Google Cloud Functions Launches In Alpha As Competitor To AWS Lambda

The Google Cloud Platform has launched an “event-based, asynchronous compute solution,” that empowers developers to create functions that respond to cloud-based events called Google Cloud Functions. Google Cloud Functions are defined by the relationship between triggers and events; an event represents something that happens within an environment while a trigger refers to an interest in acting upon an event. Examples of events include the creation of a VM, identification of a hashtag within a data stream or a database indicator that a goal has been scored in a soccer match. Because events happen all the time, triggers are created and defined to indicate an interest in capturing those events. Google Cloud Functions contains the framework for the code determining the execution of a trigger in response to an event. Developers can write functions in Javascript and run them within a Node.js framework. As such, Google Cloud Functions features much of the functionality of Amazon Web Services Lambda, a product that similarly uses functions to capture data related to specific events instead of “persistent applications that reside on virtual machines or servers.” Because Google Cloud Functions dispenses with the need to store applications on VMs for the purpose of capturing events, customers stand to benefit from the combination of cost savings and reduced operational complexity specific to this fully managed service. The product underscores Google’s interest in competing with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for public cloud market share although Google still has considerable catch up work to do if it intends to keep pace with or ultimately surpass its Seattle and Redmond, WA based competitors.