What are Cloudflare workers?

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Cloudflare is an edge-cloud service provider that is supported by a serverless framework. Workers can modify and respond to HTTP requests whilst aiding in lessening the latency and increasing the performance of an application, Serverless computing is readily becoming one of the most talked-about technologies when it comes to website or application development over the cloud or edge. Serverless architecture facilitates the developers to run their codes on a pay-as-used basis instead of cloud-based pre-allocated packages. Due to being secure, scalable, and budget-friendly, serverless computing is used by many cloud-edge service providers to make them stand out from the others. 

How Cloudflare workers work

Cloudflare workers, a serverless function by Cloudflare, runs on an edge network and is written in JavaScript. When workers are deployed, the code written is distributed across all the edge locations offered by Cloudflare, leveraging developers with minimal latency. The Cloudflare workers' runtime utilizes the V8 engine as they possess similar behavior to JavaScript in Node.js or a browser. Workers serve in executing lightweight JavaScript for augmentation of already developed applications or development of new ones.

When a user accesses the DNS, the requests reach Cloudflare’s data center. If workers are deployed, the requests are directly obstructed by the closest edge location allowing execution of serverless functions. Serverless functions, written in JS, C, C++, or Rust, then allow the user to take control to either execute their logic or forward the requests to origin servers. The resources are fetchable from all the servers located worldwide which users can aggregate in one response.

Workers use Isolates instead of containers or virtual machines, allowing the V8 engine to run loads of application processes onto a single server securely and efficiently. Isolates are lightweight contexts to provide user’s code with variables that can be accessed for execution as they do not require to pull in the language runtime. The secure isolates, as per Cloudflare, can be thousands to be run within a single runtime and are constantly available throughout request duration. Isolate is created into the environment which eradicates the cold start of virtual machines. Compared to virtual machines, the overhead required for code execution is considerably reduced, allowing instant execution and lesser memory consumption.

Cloudflare workers prove to be beneficial in many sectors for developing and deploying applications over a serverless environment. Affordability, security, and automatic scaling are the key to be highlighted as compared to other serverless platforms. With no pre-generated static assets, workers powerful edge network to generate static assets seamlessly.

Summary

Developers across the globe are relying on serverless computing as they look to enhance their application backend functionality and performance. Cloudflare workers run on the fabric leveraging the globally distributed network of servers to run a code closest to the service users.

Learn how Macrometa and Cloudflare work together to extend the edge.

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