Running the Azure Functions Runtime in Kubernetes

This is a two part series. The second post is on Deploying an Azure Function App to Kubernetes using a Helm Chart.

The Azure Functions team recently released the preview of Azure Functions on Linux. A colleague Vy Ta and I thought it would be fun to see if we could get Azure Functions running in Kubernetes. Here are the steps to get it work. To follow along you will need to have:

Create a your Function App and Docker image

The first step is to use the Functions Core Tools to create a sample function:

func init . --docker --sample

Next build your Docker image and push to a docker repository:

docker build -t az-functions.
docker tag az-functions <your-repo>/az-functions

docker login
docker push <your-repo>/az-functions

Set up and run on Kubernetes

Next we will create a deployment and service on Kubernetes and make sure we can access it. The commands below assume you have a Kubernetes cluster running in a Cloud.

Create a deployment on Kubernetes:

kubectl run azfunctions --image=<your-repo>/az-functions --port=80 --requests=cpu=200m

Create a service and wait for an IP address:

kubectl expose deployment azfunctions --port=80 --type=LoadBalancer
kubectl get svc -w

Once you have a ip address you should be able to open a browser and view the end point at http://<your-ip-address>/api/httpfunction?name=james (assuming you used the sample function).

Autoscale your Function App

Once we have both of those running we can set up a Pod Auto Scaler and test scaling our function app.

Set up auto Scaling by:

kubectl autoscale deployment azfunctions --cpu-percent=50 --min=1 --max=10

Note: For the auto-scaler to work you need to create you deployment with the --requests=cpu=200m property as we did above in kubectl run command. It is possible to autoscale on other metrics as well.

Test Autoscaling

We have enabled auto scaling so let give it a spin. We will test it the same way as in Kubernetes Pod Autoscale walk through.

Open a new terminal and run:

kubectl run -i --tty load-generator --image=busybox /bin/sh
/ \#: 		while true; do wget -q -O- http://<your-ipaddress>/api/httpfunction?name=testingload; done 

This will ping your endpoint. After a few moments you should be able to see the load increasing:

kubectl get hpa

azfunctions   Deployment/azfunctions   167% / 50%   1         10        4          5m

You can also see the number of pods in the deployment increase:

kubectl get deploy azfunctions

azfunctions   4         4         4            4           10m

If you kill the busybox command we used to generate the load you will see the pods scale back down.

Where to next

This is a great way to see how you could use the Azure Functions runtime on premise and opens a lot of possibilities. One scenario might be that you have two teams. One that is working On Premises and another that works in Azure but you want to share the same programming model of Azure functions across the two teams. Another scenario is to use Kubernetes and then use Azure Container Instances for extra scaling when needed. What do you think you might use this for? Leave a note in the comments.

Some other interesting scenarios you can looking into are:


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