Sunday morning at JSConf EU in Berlin, Cloudflare’s Ashley williams announced a number of changes to Cloudflare workers, including adopting Wrangler as the official CLI, providing the ability to deploy without bringing your own domain, and offering a free tier that allows anyone to deploy globally on Cloudflare’s infrastructure.

Cloudflare Workers provides a lightweight JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine (leveraging Isolates V8). Workers is a serverless solution that allows developers to augment existing applications (or build brand new ones) and deploy code to the Cloudflare application edge without configuring or maintaining the infrastructure. Cloudflare infrastructure supports a AnyCast Network of over 175 data centers.

Isolates is a form of virtual machine designed by the Google Chrome team to power “V8, the JavaScript engine in the Chrome browser”. Isolates are lightweight contexts that group variables together with code authorized to mutate them. A single process running in an isolate can run hundreds or thousands of workers and switch between them seamlessly. Williams used the following slide in his presentation to discuss the difference between VMs, Containers, and Isolates.

While serverless itself isn’t a new idea, the ability to easily deploy global logic to the edge of your application is. Use cases for traffic shaping, location, server-side rendering, data aggregation, and machine learning can all be enabled with lower latencies by moving application logic from vendors to cloud closer to your users. Cloudflare is a hardware provider that (among other things) offers a global content delivery network (CDN). Adding Cloudflare workers to this stack allows you to deploy custom logic without having to worry about regions, VMs, servers, containers, or load balancers.

Commenting on what this means for developers, Williams said: “The classic client-server dichotomy – a constant source of tension for web developers – is being challenged by both the serverless and the edge. With the release of our CLI tool, a free level and http://workers.dev subdomains, we’ve made our 180 data center v8-powered global serverless platform available and usable by more developers than ever before. This means faster websites and apps for everyone, not just for users in the US and Europe.. “

Citing benchmark comparisons between gh-pages and the functions deployed by cloudflare worker, Williams has demonstrated impressive performance gains in places like Doha, Qatar (591ms to 143ms), Melbourne, AU (624ms to 208ms) and Reykjavik, IS (170 msec to 34 msec). Details on the the benchmarks are available on the cloudflare blog.

Many months ago, Williams Open source Wrangler as a CLI tool to make it easier for developers to develop and deploy a Rust toolchain web assembly serverless solution. Today, Cowboy became the official CLI for Workers, and now supports all Workers’ deployment needs. Details on installing from NPM, building a project, and publishing to Cloudflare infrastructure can be found on a blog posted to accompany Williams’ announcement. Wasm (or Web Assembly) can be deployed using Cloudflare workers.

In addition, Workers now allows the creation of custom third-level domain names from the workers.dev domain, so you don’t have to bring your own domain when deploying your code. As mentioned earlier, Workers does not require you to declare regions, virtual machines, servers, containers, or load balancers, so developers can simply deploy serverless global functions using an interface. familiar command line.

To enable adoption and experimentation, Cloudflare provides a free tier that developers can use. The Free Workers tier allows up to 100,000 requests per day on the global anycast network.

Several other related announcements were made, including new documents, a new user interface, and a pledge that this is just the start of Cloudflare’s offerings.

Laurie Voss, co-founder and chief data officer of NPM, described the transition from NPM to Workers as follows: “Cloudflare Workers has changed the way we create our applications. We don’t have to think about regions, we just deploy code and it runs seamlessly around the world.

To learn more about the Cloudflare announcement, visit Cloudflare Developer Blog, browse for the video when it releases on JSConf EU, or sign up for a half-day Cloudflare worker workshop at QCon New York June 27 later this month.


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