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Today’s developers and organizations are migrating large, monolithic legacy applications to microservice-based architectures to improve scalability and developer velocity. However, these benefits come at a cost, namely integration complexity. Additionally, developers still often interact directly with the infrastructure, whether it be virtual machines (VMs) or containers via Kubernetes or another container orchestrator.
Serverless is the next evolution of application and system design and deployment. Serverless applications are built upon functions—small code artifacts, which are compact and specific to a discrete task.
Serverless doesnt means servers are no more required to run workloads, it simply means that developers no longer has to think about them, this will make the developers to focus more on tasks than servers. Serverless is often called as Function as service
FaaS is an extremely recent development in cloud computing, Amazon has AWS Lambda, Google has Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions, IBM Cloud Functions (based on Apache OpenWhisk) are already available in market for public use.
Apache OpenWhisk is an OpenSource on premises system which can provide the same capabilities for your private cloud.
VMware announced its serverless initiative at VMworld 2017, where a Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) demo using Apache OpenWhisk, an existing open source FaaS technology, was presented. Since then, the serverless team has been working to define what a serverless framework by and for a VMware-based infrastructure would look like. The resulting work is “Dispatch”, a new VMware-originated open source project released on GitHub.
VMware Dispatch is a framework for deploying and managing serverless style applications. The intent is a framework which enables developers to build applications which are defined by functions which handle business logic and services which provide all other functionality:
- State (Databases)
- Messaging/Eventing (Queues)
- Ingress (Api-Gateways) Etc.
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Prerequisites for VMware Dispatch
Dispatch depends on Kubernetes as its deployment infrastructure. Any “standard” kubernetes should be supported. Development is largely done on minikube as it allows for easy local deployment.
For installing minikube, follow this guide https://github.com/vmware/dispatch#minikube