May 26, 2023

Fermyon at the Innovation Showcase of the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

Matt Butcher Matt Butcher

conference mit

Fermyon at the Innovation Showcase of the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

The MIT Sloan CIO community hosts an annual symposium for CIOs. The two-day event includes an award banquet for the CIO Leadership Award, a day of sessions for CIOs, and an Innovation Showcase featuring new and exciting companies that are defining industry trends.

This year, Fermyon was selected as one of the ten companies for the Innovation Showcase.

Demonstrating Fermyon’s Innovation

At the Innovation Showcase, selected companies have the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of CIOs and technical executives from large companies. CIOs get the chance to express their needs and concerns to a next wave of technology companies, while these innovative companies have a chance to articulate their value proposition to the most tech-forward CIOs in the industry.

For us, this was an opportunity to express how Fermyon is pioneering the next wave of cloud computing. We expressed to CIOs what we have heard from developers: Serverless functions are excellent because they eliminate boilerplate and get straight to the business logic. Right away, developers are focused on the key problem they are trying to solve.

But the first wave of serverless functions had some frustrating shortcomings.

  • Vendor lock-in means a function must be written for (and only run on) one platform.
  • Performance comes with a 200-500 millisecond cold start penalty.
  • And while writing a serverless function gets the developer straight to the focal point, the process of building, packaging, deploying, and managing serverless apps is cumbersome and error prone.

Fermyon’s Spin is designed to fix these shortcomings. With Spin, developers can create a new generation of serverless function.

Vendor lock-in is not a problem with Spin. Spin can run locally, on prem, inside of Kubernetes (see KWasm or Azure AKS with Spin), in Nomad with Fermyon Platform, on Fermyon Cloud, and even on constrained devices such as those you’d find in IoT.

Powered by WebAssembly, Fermyon Cloud apps have a cold start time of around 1 millisecond, contrasted with the >200 with an AWS Lambda function. And Fermyon Platform workers can run thousands of Spin apps per worker, contrasted with Kubernetes’ 110-container limit.

Finally, Spin’s core user story is relentlessly focused on user experience:

As a developer, I can go from blinking cursor to deployed serverless app in two minutes (though we now say 66 seconds)

CIOs are often caught steering between Scylla and Charybdis: On one hand, they are responsible for keeping an organization’s technical infrastructure up to date. And on the other, the CIO must control the cost of technical operations. Fermyon is building tools designed to address those concerns, making it easier for developers to be productive, and cheaper to operate Fermyon applications in a wide variety of environments.




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