The SPEC-RG Reference Architecture for FaaS: From Microservices and Containers to Serverless Platforms

Erwin Van Eyk, Alexandru Iosup, Johannes Grohmann, Simon Eismann, André Bauer, Laurens Versluis, Lucian Toader, Norbert Schmitt, Nikolas Herbst, Cristina L. Abad

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Microservices, containers, and serverless computing belong to a trend toward applications composed of many small, self-contained, and automatically managed components. Core to serverless computing, function-as-a-service (FaaS) platforms employ state-of-the-art container technology and microservices-based architectures to enable users to manage complex applications without the need for system-level expertise. Victim of its own success, and partially due to proprietary technology, currently the community has a limited overview of these platforms. To address this, we propose a reference architecture and ecosystem for FaaS platforms. Based on a year-long survey of real-world platforms conducted within the SPEC-RG Cloud Group, we highlight specific components and identify common operational patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8894540
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Internet Computing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019



  • Containers
  • FaaS
  • Function-as-a-Service
  • Microservices
  • Reference Architecture
  • Serverless Computing

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