With ninja like stealth, Google has rolled out new offering Google Cloud Functions on to the Google Cloud Platform this week. And, as is the way with these things, analysts are already squaring it up as a direct contender to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda. In keeping with previous AWS-alike feature launches, Google has operated under the radar on this release, declining from broadcasting the news on any of its keenly watched social network channels.
As with AWS Lambas, developers can rig it up to execute snippets of code in response to specific events, saving them the hassle of having to go through the whole process themselves (although it’s not an exact copy – see below):
Google Cloud Functions are completely different to AWS Lambda:
exports.fn = function(context, data)
exports.fn = function(event, context)
— Peter Sankauskas (@pas256) February 9, 2016
Cloud Functions can be triggered asynchronously via events from Google Cloud Storage and Google Cloud Pub/Sub, or there’s the option of using HTTP invocation for synchronous execution. All of this is executed and managed in a Node.js runtime on the Google Cloud Platform. The official documentation states that functions are deployable from local file system (via a Google Cloud Storage bucket) or from a Github or Bitbucket source repository (via Cloud Source Repositories). Each function can implemented and billed individually.
Currently Cloud Functions is still in Alpha mode, and could still be potentially changed in non-backward ways. For this reason, it’s not yet ready to contend with AWS Lambda in production. Still, if you’d like to see what the early incarnation of serverless Google Cloud can do, you can sign up to be whitelisted for early access to this feature.