Ideally, an Fn function should be “hot”. With a hot function, the function container is started and kept alive to process a series of function invocations. Hot functions are great because there’s a cost to starting a container — the Fn server has to pull the image from a repository if the image isn’t cached locally, start the container, and typically boot the language runtime inside the container before it can even start handling function calls. With a hot function you only pay these “cold start” pull/start/boot costs on the first invocation. Latency on subsequent invocations is dramatically lower. So naturally you should always deploy a hot function, right? Unfortunately, it’s not so straight forward if you’re deploying a Docker container as a function — but there is a way!
If you’re using any of the Fn Function Development Kits (FDKs) hot functions are a breeze. In fact, you are probably using an FDK and didn’t really think about whether your function was hot or not. You included the FDK library in your application, wrote your handler function (or method), and passed your handler to the FDK. The fact that the container is kept alive and that the FDK is providing a request loop listening for incoming function invocations may not be obvious. But that’s what’s happening. Read the complete article here.
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