Fission update takes flight, making canary deployments easier

Fission update takes flight, making canary deployments easier

Platform9 has released an update to its serverless function framework, designed to make testing faster for developers.

The company, which cut its teeth selling remotely-managed OpenStack cloud infrastructure for customers, also sells managed Kubernetes deployments and produces, an open-source, Kubernetes-native serverless framework. The new update to Fission, announced today, adds several functions to make the deployment and testing of serverless functions easier.

The first feature is automated canary deployment. Canary rollouts are a method for releasing software to subsets of users or servers, giving developers and operations staff a chance to test them in a live environment and get feedback before rolling them out more broadly. If the deployment team sees errors in production, it can roll back the canary deployment to a stable version.

Fission’s latest version automates canary releases, replacing the use of manual scripts. It automatically increments the traffic directed to the newer version of a serverless function if it sees that version succeeding, and conversely rolls back to the old version if it sees a failure. Users can set the percentage of the traffic flowing to the new version, along with error thresholds that will cause it to revert.

Another feature debuting in this release is live-loading. As developers write their server less function code, Fission deploys it into a live Kubernetes test cluster. Coders can toggle in real time between the development environment and the function runtime to test their code in a live container environment. One of the biggest benefits to this feature is that developers can conduct integration tests more effectively by running them against services in production, such as databases and API calls.

Third in the list of new features is record-replay. This feature saves events that trigger serverless functions and lets developers replay them on demand as it relays information about the inputs and the outputs of the functions. Developers and operations staff can configure which functions and workflows to record.

The company also announced out-of-the-box integration with the CNCF’s Prometheus cloud event monitoring project, enabling DevOps pros to see which functions have been called and how long they took to execute. They can also define custom alerts for events such as functions failing or surpassing an execution time threshold.

Platform 9 released Fission in January 2017. As a serverless framework, it is designed for creating and deploying relatively small footprint functions online that don’t need an entire virtual machine or container infrastructure. Examples include REST APIs for mobile applications. It supports a range of languages including Node.js, Python, and Go. It uses what the company calls ‘pre-warmed’ containers, which are activated only when a function is called. This minimizes the overhead involved in using a function, the company says.