Serverless Computing       


 Paul C. Castro photoDavid Grove photo Nick M Mitchell photo photo photoALEKSANDER A. SLOMINSKI  photoOlivier Tardieu photoLionel Villard photo

Serverless Computing - OpenWhisk

In early 2015, a small group of us in Research started a new effort to bring a cloud-first and distributed event-based programming service to market. In February 2016 at IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas, OpenWhisk was announced publicly for the first time with availability on Bluemix and on GitHub. In December of 2016, the platform became generally available. OpenWhisk was also admitted into the Apache Software Foundation Incubator at about the same time, has gained more than 110 contributors on GitHub as well as partners from Adobe and Red Hat. It powers IBM Cloud Functions as well as Adobe's I/O runtime.

OpenWhisk started as a small IBM Research endeavor, and grew significantly with two objectives: One, realize the compelling promise of serverless programming for cloud native applications. And two, seed the open source and research communities with a robust foundation on which further advances in serverless programming may be fostered.

In developing OpenWhisk, we took a vertical approach that crossed many levels of abstraction from applications, to programming model, runtime and system architecture. We are extremely excited by the potential OpenWhisk holds for IBM, the open source community, and academic research.

History of the name: The project was initially called Whisk, as in "to move nimbly and quickly". Code runs quickly and then its resources are whisked away. The name lent itself to a 3 character command line tool "wsk" which is pronounced Whisk as well. The Open prefix was added later, for open source.