AWS Firecracker

AWS Lambda was launched few years back and it provided a secure serverless experience to the developers where they don’t have to manage the severs and completely avoid managing the infrastructure as well.  Lambda currently processes trillions of executions at a time for over thousands of customers. Learn more about AWS Lambda here and get your hands dirty!

In 2018, AWS launched Fargate that extended the benefits of serverless to containers and is currently running millions of containers for the AWS customers.

Firecracker Introduction

AWS announced Firecracker in 2018, which is a new virtualization and open source technology developed using the language Rust.

It is basically a new way to enhance the backend implementation of both Lambda and Fargate. This new technology makes the use of KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and provide RESTful API to launch secure and lightweight micro virtual machines in non-virtualized environments. It combines the speed, efficiency and performance by containers with the security offered by the virtual machines.

Firecracker runs on Intel processors today, with support for AMD and ARM coming in 2019. It is open sourced under Apache 2.0 and supports Linux host and guest operating systems with kernel versions 4.14

Key features –

  • Secure – It uses multiple layers of isolation that provides enhanced security over traditional virtual machines.
  • Less overhead – You can run thousands of secure VMs with any combination of vCPU and memory to match the application requirement.
  • Speed – It accelerates loading of kernel with a minimal configuration that enables fast startup times. You can launch a microVM in less than 125ms.
  • Open source – It is an open source project. You can find the git repo here
  • Efficiency – Each microVM runs with a reduced memory overhead of 5MiB.

Source –

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