Cloudflare goes live with Workers Unbound for serverless apps that need a little more time

Cloudflare has opened its Workers Unbound service for general availability, expanding its serverless execution environment with more capabilities, catering for applications that call for longer execution times. At the same time, it has cut costs by lowering egress charges and increasing the usage in its monthly plan.

Workers Unbound builds on the Cloudflare Workers service that has been operating since 2017, but is intended for applications that need longer execution times. Initially, this extends CPU limits for up to 30 seconds for HTTP requests, available to customers on the Workers Paid plan. Cloudflare states that users will still be able to access Bundled Workers, which are capped at 50 milliseconds, by toggling Workers at a per script level.

Cloudflare is also running a private beta allowing for Cron Triggers of up to 15 minutes for users who need even longer execution times. Cron Workers are scheduled jobs invoked by Cron Triggers, rather than triggered by HTTP requests. Cloudflare said its intention is to allow customers to bring intensive workloads (such as machine learning) to Workers without having to worry about computation limits.

Another welcome development is a pledge by Cloudflare to hold down the costs of its serverless platform. The Workers Unbound pricing model therefore includes charges for duration and egress as well as requests, but will not include any additional charges as some other providers do. Cloudflare has also cut its egress charges in half from $0.09 per GB to $0.045 per GB, and increased the usage that is included in its $5 a month cost as a part of the Workers Paid plan.

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Cloudflare appears to be pushing the capabilities of its serverless platform for broader use cases, citing on its blog the examples of a bioinformatics specialist using Workers Unbound to simulate DNA sequencing data, while Thomson Reuters has used it to build EverCache, a cache implementation designed to improve efficiency and load times across thousands of their partner websites.

Workers Unbound is available from today to anyone with a Cloudflare Workers Paid subscription. Users can access the feature by using the Workers Dashboard to enable Unbound on their account. Customers interested in the beta programme for 15 minute Cron Workers can sign up at the Cloudflare website.

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