilometer project. His code has been contributed to the “Icehouse” OpenStack release. After the internship, he has kept working in the Service Prototyping Lab and studying in parallel in the MSE program. Currently, Oleksii is finishing his masters and working on cloud management platforms and general connectors based on Lambda functions.

Scientific track:

Image Mohammed Al-Ameen, USharjah and Josef Spillner:
A systematic and open exploration of FaaS research (13.30)

Abstract: Research interest in Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) development, execution and ecosystems is growing. Consequently, an increasing body of literature focusing on FaaS and cloud services is evolving. While the field is still young, we propose a community-maintained and curated open dataset which uniquely references relevant articles in order to derive comparable bibliometric data and statistics. The dataset supports the generation of knowledge about the evolving history, research trends and significance. This survey paper introduces the 60-article dataset, explains the governance model and benefits, and shows first insights derived by a literature analysis. We argue that along with accelerating technological trends, fresh research method flavours assist in faster and more comprehensive knowledge exploration and dissemination.

Bio: Mohammed Al-Ameen is a senior computer science student at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and currently doing a research internship in Service Tooling at the Service Prototyping Lab at ZHAW in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Image Daniel Barcelona Pons, Álvaro Ruiz Ollobarren, URV, David Arroyo Pinto and Pedro García López:
Serverless actors: a cloud challenge (14.10)

Abstract: Serverless is a very promising model with many benefits to simplify the development of cloud applications. However, many applications are not easy to build on a serverless environment due to the lack of built-in key features, such as state and function coordination. In this paper we focus on the actor model. As this popular computational model challenges many aspects of the current serverless tools, the feasibility of building a serverless actors framework is unclear. Our goal is to study whether the actor model can be successfully deployed on top of a serverless FaaS environment, like AWS Lambda and Microsoft Azure Functions, and evaluate their complexity and performance. We conclude with a discussion on the results observed, stating three main requirements that serverless actors' implementations should fulfill.

Bio: Álvaro is a graduate researcher at University Rovira i Virgili. He received his B.Sc. in Computer Science from URV and is currently studying a M.Sc. in Computing and Mathematical Engineering from UOC and URV. His research focuses on serverless computing.

Image Andreas Christoforou, CUT and Andreas Andreou:
An effective resource management approach in a FaaS environment (15.20)

Abstract: Serverless computing introduces a new Cloud service which consist an increasingly popular architecture for building distributed applications. This paper investigates and proposes a new resource management approach in a FaaS platform, based on intelligent techniques. A number of experiments applied through an indicative framework consisting of a client application and a Lambda function. Three Genetic Algorithms were employed to deliver optimal solutions in a multi-objective environment.

Bio: Andreas received his BSc/MSc in Computer & Informatics Engineering from the Department of Computer Engineering & Informatics, Polytechnic School of the University of Patras, Greece, in 2002. He is currently a Project Manager and Senior Software Engineer in Logisoft Computer Systems. He held previous positions at the same company as Junior Software Developer (2001-2003), as Senior Software Developer (2003-2006), as Manager of R&D Department (2006-2008) and as manager of Business Applications Department (2008-2011). He has been involved as Project Manager and as a Software Developer on several projects that are currently on the market. He has also been involved, as External Research Associate, in national research projects in various academic institutions in Cyprus. He is currently Ph.D. Candidate at Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics of Cyprus University of Technology (since March 2012) and he is also a research associate and member of the Software Engineering and Intelligent Information Systems (SEIIS) research lab. As member of the lab he is carrying out research in the context of European and national research projects. His research interests are focused in the area of Software Engineering in the Cloud and on applying Artificial and Computational Intelligence to Decision Support (DS) and Process Control (PC).

Image Serhii Dorodko, ZHAW and Josef Spillner:
Selective Java Code Transformation into AWS Lambda functions (16.00)

Abstract: Context: Cloud platforms offer diverse evolving programming and deployment models which require not only application code adaptation, but also retraining and changing developer mindsets. Such change is costly and is better served by automated tools. Inquiry: Subject of the study are automated FaaSification processes which transform conventional annotated Java methods into executable Function-as-a-Service units. Given the novelty of the problem domain, a key concern is the demonstration of feasibility within arbitrary boundaries of FaaS offerings and the measurement of resulting technical and pricing metrics. Approach: We contribute a suitable tool design called Termite with corresponding implementation in Java. The design is aligned with a generic transformation pipeline in which each step from code analysis over compilation to deployment and testing can be observed and measured separately. Knowledge: Our results show that annotations are suitable means for fine-grained configuration despite ceding control to the build system. Smaller Java projects can be FaaS-enabled with little effort. We expect FaaSification tools to become part of build chains on a wide scale once their current engineering shortcomings in terms of tackling more complex code are solved. Grounding: We employ an experimental scientific method with synthetically generated and manually engineered applications. The research is backed up by a curated dataset containing publicly verifiable tools, reference applications and experiment instructions. Importance: In domains centered around discrete events such as connected devices, cloud automation or electronic markets, trends indicate that the execution of short-lived functions will become the dominant hosted code paradigm.

Bio: Serhii Dorodko works as a research assistant in SPLab, at the moment dealing with billing solutions in cloud area. He has fineshed his master programme in computer engineering at the Kiev Polytechnic University in 2016. During it Serhii did one year of IAESTE internship within SPLab service tolling initiative, researching serverless.

Image Yessica Bogado, PTI, Walter Ramón Benítez Dávalos, Josef Spillner and Fabio López-Pires:
Towards sustainable ecosystems for cloud functions (17.30)

Abstract: The main technologies around modern cloud development and deployment paradigms such as Function-asa-Service (FaaS) environments follow a typical technology life-cycle. Starting with basic code installation and execution environments, they unfold into a complete ecosystem with rich collaborative development and market enablement tools. In this paper, we analyse the growth of such ecosystems, reveal causes of hindrances in previous service-oriented approaches, and present our vision of how an ecosystem with sustainable operation could look like both in general and specifically for cloud functions. We present Function Hub, a partial prototypical implementation to gain first knowledge about the potential operational ecosystem behaviour.

Bio: TBD

Lightning talks:

Image Soenke Ruempler:
Knowledge management: How Serverless forces organizations to *un*learn (17.00) CANCELLED

Abstract: Serverless” is fundamentally changing the way how software gets developed, shipped and operated. For many organizations these change are going to become a major challenge. Entire disciplines and teams might get obsolete or change substantly within organizations. What will change with serverless? What are typical signs of resistance against the change? How can we prepare our org and people for unlearning old patterns and behaviors that don’t work anymore in a serverless world? How can organizational *un*learning get institutionalized in companies? Let’s have a look from a (systemic) knowledge management perspective.

Bio: Soenke Ruempler is co-founder of superluminar.io, a consultancy located in Hamburg, where he helps organizations to embrace technical and cultural change on their way to the Public Cloud. He is always curious about the bigger picture, and he blogs at ruempler.eu and superluminar.io or tweets at twitter.com/s0enke.

Image Yu-An Chen, ISI:
Feedback-based resource allocation for Serverless Computing (17.05)

Abstract: We propose a feedback-based control framework that efficiently allocates resources for serverless functions while maintaining applications’ timing requirement. The framework uses a hierarchical approach for function chains deployment. The goal of the project is to provide app developers a framework to satisfy application's timing requirements and achieve efficient resource usage with ease.

Bio: Yu-An Chen is a PhD student at University of Southern California, USA. He is also part of the Computation Systems and Technology group in Information Science Institute, USA. His research focuses on real-time computing in the cloud.

Image Massimo Villari, UniME:
Osmotic Computing (17.10)

Abstract: With the promise of potentially unlimited power and scalability, cloud computing (especially infrastructure as a service [IaaS]) supports the deployment of reliable services across several application domains. In the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud solutions can improve the quality of service (QoS), fostering new business opportunities in multiple domains, such as healthcare, finance, traffic management, and disaster management. Available mature solutions, such as Amazon IoT and Google Cloud Dataflow, demonstrate the success of cloud-centric IoT programming models and resource orchestration techniques. However, recent technological advances have disrupted the current centralized cloud computing model, moving cloud resources close to users. Osmotic computing is a new paradigm that’s driven by the significant increase in resource capacity/capability at the network edge, along with support for data transfer protocols that enable such resources to interact more seamlessly with datacenter-based services. It aims at highly distributed and federated environments, and enables the automatic deployment of Microservices that are composed and interconnected over both edge and cloud infrastructures. Osmotic computing inherits challenges and issues related to elasticity in cloud Osmotic datacenters, but adds several features due to the heterogeneous nature of edge datacenters and cloud datacenters. Various stakeholders (cloud providers, edge providers, application providers, IoT DevOPs, and so on) can contribute to the provisioning of IoT service and applications in a federated environment. An interesting is becoming the new aspect that allows to leverage a simplified bio-techniques and models for managing complex analogous systems.

Bio: Massimo Villari is Associate Professor in Computer Science at University of Messina (Italy). In May 2018 he won the position of Full Professor in Computer Science at the same University, and he is in the way for formalizing it. He is actively working as IT Security and Distributed Systems Analyst in Cloud Computing, virtualization and Storage and one of the creator of Osmotic Computing Paradigm. For the EU Projects “RESERVOIR” he leaded the IT security activities of the whole project. For the EU Project “VISION-CLOUD”and H2020-BEACON, he covered the role of architectural designer for UniME. He was Scientific ICT Responsible in the EU Project frontierCities, the Accelerator of FIWARE on Smart Cities – Smart Mobility. He is strongly involved in EU Future Internet initiatives, specifically Cloud Computing and Security in Distributed Systems. He is co-author of more of 170 scientific publications and patents in Cloud Computing (Cloud Federation), Distributed Systems, Wireless Network, Network Security, Cloud Security and Cloud and IoTs, and recently in Osmotic Computing. He was General Chair of ESOCC 2015 and IEEE-ISCC 2016. Since 2011 he is a Fellow of IARIA, recognized as a Cloud Computing Expert, and since 2011 he is also involved in the activities of the FIArch, the EU Working Group on Future Internet Architecture. In 2014 was recognized by an independent assessment (IEEE Cloud Computing Transaction, Issue April 2014) as one of World-Wide active scientific researchers, top 27 classification, in Cloud Computing Area. He is General Chair of IEEE-ICFEC 2019 and Workshop Co-Chair in IEEE-CIC 2018. Currently he is Scientific Responsible for UniME-IRCCSME Cloud initiative in eHealth.