Highlights –

  • The next generation of Cloud Functions is a service platform on Google cloud offering support to larger instances like 16GB of memory and 4vCPUs.
  • It comes with advanced features such as powerful infrastructure, advanced control on performance, control around the functions’ runtime, and larger scalability.

Google recently announced the public preview of the second generation of Cloud Functions, the functions-as-a-service (FaaS) platform on Google Cloud. It’s all about more control over functions runtime, giving better performance, scalability, and support from over 90 event sources.

The newer version renders a longer processing time for HTTP functions, up to 60 minutes. This will support use cases where large amounts of data are involved, such as data processing pipelines or Machine Learning (ML). The new version also reduces cold starts and latency, increasing the concurrency to up to 1,000 requests per function and support instances, up to 16 GB memory, and 4vCPUs.

The second generation of cloud is built using built packs and Functions Frameworks, and it uses Eventarc for event delivery. It supports traffic splitting between multiple versions of a function with the power to roll back and pre-warmed instances to reduce cold starts. The latter is a feature introduced in the first generation.

Although Google Cloud is not the only cloud provider that offers serverless computing, other providers have different characteristics for their services. Amazon and Microsoft do not support 60-minute execution time or 16GB memory allocation. For instance, Amazon’s Lambda functions can run up to 15 minutes per execution, and Microsoft’s Azure Functions can run up to 1536MB.

The second generation of Cloud Functions is currently available as a public preview in a subset of regions with pricing based on Cloud Run pricing.

Experts’ view

Forrest Brazeal, Head of Content at Google Cloud, Tweeted, “This version is built on top of Google Cloud Run (…) Google Cloud is taking an opinionated stance here, a worldview, on what FaaS is and when it should be used. Some will love it; others will disagree.”

Paul Johnston, ServerlessDays Co-founder, Tweeted, “16GB 4vCPU Cloud Functions that can run for 60 minutes? Not entirely certain why but…!!!”

Further to it, Vinod Ramachandran and Jaisen Mathai, Product Managers at Google said Second generation cloud functions now include native support for Eventarc, which brings over 90 event sources from direct sources and Cloud Audit logs (e.g., BigQuery, Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage, Firebase…). And of course, Cloud Functions still supports events from custom sources by publishing to Pub/Sub directly. These event-driven functions adhere to industry-standard CloudEvents, regardless of the source, to ensure a consistent developer experience.