How Cloudflare is Revolutionizing Cloud Computing by Using Google Chrome

Cloud computing has been dominating the IT market since the last decade. Today, 19% of IT budget is spent on cloud computing and it is expected to grow exponentially in the future. Containers and Virtual Machines (VM) act as the cornerstone of the world’s cloud infrastructure as they allow users to create separate environments on the same machine.

Cloudflare, arguably one of the largest cloud platforms in the world claimed in a recent blog post that this technology may not be needed in the future. The blog argues that using Isolates, a technology based on Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine that allows users to run many processes simultaneously, users can run their codes with as little overhead as possible. By eliminating context switching, the transparent switching between various processes, an isolate based system saves valuable time by running all the code in a single process. Through this system, the overhead of the JavaScript is paid only once and almost all of the CPU’s power is then used in running the code. The bar chart below shows how efficient isolate based system is when compared to other serverless providers.

data reflecting requests (including network latency) made from a data center near where all the functions were deployed, performing a CPU intensive workload.
Source – Cloudflare

The blog identifies that while running multiple codes in the same process, there are bound to be several security threats and using this technology be impractical. However, Google Chromes V8 JavaScript is extremely secure and on top of it, the company has also added some of its own security measures to safely implement this technology. Cloudflare also claims that using Isolates is 3x times cheaper than other services such as Amazon’s Lambda, making it one of the best options available.

The fact that it does not need a virtual machine and starts instantly may seem like something magical but this technology has its own limitations. Although using isolates saves both time and money, right now this system can only implement code written in JavaScript which means that the users must recompile their codes in order to run them. Fortunately, this is not a wall that can’t be crossed. There is intensive research being conducted on cloud technology and soon, researchers will find an innovative solution.

Indranil Chowdhury

Indranil is a Med school student and an avid gamer. He puts his absolute faith in Lord Gaben and loves to write. Crazy about the Witcher lore, he plays soccer too. When not playing games or writing, you can find him on 9gag spreading the Pcmasterrace propaganda.