Resource Harvesting in Serverless Computing

Harvesting Idle Resources in Serverless Computing via Reinforcement Learning
Hanfei Yu, Hao Wang, Jian Li, and Seung-Jong Park
>>> Available at arXiv:2108.12717, 2021 (Accepted by the ACM WebConf 2022)


Serverless computing has become a new cloud computing paradigm that promises to deliver high cost-efficiency and simplified cloud deployment with automated resource scaling at a fine granularity. Users decouple a cloud application into chained functions and preset each serverless function’s memory and CPU demands at megabyte-level and core-level, respectively. Serverless platforms then automatically scale the number of functions to accommodate the workloads. However, the complexities of chained functions make it non-trivial to accurately determine the resource demands of each function for users, leading to either resource over-provision or under-provision for individual functions.

This paper presents FaaSRM, a new resource manager (RM) for serverless platforms that maximizes resource efficiency by dynamically harvesting idle resources from functions over-supplied to functions under-supplied. FaaSRM monitors each function’s resource utilization in real-time, detects over-provisioning and under-provisioning, and applies deep reinforcement learning to harvest idle resources safely using a safeguard mechanism and accelerate functions efficiently. We have implemented and deployed a FaaSRM prototype in a 13-node Apache OpenWhisk cluster. Experimental results on the OpenWhisk cluster show that FaaSRM reduces the execution time of 98% of function invocations by 35.81% compared to the baseline RMs by harvesting idle resources from 38.8% of the invocations and accelerating 39.2% of the invocations.

FaaSRM workflow.