Second International Workshop on Serverless Computing (WoSC) 2017

Part of Middleware 2017.

Please visit the first workshop website to see what you can expect. You will also find presentations and notes about the panel discussion there.


2017-09-15: submission deadline extended to September 29, for details see our call for papers (CFP)

2018-08-28: whitepaper "Status of Serverless Computing and Function-as-a-Service(FaaS) in Industry and Research" that summarizes issues raised during the First International Workshop on Serverless Computing (WoSC) is available from arXiv:1708.08028 and ResearchGate DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.15007.87206


Serverless Computing (Serverless) is emerging as a new and compelling paradigm for the deployment of cloud applications, and is enabled by the recent shift of enterprise application architectures to containers and micro services. Many of the major cloud vendors, have released serverless platforms within the last two years, including Amazon Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions, IBM Cloud Functions. There is, however, little attention from the research community. This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners to discuss their experiences and thoughts on future directions.

Serverless architectures offer different tradeoffs in terms of control, cost, and flexibility. For example, this requires developers to more carefully consider the resources used by their code (time to execute, memory used, etc.) when modularizing their applications. This is in contrast to concerns around latency, scalability, and elasticity, which is where significant development effort has traditionally been spent when building cloud services. In addition, tools and techniques to monitor and debug applications aren't applicable in serverless architectures, and new approaches are needed. As well, test and development pipelines may need to be adapted. Another decision that developers face are the appropriateness of the serverless ecosystem to their application requirements. A rich ecosystem of services built into the platform is typically easier to compose and would offer better performance. However, composing external services may be unavoidable, and in such cases, many of the benefits of serverless disappear, including performance and availability guarantees. This presents an important research challenge, and it is not clear how existing results and best practices, such as workflow composition research, can be applied to composition in a serverless environment.

Tentative agenda

  • Tutorial on serverless computing
  • Keynote / invited speakers
    • Donna Malayeri, Microsoft Azure Functions

      Title: Serverless computing: fad or revolution?

      Abstract: You've heard the "serverless" buzzword, but what does it mean? Is it yet another fad, or a revolution in cloud computing? In this session, you'll learn why serverless is becoming a new computing paradigm, enabling developers to build applications more quickly than ever before. However, serverless is not the best fit for every application. In this session, we'll cover the scenarios where serverless works best, such as data transformation, CRON jobs, and IoT. Demos will focus on Azure Functions and show how easy it is to run and debug functions on your local machine. Go beyond the hype and learn whether serverless is a good fit for your workload.

      Bio: Donna Malayeri is a program manager on the Azure Functions team, where she is responsible for the developer experience and the Visual Studio tooling. She previously worked on products such as Azure Mobile Services, Reactive Extensions (Rx), Visual F#, and Scala. She holds a PhD in programming languages from Carnegie Mellon University. In her spare time, she enjoys amateur improv and beadwork.

    • Donald Ferguson, SparqTV

      Title: Experience and Lessons from Building/Teaching a Serverless Solution

      This talk will describe the implementation architecture for Seeka TV, which is a completely cloud based application supporting web series streaming and collaboration. The talk will then focus on lessons learned from implementation phases and how these influenced the evolving architecture. The product architecture has also been the basis for several ,masters level classes at Columbia University. We will describe experience and lessons learned from teaching and explaining serverless technology and application development to students.

    • more to come!
  • Paper presentations
  • Panel discussion and debate

Workshop call for papers

Call For Papers (CFP)


Workshop co-chairs

Paul Castro, IBM Research
Vatche Ishakian, Bentley University
Arno Jacobsen, MSRG (Middleware Systems Research Group)
Vinod Muthusamy, IBM Research
Aleksander Slominski, IBM Research

Program Committee

Gul Agha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Azer Bestavros, Boston University
Flavio Esposito, Saint Louis University
Rodrigo Fonseca, Brown University
Ian Foster, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory
Geoffrey Fox, Indiana University
Dennis Gannon, Indiana University & Formerly Microsoft Research
Tyler Harter, Microsoft
Pietro Michiardi, Eurocom
Peter Pietzuch, Imperial College
Rodric Rabbah, IBM Research
Rich Wolski, University of California, Santa Barbara

Previous workshop

First International Workshop on Serverless Computing (WoSC) 2017 in Atlanta, GA, USA on June 5 – 8, 2017 part of ICDCS 2017.

Tweets about workshop

Please use hashtag #wosc2