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InfoQ Homepage News Cloudflare Grows Its Serverless Ecosystem with New Observability Integrations

Cloudflare Grows Its Serverless Ecosystem with New Observability Integrations

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Cloudflare recently announced several new observability integrations for Workers, its serverless product. In a blog post, the company described integrations with six vendors: Sentry, New Relic, Datadog, Splunk, Sumologic, and Honeycomb. The new capabilities are a boost to the Workers ecosystem, and will appeal to enterprises that already use these observability vendors.

Cloudflare Workers were an early entrant into the serverless market in 2017. The service is a popular choice for running functions at the edge of networks, where data can be served and processed closer to users. The Workers product automatically replicates a function to every Cloudflare data center. Developers can host static data for use with functions in a key-value store.

In a blog post, Cloudflare broadly characterized the integrations into three groups: new integrations for getting started, expanded integrations with existing partners, and a new integration with event-based insights.

First, the company praised integrations with Sentry and New Relic was noted for their ease of use. The integrations offer a straightforward option for users bootstrapping functions into production environments.

Cloudflare went on to describe connections with three existing observability partners. Datadog, Splunk, and SumoLogic enhanced their respective integrations with more details about workload behavior. For example, the screenshot below shows Datadog displaying Cloudflare HTTP logs that may indicate malicious activity.


Source: https://blog.cloudflare.com/observability-ecosystem/

Finally, Honeycomb.io offers unique observability for Workers. Cloudflare claims Honeycomb's npm module "has first-class knowledge of the concept of sub-requests that are a core part of many Worker applications, and this is surfaced directly in the platform." The module is expected to become generally available in the coming days.

The observability integrations come amid increasing competition in the serverless market, both at the edge and in traditional cloud environments. Forrester Research recently published a survey of function-as-a-service platforms for general-purpose scenarios. The analyst firm reviewed AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and six others. Forrester plans to publish a similar survey of edge serverless computing later this year.

Public cloud providers offer observability and monitoring features for their serverless products. Popular tools include AWS X-Ray, Azure Application Insights, and Google Cloud's operations suite. Each provider also has partnerships with observability vendors.

Industry observers noted the necessity of Cloudflare's moves. Ant Stanley, founder of the Serverless User Group in London, tweets:

Cloudflare Workers doesn't have a native observability solution. Honeycomb explicitly supporting Workers is big for adoption of Workers.

Cloudflare recently enhanced Workers to support Node.js. The company also extended CPU limits of up to 30 seconds for HTTP requests for paid Workers accounts. The company offers a free tier, subject to various usage limitations.

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