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AWS Firecracker Further Blurs Container, Serverless Management

November 27, 2018 / Dan Meyer

Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled its Firecracker open source lightweight virtualization service that bolsters the cloud giant’s already dominant position in serverless computing. Firecracker is a virtual machine monitor that uses the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). This allows it to create minimalist-designed micro virtual machines (microVMs) and pack thousands of these microVMs onto a single machine to provide a smaller footprint for faster startup times and a reduced attack surface. In a demo at this week’s re:Invent conference, Firecracker was able to spin up 4,000 microVMs on one machine. Firecracker also allows the use of container runtimes like Containerd to manage containers as microVMs. This allows Docker and container orchestration frameworks like Kubernetes to use Firecracker. However, initial integration with Kubernetes is limited to external APIs.