SAND: Towards High-Performance Serverless Computing

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Istemi Ekin Akkus, Ruichuan Chen, Ivica Rimac, Manuel Stein, Klaus Satzke, Andre Beck, Paarijaat Aditya, and Volker Hilt, Nokia Bell Labs


Serverless computing has emerged as a new cloud computing paradigm, where an application consists of individual functions that can be separately managed and executed. However, existing serverless platforms normally isolate and execute functions in separate containers, and do not exploit the interactions among functions for performance. These practices lead to high startup delays for function executions and inefficient resource usage. This paper presents SAND, a new serverless computing system that provides lower latency, better resource efficiency and more elasticity than existing serverless platforms. To achieve these properties, SAND introduces two key techniques: 1) application-level sandboxing, and 2) a hierarchical message bus. We have implemented and deployed a complete SAND system. Our results show that SAND outperforms the state-of-the-art serverless platforms significantly. For example, in a commonly-used image processing application, SAND achieves a 43% speedup compared to Apache OpenWhisk.

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@inproceedings {215935,
author = {Istemi Ekin Akkus and Ruichuan Chen and Ivica Rimac and Manuel Stein and Klaus Satzke and Andre Beck and Paarijaat Aditya and Volker Hilt},
title = {{SAND}: Towards {High-Performance} Serverless Computing},
booktitle = {2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 18)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-939133-01-4},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {923--935},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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