Author: Mohammed Al-Ameen

Building a Sample MQTT-based Application on OpenWhisk

In two previous blog posts – here and here – we discussed our experience with deploying OpenWhisk on Kubernetes on OpenStack. As applied researchers at the Service Prototyping Lab, we are investigating potential use cases for such setups and for FaaS-based applications in general. In this blog post, we will therefore describe how we built a sample MQTT-based application that shows OpenWhisk in action for sensor data processing for future Internet of Things and smart dust scenarios.

The basic idea of the application is that it consumes data from an MQTT feed, stores it in a database and provides a means to access the database via a web UI. The architecture of the application is shown in the figure below. The application is based on this blog post.

Sample Application Architecture
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Reliable OpenWhisk Deployment on Kubernetes With Persistent Storage

In a previous blog post, we described our experience with deploying OpenWhisk on Kubernetes on OpenStack. During subsequent testing, we observed some issues with the OpenWhisk deployment wherein some OpenWhisk components – specifically, the controller and the invoker – would fail to restart after rebooting the machines running the Kubernetes nodes for maintenance tasks. To fix this, we had to redeploy OpenWhisk after each failure which resulted in significant data loss and was clearly an unacceptable operational solution.

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Deploying OpenWhisk on Kubernetes on OpenStack

Serverless applications is one topic that SPLab has been working on for a couple of years now, with, for example, our work on a stand-alone FaaS platform Snafu, work on disaggregating applications into serverless functions, Podilizer and other activities. Having organised ESSCA some weeks ago, we are now again exploring the technical limits and challenges in this space. This blog post reports about our experience of running the combination of OpenWhisk, Kubernetes, Helm and OpenStack.

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Brief Summary of AWS Cloud Summer School Switzerland

AWS Cloud Summer School Switzerland was scheduled as a five-day event organized by Amazon. The event took place from September 3 – 7, 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland. From the outline, it appeared worth attending as it offered high-quality educational modules and hands-on labs. The SPLab was thus present at the event and this blog post aims to briefly summarize what took place and what implications can be inferred for the near future of cloud applications. Continue reading