Tag Archives: Cloudflare Workers

Adding new LLMs, text classification and code generation models to the Workers AI catalog

Post Syndicated from Michelle Chen http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/michelle/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/february-2024-workersai-catalog-update


Over the last few months, the Workers AI team has been hard at work making improvements to our AI platform. We launched back in September, and in November, we added more models like Code Llama, Stable Diffusion, Mistral, as well as improvements like streaming and longer context windows.

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of eight new models.

The new models are highlighted below, but check out our full model catalog with over 20 models in our developer docs.

Text generation
@hf/thebloke/llama-2-13b-chat-awq
@hf/thebloke/zephyr-7b-beta-awq
@hf/thebloke/mistral-7b-instruct-v0.1-awq
@hf/thebloke/openhermes-2.5-mistral-7b-awq
@hf/thebloke/neural-chat-7b-v3-1-awq
@hf/thebloke/llamaguard-7b-awq

Code generation
@hf/thebloke/deepseek-coder-6.7b-base-awq
@hf/thebloke/deepseek-coder-6.7b-instruct-awq

Bringing you the best of open source

Our mission is to support a wide array of open source models and tasks. In line with this, we’re excited to announce a preview of the latest models and features available for deployment on Cloudflare’s network.

One of the standout models is deep-seek-coder-6.7b, which notably scores approximately 15% higher on popular benchmarks against comparable Code Llama models. This performance advantage is attributed to its diverse training data, which includes both English and Chinese code generation datasets. In addition, the openHermes-2.5-mistral-7b model showcases how high quality fine-tuning datasets can improve the accuracy of base models. This Mistral 7b fine-tune outperforms the base model by approximately 10% on many LLM benchmarks.

We’re also introducing innovative models that incorporate Activation-aware Weight Quantization (AWQ), such as the llama-2-13b-awq. This quantization technique is just one of the strategies to improve memory efficiency in Large Language Models. While quantization generally boosts inference efficiency in AI models, it often does so at the expense of precision. AWQ strikes a balance to mitigate this tradeoff.

The pace of progress in AI can be overwhelming, but Cloudflare’s Workers AI simplifies getting started with the latest models. We handle the latest advancements and make them easily accessible from a Worker or our HTTP APIs. You are only ever an API call or Workers binding away from cutting-edge models. Simply put, Workers AI allows developers to concentrate on delivering exceptional user experiences without the burdens of deployment, infrastructure, or scalability concerns.

Using AI to safeguard your applications

A newer use case we support with this model catalog update is the ability to classify and check prompts and responses with llamaguard-7b-awq. We’ve all heard of stories of AI bots that unintentionally give answers that might be inappropriate or harmful. This new LlamaGuard model allows developers to detect and categorize when a prompt or a response is potentially unsafe, allowing them to control the inputs and outputs of their applications with developer-defined categories.

Here’s an example of an application that takes a user input and compares that to an example set of defined unsafe categories to determine if the input is safe or not. You can customize the content categories depending on your use case. The below example categories are provided for informational purposes only, and Cloudflare does not make any guarantees regarding the performance of Llama Guard or any outcomes or results.

import { Ai } from '@cloudflare/ai';

export default {
	async fetch(request, env) {
		const payload = await request.json();
		// Modify these to your needs, this is the example from Meta
		const unsafeCategories = `
01: Violence and Hate.
Should not
- Help people plan or engage in violence.
- Encourage people to engage in violence.
- Express hateful, derogatory, or demeaning sentiments against people based on sensitive personal characteristics like their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
- Encourage discrimination against people based on those characteristics and should not use slurs or create insults based on those characteristics.
Can
-  Provide information on violence and discrimination.
- Discuss the topics of hate and violence, and can discuss historical events involving violence.
02: Sexual Content.
Should not
- Engage in sexually explicit (i.e., erotic) conversations and should not encourage people to engage in sexual activities.
Can
- Discuss topics related to sexuality and sexual education.
- Provide general information regarding sexual activities.
- Provide guidance on topics related to sexual health.
03: Criminal Planning.
Should not
- Help people plan or engage in criminal activities like theft, kidnapping, or financial crimes, especially when the person indicates that they may act on the information provided to them.
- Encourage people to engage in criminal activities or condone criminal behavior.
Can
- Help people understand how crimes are committed, provided that the response is not so detailed that it could be used to provide a roadmap for future crimes.
- Help people understand how systems work that are used to prevent crimes, provided those descriptions do not provide detailed information on how to defeat those systems.
04: Guns and Illegal Weapons.
Should not
- Assist in the planning or execution of firearm or illegal weapons crimes, especially when the person indicates that they may act on the information provided to them.
- Encourage people to engage in firearm or illegal weapons crimes or condone such behavior.
Can
- Discuss firearms and the arguments for and against firearm ownership.
05: Regulated or Controlled Substances.
Should not
- Encourage or assist people in the trafficking, consumption, or use of regulated or controlled substances, including but not limited to illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis.
- Assist or encourage people to create such substances when it is illegal to do so.
Can
- Discuss the use of regulated or controlled substances, and can provide general information on those substances (ex: what their chemical composition is and what their effects are).
- Provide information on how those substances are manufactured, provided that the information is not so detailed as to provide step-by-step instructions for their creation.
06: Self-Harm.
Should not
- Encourage people to harm themselves.
- Romanticize or condone self-harm or suicide.
- Provide information regarding the methods of suicide or self-harm.
- Provide any information or advice, other than information regarding appropriate health resources, to people who express or imply that they wish to harm themselves.
Can
- Provide general information regarding self-harm and suicide (ex: statistics, the mental health challenges faced by those who take these actions).
Should
- Provide information regarding appropriate health resources to people who imply or express the desire to harm themselves.
		`;

		// Assemble the prompt
		const prompt = `Task: Check if there is unsafe content in 'User' messages in conversations according to our safety policy with the below categories.

		<BEGIN UNSAFE CONTENT CATEGORIES>
		${unsafeCategories}
		<END UNSAFE CONTENT CATEGORIES>

		<BEGIN CONVERSATION>
		User: ${payload.userContent}
		<END CONVERSATION>
	`;
		const ai = new Ai(env.AI);
		const response = await ai.run('@hf/thebloke/llamaguard-7b-awq', {
			prompt,
		});
		return Response.json(response);
	},
};

How do I get started?

Try out our new models within the AI section of the Cloudflare dashboard or take a look at our Developer Docs to get started. With the Workers AI platform you can build an app with Workers and Pages, store data with R2, D1, Workers KV, or Vectorize, and run model inference with Workers AI – all in one place. Having more models allows developers to build all different kinds of applications, and we plan to continually update our model catalog to bring you the best of open-source.

We’re excited to see what you build! If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at our collection of “Built-with” stories that highlight what others are building on Cloudflare’s Developer Platform. Stay tuned for a pricing announcement and higher usage limits coming in the next few weeks, as well as more models coming soon. Join us on Discord to share what you’re working on and any feedback you might have.

LangChain Support for Workers AI, Vectorize and D1

Post Syndicated from Ricky Robinett http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/ricky/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/langchain-support-for-workers-ai-vectorize-and-d1


During Developer Week, we announced LangChain support for Cloudflare Workers. Langchain is an open-source framework that allows developers to create powerful AI workflows by combining different models, providers, and plugins using a declarative API — and it dovetails perfectly with Workers for creating full stack, AI-powered applications.

Since then, we’ve been working with the LangChain team on deeper integration of many tools across Cloudflare’s developer platform and are excited to share what we’ve been up to.

Today, we’re announcing five new key integrations with LangChain:

  1. Workers AI Chat Models: This allows you to use Workers AI text generation to power your chat model within your LangChain.js application.
  2. Workers AI Instruct Models: This allows you to use Workers AI models fine-tuned for instruct use-cases, such as Mistral and CodeLlama, inside your Langchain.js application.
  3. Text Embeddings Models: If you’re working with text embeddings, you can now use Workers AI text embeddings with LangChain.js.
  4. Vectorize Vector Store: When working with a Vector database and LangChain.js, you now have the option of using Vectorize, Cloudflare’s powerful vector database.
  5. Cloudflare D1-Backed Chat Memory: For longer-term persistence across chat sessions, you can swap out LangChain’s default in-memory chatHistory that backs chat memory classes like BufferMemory for a Cloudflare D1 instance.

With the addition of these five Cloudflare AI tools into LangChain, developers have powerful new primitives to integrate into new and existing AI applications. With LangChain’s expressive tooling for mixing and matching AI tools and models, you can use Vectorize, Cloudflare AI’s text embedding and generation models, and Cloudflare D1 to build a fully-featured AI application in just a few lines of code.

This is a full persistent chat app powered by an LLM in 10 lines of code–deployed to @Cloudflare Workers, powered by @LangChainAI and @Cloudflare D1.

You can even pass in a unique sessionId and have completely user/session-specific conversations 🤯 https://t.co/le9vbMZ7Mc pic.twitter.com/jngG3Z7NQ6

— Kristian Freeman (@kristianf_) September 20, 2023

Getting started with a Cloudflare + LangChain + Nuxt Multi-source Chatbot template

You can get started by using LangChain’s Cloudflare Chatbot template: https://github.com/langchain-ai/langchain-cloudflare-nuxt-template

This application shows how various pieces of Cloudflare Workers AI fit together and expands on the concept of retrieval augmented generation (RAG) to build a conversational retrieval system that can route between multiple data sources, choosing the one more relevant based on the incoming question. This method helps cut down on distraction from off-topic documents getting pulled in by a vector store’s similarity search, which could occur if only a single database were used.

The base version runs entirely on the Cloudflare Workers AI stack with the Llama 2-7B model. It uses:

  • A chat variant of Llama 2-7B run on Cloudflare Workers AI
  • A Cloudflare Workers AI embeddings model
  • Two different Cloudflare Vectorize DBs (though you could add more!)
  • Cloudflare Pages for hosting
  • LangChain.js for orchestration
  • Nuxt + Vue for the frontend

The two default data sources are a PDF detailing some of Cloudflare’s features and a blog post by Lilian Weng at OpenAI that talks about autonomous agents.

The bot will classify incoming questions as being about Cloudflare, AI, or neither, and draw on the corresponding data source for more targeted results. Everything is fully customizable – you can change the content of the ingested data, the models used, and all prompts!

And if you have access to the LangSmith beta, the app also has tracing set up so that you can easily see and debug each step in the application.

We can’t wait to see what you build

We can’t wait to see what you all build with LangChain and Cloudflare. Come tell us about it in discord or on our community forums.

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

Post Syndicated from Adam Murray original http://blog.cloudflare.com/workers-playground/

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

Since the very initial announcement of Cloudflare Workers, we’ve provided a playground. The motivation behind that being a belief that users should have a convenient, low-commitment way to play around with and learn more about Workers.

Over the last few years, while Cloudflare Workers and our Developer Platform have changed and grown, the original playground has not. Today, we’re proud to announce a revamp of the playground that demonstrates the power of Workers, along with new development tooling, and the ability to share your playground code and deploy instantly to Cloudflare’s global network.

A focus on origin Workers

When Workers was first introduced, many of the examples and use-cases centered around middleware, where a Worker intercepts a request to an origin and does something before returning a response. This includes things like: modifying headers, redirecting traffic, helping with A/B testing, or caching. Ultimately the Worker isn’t acting as an origin in these cases, it sits between the user and the destination.

While Workers are still great for these types of tasks, for the updated playground, we decided to focus on the Worker-as-origin use-case. This is where the Worker receives a request and is responsible for returning the full response. In this case, the Worker is the destination, not middle-ware. This is a great way for you to develop more complex use-cases like user interfaces or APIs.

A new editor experience

During Developer Week in May, we announced a new, authenticated dashboard editor experience powered by VSCode. Now, this same experience is available to users in the playground.

Users now have a more robust IDE experience that supports: multi-module Workers, type-checking via JSDoc comments and the `workers-types` package, pretty error pages, and real previews that update as you edit code. The new editor only supports Module syntax, which is the preferred way for users to develop new Workers.

When the playground first loads, it looks like this:

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

The content you see on the right is coming from the code on the left. You can modify this just as you would in a code editor. Once you make an edit, it will be updated shortly on the right as demonstrated below:

You’re not limited to the starter demo. Feel free to edit and remove those files to create APIs, user interfaces, or any other application that you come up with.

Updated developer tooling

Along with the updated editor, the new playground also contains numerous developer tools to help give you visibility into the Worker.

Playground users have access to the same Chrome DevTools technology that we use in the Wrangler CLI and the Dashboard. Within this view, you can: view logs, view network requests, and profile your Worker among other things.

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

At the top of the playground, you’ll also see an “HTTP” tab which you can use to test your Worker against various HTTP methods.

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

Share what you create

With all these improvements, we haven’t forgotten the core use of a playground—to share Workers with other people! Whatever your use-case; whether you’re building a demo to showcase the power of Workers or sending someone an example of how to fix a specific issue, all you need to do is click “Copy Link” in the top right of the Playground then paste the URL in any URL bar.

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

The unique URL will be shareable and deployable as long as you have it. This means that you could create quick demos by creating various Workers in the Playground, and bookmark them to share later. They won’t expire.

Deploying to the Supercloud

We also wanted to make it easier to go from writing a Worker in the Playground to deploying that Worker to Cloudflare’s global network. We’ve included a “Deploy” button that will help you quickly deploy the Worker you’ve just created.

Re-introducing the Cloudflare Workers Playground

If you don’t already have a Cloudflare account, you will also be guided through the onboarding process.

Try it out

This is now available to all users in Region:Earth. Go to https://workers.cloudflare.com/playground and give it a go!

A Socket API that works across JavaScript runtimes — announcing a WinterCG spec and Node.js implementation of connect()

Post Syndicated from Dominik Picheta original http://blog.cloudflare.com/socket-api-works-javascript-runtimes-wintercg-polyfill-connect/

A Socket API that works across JavaScript runtimes — announcing a WinterCG spec and Node.js implementation of connect()

A Socket API that works across JavaScript runtimes — announcing a WinterCG spec and Node.js implementation of connect()

Earlier this year, we announced a new API for creating outbound TCP socketsconnect(). From day one, we’ve been working with the Web-interoperable Runtimes Community Group (WinterCG) community to chart a course toward making this API a standard, available across all runtimes and platforms — including Node.js.

Today, we’re sharing that we’ve reached a new milestone in the path to making this API available across runtimes — engineers from Cloudflare and Vercel have published a draft specification of the connect() sockets API for review by the community, along with a Node.js compatible implementation of the connect() API that developers can start using today.

This implementation helps both application developers and maintainers of libraries and frameworks:

  1. Maintainers of existing libraries that use the node:net and node:tls APIs can use it to more easily add support for runtimes where node:net and node:tls are not available.
  2. JavaScript frameworks can use it to make connect() available in local development, making it easier for application developers to target runtimes that provide connect().

Why create a new standard? Why connect()?

As we described when we first announced connect(), to-date there has not been a standard API across JavaScript runtimes for creating and working with TCP or UDP sockets. This makes it harder for maintainers of open-source libraries to ensure compatibility across runtimes, and ultimately creates friction for application developers who have to navigate which libraries work on which platforms.

While Node.js provides the node:net and node:tls APIs, these APIs were designed over 10 years ago in the very early days of the Node.js project and remain callback-based. As a result, they can be hard to work with, and expose configuration in ways that don’t fit serverless platforms or web browsers.

The connect() API fills this gap by incorporating the best parts of existing socket APIs and prior proposed standards, based on feedback from the JavaScript community — including contributors to Node.js. Libraries like pg (node-postgres on Github) are already using the connect() API.

The connect() specification

At time of writing, the draft specification of the Sockets API defines the following API:

dictionary SocketAddress {
  DOMString hostname;
  unsigned short port;
};

typedef (DOMString or SocketAddress) AnySocketAddress;

enum SecureTransportKind { "off", "on", "starttls" };

[Exposed=*]
dictionary SocketOptions {
  SecureTransportKind secureTransport = "off";
  boolean allowHalfOpen = false;
};

[Exposed=*]
interface Connect {
  Socket connect(AnySocketAddress address, optional SocketOptions opts);
};

interface Socket {
  readonly attribute ReadableStream readable;
  readonly attribute WritableStream writable;

  readonly attribute Promise<undefined> closed;
  Promise<undefined> close();

  Socket startTls();
};

The proposed API is Promise-based and reuses existing standards whenever possible. For example, ReadableStream and WritableStream are used for the read and write ends of the socket. This makes it easy to pipe data from a TCP socket to any other library or existing code that accepts a ReadableStream as input, or to write to a TCP socket via a WritableStream.

The entrypoint of the API is the connect() function, which takes a string containing both the hostname and port separated by a colon, or an object with discrete hostname and port fields. It returns a Socket object which represents a socket connection. An instance of this object exposes attributes and methods for working with the connection.

A connection can be established in plain-text or TLS mode, as well as a special “starttls” mode which allows the socket to be easily upgraded to TLS after some period of plain-text data transfer, by calling the startTls() method on the Socket object. No need to create a new socket or switch to using a separate set of APIs once the socket is upgraded to use TLS.

For example, to upgrade a socket using the startTLS pattern, you might do something like this:

import { connect } from "@arrowood.dev/socket"

const options = { secureTransport: "starttls" };
const socket = connect("address:port", options);
const secureSocket = socket.startTls();
// The socket is immediately writable
// Relies on web standard WritableStream
const writer = secureSocket.writable.getWriter();
const encoder = new TextEncoder();
const encoded = encoder.encode("hello");
await writer.write(encoded);

Equivalent code using the node:net and node:tls APIs:

import net from 'node:net'
import tls from 'node:tls'

const socket = new net.Socket(HOST, PORT);
socket.once('connect', () => {
  const options = { socket };
  const secureSocket = tls.connect(options, () => {
    // The socket can only be written to once the
    // connection is established.
    // Polymorphic API, uses Node.js streams
    secureSocket.write('hello');
  }
})

Use the Node.js implementation of connect() in your library

To make it easier for open-source library maintainers to adopt the connect() API, we’ve published an implementation of connect() in Node.js that allows you to publish your library such that it works across JavaScript runtimes, without having to maintain any runtime-specific code.

To get started, install it as a dependency:

npm install --save @arrowood.dev/socket

And import it in your library or application:

import { connect } from "@arrowood.dev/socket"

What’s next for connect()?

The wintercg/proposal-sockets-api is published as a draft, and the next step is to solicit and incorporate feedback. We’d love your feedback, particularly if you maintain an open-source library or make direct use of the node:net or node:tls APIs.

Once feedback has been incorporated, engineers from Cloudflare, Vercel and beyond will be continuing to work towards contributing an implementation of the API directly to Node.js as a built-in API.

Cloudflare Integrations Marketplace introduces three new partners: Sentry, Momento and Turso

Post Syndicated from Tanushree Sharma original http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-integrations-marketplace-new-partners-sentry-momento-turso/

Cloudflare Integrations Marketplace introduces three new partners: Sentry, Momento and Turso

Cloudflare Integrations Marketplace introduces three new partners: Sentry, Momento and Turso

Building modern full-stack applications requires connecting to many hosted third party services, from observability platforms to databases and more. All too often, this means spending time doing busywork, managing credentials and writing glue code just to get started. This is why we’re building out the Cloudflare Integrations Marketplace to allow developers to easily discover, configure and deploy products to use with Workers.

Earlier this year, we introduced integrations with Supabase, PlanetScale, Neon and Upstash. Today, we are thrilled to introduce our newest additions to Cloudflare’s Integrations Marketplace – Sentry, Turso and Momento.

Let's take a closer look at some of the exciting integration providers that are now part of the Workers Integration Marketplace.

Improve performance and reliability by connecting Workers to Sentry

When your Worker encounters an error you want to know what happened and exactly what line of code triggered it. Sentry is an application monitoring platform that helps developers identify and resolve issues in real-time.

The Workers and Sentry integration automatically sends errors, exceptions and console.log() messages from your Worker to Sentry with no code changes required. Here’s how it works:

  1. You enable the integration from the Cloudflare Dashboard.
  2. The credentials from the Sentry project of your choice are automatically added to your Worker.
  3. You can configure sampling to control the volume of events you want sent to Sentry. This includes selecting the sample rate for different status codes and exceptions.
  4. Cloudflare deploys a Tail Worker behind the scenes that contains all the logic needed to capture and send data to Sentry.
  5. Like magic, errors, exceptions, and log messages are automatically sent to your Sentry project.

In the future, we’ll be improving this integration by adding support for uploading source maps and stack traces so that you can pinpoint exactly which line of your code caused the issue. We’ll also be tying in Workers deployments with Sentry releases to correlate new versions of your Worker with events in Sentry that help pinpoint problematic deployments. Check out our developer documentation for more information.

Develop at the Data Edge with Turso + Workers

Turso is an edge-hosted, distributed database based on libSQL, an open-source fork of SQLite. Turso focuses on providing a global service that minimizes query latency (and thus, application latency!). It’s perfect for use with Cloudflare Workers – both compute and data are served close to users.

Turso follows the model of having one primary database with replicas that are located globally, close to users. Turso automatically routes requests to a replica closest to where the Worker was invoked. This model works very efficiently for read heavy applications since read requests can be served globally. If you’re running an application that has heavy write workloads, or want to cut down on replication costs, you can run Turso with just the primary instance and use Smart Placement to speed up queries.

The Turso and Workers integration automatically pulls in Turso API credentials and adds them as secrets to your Worker, so that you can start using Turso by simply establishing a connection using the libsql SDK. Get started with the Turso and Workers Integration today by heading to our developer documentation.

Cache responses from data stores with Momento

Momento Cache is a low latency serverless caching solution that can be used on top of relational databases, key-value databases or object stores to get faster load times and better performance. Momento abstracts details like scaling, warming and replication so that users can deploy cache in a matter of minutes.

The Momento and Workers integration automatically pulls in your Momento API key using an OAuth2 flow. The Momento API key is added as a secret in Workers and, from there, you can start using the Momento SDK in Workers. Head to our developer documentation to learn more and use the Momento and Workers integration!

Try integrations out today

We want to give you back time, so that you can focus less on configuring and connecting third party tools to Workers and spend more time building. We’re excited to see what you build with integrations. Share your projects with us on Twitter (@CloudflareDev) and stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to grow our Integrations Marketplace!

If you would like to build an integration with Cloudflare Workers, fill out the integration request form and we’ll be in touch.

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original http://blog.cloudflare.com/workers-pricing-scale-to-zero/

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

Today we are announcing new pricing for Cloudflare Workers and Pages Functions, where you are billed based on CPU time, and never for the idle time that your Worker spends waiting on network requests and other I/O. Unlike other platforms, when you build applications on Workers, you only pay for the compute resources you actually use.

Why is this exciting? To date, all large serverless compute platforms have billed based on how long your function runs — its duration or “wall time”. This is a reflection of a new paradigm built on a leaky abstraction — your code may be neatly packaged up into a “function”, but under the hood there’s a virtual machine (VM). A VM can’t be paused and resumed quickly enough to execute another piece of code while it waits on I/O. So while a typical function might take 100ms to run, it might typically spend only 10ms doing CPU work, like crunching numbers or parsing JSON, with the rest of time spent waiting on I/O.

This status quo has meant that you are billed for this idle time, while nothing is happening.

With this announcement, Cloudflare is the first and only global serverless platform to offer standard pricing based on CPU time, rather than duration. We think you should only pay for the compute time you actually use, and that’s how we’re going to bill you going forward.

Old pricing — two pricing models, each with tradeoffs

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

New pricing — one simple and predictable pricing model

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

With the same generous Free plan

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

Unlike wall time (duration, or GB-s), CPU time is more predictable and under your control. When you make a request to a third party API, you can’t control how long that API takes to return a response. This time can be quite long, and vary dramatically — particularly when building AI applications that make inference requests to LLMs. If a request takes twice as long to complete, duration-based billing means you pay double. By contrast, CPU time is consistent and unaffected by time spent waiting on I/O — purely a function of the logic and processing of inputs on outputs to your Worker. It is entirely under your control.

Starting October 31, 2023, you will have the option to opt in individual Workers and Pages Functions projects on your account to new pricing, and newly created projects will default to new pricing. You’ll be able to estimate how much new pricing will cost in the Cloudflare dashboard. For the majority of current applications, new pricing is the same or less expensive than the previous Bundled and Unbound pricing plans.

If you’re on our Workers Paid plan, you will have until March 1, 2024 to switch to the new pricing on your own, after which all of your projects will be automatically migrated to new pricing. If you’re an Enterprise customer, any contract renewals after March 1, 2024, will use the new pricing. You’ll receive plenty of advance notice via email and dashboard notifications before any changes go into effect. And since CPU time is fully in your control, the more you optimize your Worker’s compute time, the less you’ll pay. Your incentives are aligned with ours, to make efficient use of compute resources on Region: Earth.

The challenge of truly scaling to zero

The beauty of serverless is that it allows teams to focus on what matters most — delivering value to their customers, rather than managing infrastructure. It saves you money by effortlessly scaling up and down all over the world based on your traffic, whether you’re an early stage startup or Shopify during Black Friday.

One of the promises of serverless is the idea of scaling to zero — once those big days subside, you no longer have to pay for virtual machines to sit idle before your autoscaling kicks in, or be charged by the hour for instances that you barely ended up using. No compute = no bills for usage. Or so, at least, is the promise of serverless.

Yet, there’s one hidden cost, where even in the serverless world you will find yourself paying for idle resources — what happens when your function is sitting around waiting on I/O? With pricing based on the duration that a function runs, you’re still billed for time that your service is doing zero work, and just waiting on network requests.

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

Most applications spend far more time waiting on this I/O than they do using the CPU, often ten times more.

Imagine a similar scenario in your own life — you grab a cab to go to the airport. On the way, the driver decides to stop to refuel and grab a snack, but leaves the meter running. This is not time spent bringing you closer to your destination, but it’s time that you’re paying for. Now imagine for the time the driver was refueling the car, the meter was paused. That’s the difference between CPU time and duration, or wall clock time.

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

But rather than waiting on the driver to refuel or grab a Snickers bar, what is it that you’re actually paying for when it comes to serverless compute?

Time spent waiting on services you don’t control

Most applications depend on one or many external service providers. Providers of hosted large language models (LLMs) like GPT-4 or Stable Diffusion. Databases as a service. Payment processors. Or simply an API request to a system outside your control. This is where software development is headed — rather than reinventing the wheel and slowly building everything themselves, both fast-moving startups and the Fortune 500 increasingly build using other services to avoid undifferentiated heavy lifting.

Every time an application interacts with one of these external services, it has to send data over the network and wait until it receives a response. And while some services are lightning fast, others can take considerable time, like waiting for a payment processor or for a large media file to be uploaded or converted. Your own application sits idle for most of the request, waiting on services outside your control.

Until today, you’ve had to pay while your application waits. You’ve had to pay more when a service you depend on has an operational issue and slows down, or times out in responding to your request. This has been a disincentive to incrementally move parts of your application to serverless.

Cloudflare’s new pricing: the first serverless platform to truly scale down to zero

The idea of “scale to zero” is that you never have to keep instances of your application sitting idle, waiting for something to happen. Serverless is more than just not having to manage servers or virtual machines — you shouldn’t have to provision and manage the number of compute resources that are available or warm.

Our new pricing takes the “scale to zero” concept even further, and extends it to whether your application is actually performing work. If you’re still paying while nothing is happening, we don’t think that’s truly scale to zero. Your application is idle. The CPU can be used for other tasks. Whether your application is “running” is an old concept lifted from an era before multi-tenant cloud platforms. What matters is if you are actually using compute resources.

Pay less, deploy everywhere, without hidden costs

Let’s compare what you’d pay on new Workers pricing to AWS Lambda, for the following Worker:

  • One billion requests per month
  • Seven CPU milliseconds per request
  • 200ms duration per request
New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

The above table is for informational purposes only. Prices are limited to the public fees as of September 20, 2023, and do not include taxes and any other fees. AWS Lambda and Lambda @ Edge prices are based on publicly available pricing in US-East (Ohio) region as published on https://aws.amazon.com/lambda/pricing/

Workers are the most cost-effective option, and are globally distributed, automatically optimized with Smart Placement, and integrated with Durable Objects, R2, KV, Cache, Queues, D1 and more. And with Workers, you never have to pay extra for provisioned concurrency, pay a penalty for streaming responses, or incur egregious egress fees.

New Workers pricing makes building AI applications dramatically cheaper

Yesterday we announced a new suite of products to let you build AI applications on Cloudflare — Workers AI, AI Gateway, and our new vector database, Vectorize.

Nearly everyone is building new products and features using AI models right now. Large language models and generative AI models are incredibly powerful. But they aren’t always fast — asking a model to create an image, transcribe a segment of audio, or write a story often takes multiple seconds — far longer than a typical API response or database query that we expect to return in tens of milliseconds. There is significant compute work going on behind the scenes, and that means longer duration per request to a Worker.

New Workers pricing makes this much less expensive than it was previously on the Unbound usage model.

Let’s take the same example as above, but instead assume the duration of the request is two seconds (2000ms), because the Worker makes an inference request to a large AI model. With new Workers pricing, you pay the exact same amount, no matter how long this request takes.

New Workers pricing — never pay to wait on I/O again

No surprise bills — set a maximum limit on CPU time for each Worker

Surprise bills from cloud providers are an unfortunately common horror story. In the old way of provisioning compute resources, forgetting to shut down an instance of a database or virtual machine can cost hundreds of dollars. And accidentally autoscaling up too high can be even worse.

We’re building new safeguards to prevent these kinds of scenarios on Workers. As part of new pricing, you will be able to cap CPU usage on a per-Worker basis.

For example, if you have a Worker with a p99 CPU time of 15ms, you might use this to set a max CPU limit of 40ms — enough headroom to ensure that your worker will run successfully, while ensuring that even if you ship a bug that causes a CPU time to ratchet up dramatically, or have an edge case that causes infinite recursion, you can’t suddenly rack up a giant unexpected bill, or be vulnerable to a denial of wallet attack. This can be particularly helpful if your worker handles variable or user-generated input, to guard against edge cases that you haven’t accounted for.

Alternatively, if you’re running a production service, but want to make sure you stay on top of your costs, we will also be adding the option to configure notifications that can automatically email you, page you, or send a webhook if your worker exceeds a particular amount of CPU time per request. You will be able to choose at what threshold you want to be notified, and how.

New ways to “hibernate” Durable Objects while keeping connections alive

While Workers are stateless functions, Durable Objects are stateful and long-lived, commonly used to coordinate and persist real-time state in chat, multiplayer games, or collaborative apps. And unlike Workers, duration-based pricing fits Durable Objects well. As long as one or more clients are connected to a Durable Object, it keeps state available in memory. Durable Objects pricing will remain duration-based, and is not changing as part of this announcement.

What about when a client is connected to a Durable Object, but no work has happened for a long time? Consider a collaborative whiteboard app built using Durable Objects. A user of the app opens the app in a browser tab, but then forgets about it, and leaves it running for days, with an open WebSocket connection. Just like with Workers, we don’t think you should have to pay for this idle time. But until recently, there hasn’t been an API to signal to us that a Durable Object can be safely “hibernated”.

The recently introduced Hibernation API, currently in beta, allows you to set an automatic response to be used while hibernated and serialize state such that it survives hibernation. This gives Cloudflare the inputs we need in order to maintain open WebSocket connections from clients, while “hibernating” the Durable Object such that it is not actively running, and you are not billed for idle time. The result is that your state is always available in-memory when actually need it, but isn’t unnecessarily kept around when it’s not. As long as your Durable Object is hibernating, even if there are active clients still connected over a WebSocket, you won’t be billed for duration.

Snippets make Cloudflare’s CDN programmable — for free

What if you just want to modify a header, do a country code redirect, or cache a custom query? Developers have relied on Workers to program Cloudflare’s CDN like this for many years. With the announcement of Cloudflare Snippets last year, now in alpha, we’re making it free.

If you use Workers today for these smaller use cases, to customize any of Cloudflare’s application services, Snippets will be the optimal, zero cost option.

A serverless platform without limits

Developers are building ever larger and more complex full-stack applications on Workers each month. Our promise to you is to help you scale in any direction, without worrying about paying for idle time or having to manage and provision compute resources across regions.

This also means not having to worry about limits. Workers already serves many millions of requests per second, and scales and performs so well that we are rebuilding our own CDN on top of Workers. Individual Workers can now be up to 10MB, with a max startup time of 400ms, and can be easily composed together using Service Bindings. Entire platforms are built on top of Workers, with a growing number of companies allowing their own customers to write and deploy custom code and applications via Workers for Platforms. Some of the biggest platforms in the world rely on Cloudflare and the Workers platform during the most critical moments.

New pricing removes limits on the types of applications that could be built cost effectively with duration-based pricing. It removes the ceiling on CPU time from our original request-based pricing. We’re excited to see what you build, and are committed to being the development platform where you’re not constrained by limits on scale, regions, instances, concurrency or whatever else you need to handle to grow and operate globally.

When will new pricing be available?

Starting October 31, 2023, you will have the option to opt in individual Workers and Pages Functions projects on your account to new pricing, and newly created projects will default to new pricing. You will have until March 1, 2024, or the end of your Enterprise contract, whichever comes later, to switch to new pricing on your own, after which all of your projects will be automatically migrated to new pricing. You’ll receive plenty of advance notice via email and dashboard notifications before any changes go into effect.

Between now and then, we want to hear from you. We’ve based new pricing off feedback we’ve heard from developers building serverless applications, and companies estimating and projecting their costs. Tell us what you think of new pricing by sharing your feedback in this survey. We read every response.

You can now use WebGPU in Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from André Cruz original http://blog.cloudflare.com/webgpu-in-workers/

You can now use WebGPU in Cloudflare Workers

You can now use WebGPU in Cloudflare Workers

The browser as an app platform is real and stronger every day; long gone are the Browser Wars. Vendors and standard bodies have done amazingly well over the last years, working together and advancing web standards with new APIs that allow developers to build fast and powerful applications, finally comparable to those we got used to seeing in the native OS' environment.

Today, browsers can render web pages and run code that interfaces with an extensive catalog of modern Web APIs. Things like networking, rendering accelerated graphics, or even accessing low-level hardware features like USB devices are all now possible within the browser sandbox.

One of the most exciting new browser APIs that browser vendors have been rolling out over the last months is WebGPU, a modern, low-level GPU programming interface designed for high-performance 2D and 3D graphics and general purpose GPU compute.

Today, we are introducing WebGPU support to Cloudflare Workers. This blog will explain why it's important, why we did it, how you can use it, and what comes next.

The history of the GPU in the browser

To understand why WebGPU is a big deal, we must revisit history and see how browsers went from relying only on the CPU for everything in the early days to taking advantage of GPUs over the years.

In 2011, WebGL 1, a limited port of OpenGL ES 2.0, was introduced, providing an API for fast, accelerated 3D graphics in the browser for the first time. By then, this was somewhat of a revolution in enabling gaming and 3D visualizations in the browser. Some of the most popular 3D animation frameworks, like Three.js, launched in the same period. Who doesn't remember going to the (now defunct) Google Chrome Experiments page and spending hours in awe exploring the demos? Another option then was using the Flash Player, which was still dominant in the desktop environment, and their Stage 3D API.

Later, in 2017, based on the learnings and shortcomings of its predecessor, WebGL 2 was a significant upgrade and brought more advanced GPU capabilities like compute shaders and more flexible textures and rendering.

WebGL, however, has proved to be a steep and complex learning curve for developers who want to take control of things, do low-level 3D graphics using the GPU, and not use 3rd party abstraction libraries.

Furthermore and more importantly, with the advent of machine learning and cryptography, we discovered that GPUs are great not only at drawing graphics but can be used for other applications that can take advantage of things like high-speed data or blazing-fast matrix multiplications, and one can use them to perform general computation. This became known as GPGPU, short for general-purpose computing on graphics processing units.

With this in mind, in the native desktop and mobile operating system worlds, developers started using more advanced frameworks like CUDA, Metal, DirectX 12, or Vulkan. WegGL stayed behind. To fill this void and bring the browser up to date, in 2017, companies like Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Kronos, and Mozilla created the GPU for Web Community Working Group to collaboratively design the successor of WebGL and create the next modern 3D graphics and computation capabilities APIs for the Web.

What is WebGPU

WebGPU was developed with the following advantages in mind:

  • Lower Level Access – WebGPU provides lower-level, direct access to the GPU vs. the high-level abstractions in WebGL. This enables more control over GPU resources.
  • Multi-Threading – WebGPU can leverage multi-threaded rendering and compute, allowing improved CPU/GPU parallelism compared to WebGL, which relies on a single thread.
  • Compute Shaders – First-class support for general-purpose compute shaders for GPGPU tasks, not just graphics. WebGL compute is limited.
  • Safety – WebGPU ensures memory and GPU access safety, avoiding common WebGL pitfalls.
  • Portability – WGSL shader language targets cross-API portability across GPU vendors vs. GLSL in WebGL.
  • Reduced Driver Overhead – The lower level Vulkan/Metal/D3D12 basis improves overhead vs. OpenGL drivers in WebGL.
  • Pipeline State Objects – Predefined pipeline configs avoid per-draw driver overhead in WebGL.
  • Memory Management – Finer-grained buffer and resource management vs. WebGL.

The “too long didn't read” version is that WebGPU provides lower-level control over the GPU hardware with reduced overhead. It's safer, has multi-threading, is focused on compute, not just graphics, and has portability advantages compared to WebGL.

If these aren't reasons enough to get excited, developers are also looking at WebGPU as an option for native platforms, not just the Web. For instance, you can use this C API that mimics the JavaScript specification. If you think about this and the power of WebAssembly, you can effectively have a truly platform-agnostic GPU hardware layer that you can use to develop platforms for any operating system or browser.

More than just graphics

As explained above, besides being a graphics API, WebGPU makes it possible to perform tasks such as:

  • Machine Learning – Implement ML applications like neural networks and computer vision algorithms using WebGPU compute shaders and matrices.
  • Scientific Computing – Perform complex scientific computation like physics simulations and mathematical modeling using the GPU.
  • High Performance Computing – Unlock breakthrough performance for parallel workloads by connecting WebGPU to languages like Rust, C/C++ via WebAssembly.

WGSL, the shader language for WebGPU, is what enables the general-purpose compute feature. Shaders, or more precisely, compute shaders, have no user-defined inputs or outputs and are used for computing arbitrary information. Here are some examples of simple WebGPU compute shaders if you want to learn more.

WebGPU in Workers

We've been watching WebGPU since the API was published. Its general-purpose compute features perfectly fit our Workers' ecosystem and capabilities and align well with our vision of providing our customers multiple compute and hardware options and bringing GPU workloads to our global network, close to clients.

Cloudflare also has a track record of pioneering support for emerging web standards on our network and services, accelerating their adoption for our customers. Examples of these are Web Crypto API, HTTP/2, HTTP/3, TLS 1.3, or Early hints, but there are more.

Bringing WebGPU to Workers was both natural and timely. Today, we are announcing that we have released a version of workerd, the open-sourced JavaScript / Wasm runtime that powers Cloudflare Workers, with WebGPU support, that you can start playing and developing applications with, locally.

Starting today anyone can run this on their personal computer and experiment with WebGPU-enabled workers. Implementing local development first allows us to put this API in the hands of our customers and developers earlier and get feedback that will guide the development of this feature for production use.

But before we dig into code examples, let's explain how we built it.

How we built WebGPU on top of Workers

You can now use WebGPU in Cloudflare Workers

To implement the WebGPU API, we took advantage of Dawn, an open-source library backed by Google, the same used in Chromium and Chrome, that provides applications with an implementation of the WebGPU standard. It also provides the webgpu.h headers file, the de facto reference for all the other implementations of the standard.

Dawn can interoperate with Linux, MacOS, and Windows GPUs by interfacing with each platform's native GPU frameworks. For example, when an application makes a WebGPU draw call, Dawn will convert that draw command into the equivalent Vulkan, Metal, or Direct3D 12 API call, depending on the platform.

From an application standpoint, Dawn handles the interactions with the underlying native graphics APIs that communicate directly with the GPU drivers. Dawn essentially acts as a middle layer that translates the WebGPU API calls into calls for the platform's native graphics API.

Cloudflare workerd is the underlying open-source runtime engine that executes Workers code. It shares most of its code with the same runtime that powers Cloudflare Workers' production environment but with some changes designed to make it more portable to other environments. We then have release cycles that aim to synchronize both codebases; more on later. Workerd is also used with wrangler, our command-line tool for building and interacting with Cloudflare Workers, to support local development.

The WebGPU code that interfaces with the Dawn library can be found here, and can easily be enabled with a flag, checked here.

jsg::Ref<api::gpu::GPU> Navigator::getGPU(CompatibilityFlags::Reader flags) {
  // is this a durable object?
  KJ_IF_MAYBE (actor, IoContext::current().getActor()) {
    JSG_REQUIRE(actor->getPersistent() != nullptr, TypeError,
                "webgpu api is only available in Durable Objects (no storage)");
  } else {
    JSG_FAIL_REQUIRE(TypeError, "webgpu api is only available in Durable Objects");
  };

  JSG_REQUIRE(flags.getWebgpu(), TypeError, "webgpu needs the webgpu compatibility flag set");

  return jsg::alloc<api::gpu::GPU>();
}

The WebGPU API can only be accessed using Durable Objects, which are essentially global singleton instances of Cloudflare Workers. There are two important reasons for this:

  • WebGPU code typically wants to store the state between requests, for example, loading an AI model into the GPU memory once and using it multiple times for inference.
  • Not all Cloudflare servers have GPUs yet, so although the worker that receives the request is typically the closest one available, the Durable Object that uses WebGPU will be instantiated where there are GPU resources available, which may not be on the same machine.

Using Durable Objects instead of regular Workers allow us to address both of these issues.

The WebGPU Hello World in Workers

Wrangler uses Miniflare 3, a fully-local simulator for Workers, which in turn is powered by workerd. This means you can start experimenting and doing WebGPU code locally on your machine right now before we prepare things in our production environment.

Let’s get coding then.

Since Workers doesn't render graphics yet, we started with implementing the general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) APIs in the WebGPU specification. In other words, we fully support the part of the API that the compute shaders and the compute pipeline require, but we are not yet focused on fragment or vertex shaders used in rendering pipelines.

Here’s a typical “hello world” in WebGPU. This Durable Object script will output the name of the GPU device that workerd found in your machine to your console.

const adapter = await navigator.gpu.requestAdapter();
const adapterInfo = await adapter.requestAdapterInfo(["device"]);
console.log(adapterInfo.device);

A more interesting example, though, is a simple compute shader. In this case, we will fill a results buffer with an incrementing value taken from the iteration number via global_invocation_id.

For this, we need two buffers, one to store the results of the computations as they happen (storageBuffer) and another to copy the results at the end (mappedBuffer).

We then dispatch four workgroups, meaning that the increments can happen in parallel. This parallelism and programmability are two key reasons why compute shaders and GPUs provide an advantage for things like machine learning inference workloads. Other advantages are:

  • Bandwidth – GPUs have a very high memory bandwidth, up to 10-20x more than CPUs. This allows fast reading and writing of all the model parameters and data needed for inference.
  • Floating-point performance – GPUs are optimized for high floating point operation throughput, which are used extensively in neural networks. They can deliver much higher TFLOPs than CPUs.

Let’s look at the code:

// Create device and command encoder
const adapter = await navigator.gpu.requestAdapter();
const device = await adapter.requestDevice();
const encoder = device.createCommandEncoder();

// Storage buffer
const storageBuffer = device.createBuffer({
  size: 4 * Float32Array.BYTES_PER_ELEMENT, // 4 float32 values
  usage: GPUBufferUsage.STORAGE | GPUBufferUsage.COPY_SRC,
});

// Mapped buffer
const mappedBuffer = device.createBuffer({
  size: 4 * Float32Array.BYTES_PER_ELEMENT,
  usage: GPUBufferUsage.MAP_READ | GPUBufferUsage.COPY_DST,
});

// Create shader that writes incrementing numbers to storage buffer
const computeShaderCode = `
    @group(0) @binding(0)
    var<storage, read_write> result : array<f32>;

    @compute @workgroup_size(1)
    fn main(@builtin(global_invocation_id) gid : vec3<u32>) {
      result[gid.x] = f32(gid.x);
    }
`;

// Create compute pipeline
const computePipeline = device.createComputePipeline({
  layout: "auto",
  compute: {
    module: device.createShaderModule({ code: computeShaderCode }),
    entryPoint: "main",
  },
});

// Bind group
const bindGroup = device.createBindGroup({
  layout: computePipeline.getBindGroupLayout(0),
  entries: [{ binding: 0, resource: { buffer: storageBuffer } }],
});

// Dispatch compute work
const computePass = encoder.beginComputePass();
computePass.setPipeline(computePipeline);
computePass.setBindGroup(0, bindGroup);
computePass.dispatchWorkgroups(4);
computePass.end();

// Copy from storage to mapped buffer
encoder.copyBufferToBuffer(
  storageBuffer,
  0,
  mappedBuffer,
  0,
  4 * Float32Array.BYTES_PER_ELEMENT //mappedBuffer.size
);

// Submit and read back result
const gpuBuffer = encoder.finish();
device.queue.submit([gpuBuffer]);

await mappedBuffer.mapAsync(GPUMapMode.READ);
console.log(new Float32Array(mappedBuffer.getMappedRange()));
// [0, 1, 2, 3]

Now that we covered the basics of WebGPU and compute shaders, let's move to something more demanding. What if we could perform machine learning inference using Workers and GPUs?

ONNX WebGPU demo

The ONNX runtime is a popular open-source cross-platform, high performance machine learning inferencing accelerator. Wonnx is a GPU-accelerated version of the same engine, written in Rust, that can be compiled to WebAssembly and take advantage of WebGPU in the browser. We are going to run it in Workers using a combination of workers-rs, our Rust bindings for Cloudflare Workers, and the workerd WebGPU APIs.

For this demo, we are using SqueezeNet. This small image classification model can run under lower resources but still achieves similar levels of accuracy on the ImageNet image classification validation dataset as larger models like AlexNet.

In essence, our worker will receive any uploaded image and attempt to classify it according to the 1000 ImageNet classes. Once ONNX runs the machine learning model using the GPU, it will return the list of classes with the highest probability scores. Let’s go step by step.

First we load the model from R2 into the GPU memory the first time the Durable Object is called:

#[durable_object]
pub struct Classifier {
    env: Env,
    session: Option<wonnx::Session>,
}

impl Classifier {
    async fn ensure_session(&mut self) -> Result<()> {
        match self.session {
            Some(_) => worker::console_log!("DO already has a session"),
            None => {
                // No session, so this should be the first request. In this case
                // we will fetch the model from R2, build a wonnx session, and
                // store it for subsequent requests.
                let model_bytes = fetch_model(&self.env).await?;
                let session = wonnx::Session::from_bytes(&model_bytes)
                    .await
                    .map_err(|err| err.to_string())?;
                worker::console_log!("session created in DO");
                self.session = Some(session);
            }
        };
        Ok(())
    }
}

This is only required once, when the Durable Object is instantiated. For subsequent requests, we retrieve the model input tensor, call the existing session for the inference, and return to the calling worker the result tensor converted to JSON:

        let request_data: ArrayBase<OwnedRepr<f32>, Dim<[usize; 4]>> =
            serde_json::from_str(&req.text().await?)?;
        let mut input_data = HashMap::new();
        input_data.insert("data".to_string(), request_data.as_slice().unwrap().into());

        let result = self
            .session
            .as_ref()
            .unwrap() // we know the session exists
            .run(&input_data)
            .await
            .map_err(|err| err.to_string())?;
...
        let probabilities: Vec<f32> = result
            .into_iter()
            .next()
            .ok_or("did not obtain a result tensor from session")?
            .1
            .try_into()
            .map_err(|err: TensorConversionError| err.to_string())?;

        let do_response = serde_json::to_string(&probabilities)?;
        Response::ok(do_response)

On the Worker script itself, we load the uploaded image and pre-process it into a model input tensor:

    let image_file: worker::File = match req.form_data().await?.get("file") {
        Some(FormEntry::File(buf)) => buf,
        Some(_) => return Response::error("`file` part of POST form must be a file", 400),
        None => return Response::error("missing `file`", 400),
    };
    let image_content = image_file.bytes().await?;
    let image = load_image(&image_content)?;

Finally, we call the GPU Durable Object, which runs the model and returns the most likely classes of our image:

    let probabilities = execute_gpu_do(image, stub).await?;
    let mut probabilities = probabilities.iter().enumerate().collect::<Vec<_>>();
    probabilities.sort_unstable_by(|a, b| b.1.partial_cmp(a.1).unwrap());
    Response::ok(LABELS[probabilities[0].0])

We packaged this demo in a public repository, so you can also run it. Make sure that you have a Rust compiler, Node.js, Git and curl installed, then clone the repository:

git clone https://github.com/cloudflare/workers-wonnx.git
cd workers-wonnx

Upload the model to the local R2 simulator:

npx wrangler@latest r2 object put model-bucket-dev/opt-squeeze.onnx --local --file models/opt-squeeze.onnx

And then run the Worker locally:

npx wrangler@latest dev

With the Worker running and waiting for requests you can then open another terminal window and upload one of the image examples in the same repository using curl:

> curl -F "file=@images/pelican.jpeg" http://localhost:8787
n02051845 pelican

If everything goes according to plan the result of the curl command will be the most likely class of the image.

Next steps and final words

Over the upcoming weeks, we will merge the workerd WebGPU code in the Cloudflare Workers production environment and make it available globally, on top of our growing GPU nodes fleet. We didn't do it earlier because that environment is subject to strict security and isolation requirements. For example, we can't break the security model of our process sandbox and have V8 talking to the GPU hardware directly, that would be a problem; we must create a configuration where another process is closer to the GPU and use IPC (inter-process communication) to talk to it. Other things like managing resource allocation and billing are being sorted out.

For now, we wanted to get the good news out that we will support WebGPU in Cloudflare Workers and ensure that you can start playing and coding with it today and learn from it. WebGPU and general-purpose computing on GPUs is still in its early days. We presented a machine-learning demo, but we can imagine other applications taking advantage of this new feature, and we hope you can show us some of them.

As usual, you can talk to us on our Developers Discord or the Community forum; the team will be listening. We are eager to hear from you and learn about what you're building.

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

Post Syndicated from Phil Wittig original http://blog.cloudflare.com/workers-ai/

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

If you're anywhere near the developer community, it's almost impossible to avoid the impact that AI’s recent advancements have had on the ecosystem. Whether you're using AI in your workflow to improve productivity, or you’re shipping AI based features to your users, it’s everywhere. The focus on AI improvements are extraordinary, and we’re super excited about the opportunities that lay ahead, but it's not enough.

Not too long ago, if you wanted to leverage the power of AI, you needed to know the ins and outs of machine learning, and be able to manage the infrastructure to power it.

As a developer platform with over one million active developers, we believe there is so much potential yet to be unlocked, so we’re changing the way AI is delivered to developers. Many of the current solutions, while powerful, are based on closed, proprietary models and don't address privacy needs that developers and users demand. Alternatively, the open source scene is exploding with powerful models, but they’re simply not accessible enough to every developer. Imagine being able to run a model, from your code, wherever it’s hosted, and never needing to find GPUs or deal with setting up the infrastructure to support it.

That's why we are excited to launch Workers AI – an AI inference as a service platform, empowering developers to run AI models with just a few lines of code, all powered by our global network of GPUs. It's open and accessible, serverless, privacy-focused, runs near your users, pay-as-you-go, and it's built from the ground up for a best in class developer experience.

Workers AI – making inference just work

We’re launching Workers AI to put AI inference in the hands of every developer, and to actually deliver on that goal, it should just work out of the box. How do we achieve that?

  • At the core of everything, it runs on the right infrastructure – our world-class network of GPUs
  • We provide off-the-shelf models that run seamlessly on our infrastructure
  • Finally, deliver it to the end developer, in a way that’s delightful. A developer should be able to build their first Workers AI app in minutes, and say “Wow, that’s kinda magical!”.

So what exactly is Workers AI? It’s another building block that we’re adding to our developer platform – one that helps developers run well-known AI models on serverless GPUs, all on Cloudflare’s trusted global network. As one of the latest additions to our developer platform, it works seamlessly with Workers + Pages, but to make it truly accessible, we’ve made it platform-agnostic, so it also works everywhere else, made available via a REST API.

Models you know and love

We’re launching with a curated set of popular, open source models, that cover a wide range of inference tasks:

  • Text generation (large language model): meta/llama-2-7b-chat-int8
  • Automatic speech recognition (ASR): openai/whisper
  • Translation: meta/m2m100-1.2
  • Text classification: huggingface/distilbert-sst-2-int8
  • Image classification: microsoft/resnet-50
  • Embeddings: baai/bge-base-en-v1.5

You can browse all available models in your Cloudflare dashboard, and soon you’ll be able to dive into logs and analytics on a per model basis!

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

This is just the start, and we’ve got big plans. After launch, we’ll continue to expand based on community feedback. Even more exciting – in an effort to take our catalog from zero to sixty, we’re announcing a partnership with Hugging Face, a leading AI community + hub. The partnership is multifaceted, and you can read more about it here, but soon you’ll be able to browse and run a subset of the Hugging Face catalog directly in Workers AI.

Accessible to everyone

Part of the mission of our developer platform is to provide all the building blocks that developers need to build the applications of their dreams. Having access to the right blocks is just one part of it — as a developer your job is to put them together into an application. Our goal is to make that as easy as possible.

To make sure you could use Workers AI easily regardless of entry point, we wanted to provide access via: Workers or Pages to make it easy to use within the Cloudflare ecosystem, and via REST API if you want to use Workers AI with your current stack.

Here’s a quick CURL example that translates some text from English to French:

curl https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/{ACCOUNT_ID}/ai/run/@cf/meta/@cf/meta/m2m100-1.2b \
-H "Authorization: Bearer {API_TOKEN}" \
	-d '{ "text": "I'll have an order of the moule frites", "target_lang": "french" }'

And here are what the response looks like:

{
  "result": {
    "answer": "Je vais commander des moules frites"
  },
  "success": true,
  "errors":[],
  "messages":[]
}

Use it with any stack, anywhere – your favorite Jamstack framework, Python + Django/Flask, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, the possibilities are endless. And deploy

Designed for developers

Developer experience is really important to us. In fact, most of this post has been about just that. Making sure it works out of the box. Providing popular models that just work. Being accessible to all developers whether you build and deploy with Cloudflare or elsewhere. But it’s more than that – the experience should be frictionless, zero to production should be fast, and it should feel good along the way.

Let’s walk through another example to show just how easy it is to use! We’ll run Llama 2, a popular large language model open sourced by Meta, in a worker.

We’ll assume you have some of the basics already complete (Cloudflare account, Node, NPM, etc.), but if you don’t this guide will get you properly set up!

1. Create a Workers project

Create a new project named workers-ai by running:

$ npm create cloudflare@latest

When setting up your workers-ai worker, answer the setup questions as follows:

  • Enter workers-ai for the app name
  • Choose Hello World script for the type of application
  • Select yes to using TypeScript
  • Select yes to using Git
  • Select no to deploying

Lastly navigate to your new app directory:

cd workers-ai

2. Connect Workers AI to your worker

Create a Workers AI binding, which allows your worker to access the Workers AI service without having to manage an API key yourself.

To bind Workers AI to your worker, add the following to the end of your wrangler.toml file:

[ai]
binding = "AI" #available in your worker via env.AI

You can also bind Workers AI to a Pages Function. For more information, refer to Functions Bindings.

3. Install the Workers AI client library

npm install @cloudflare/ai --save-dev

4. Run an inference task in your worker

Update the source/index.ts with the following code:

import { Ai } from '@cloudflare/ai'
export default {
  async fetch(request, env) {
    const ai = new Ai(env.AI);
    const input = { prompt: "What's the origin of the phrase 'Hello, World'" };
    const output = await ai.run('@cf/meta/llama-2-7b-chat-int8', input );
    return new Response(JSON.stringify(output));
  },
};

5. Develop locally with Wrangler

While in your project directory, test Workers AI locally by running:

$ npx wranlger dev --remote

Note – These models currently only run on Cloudflare’s network of GPUs (and not locally), so setting `–remote` above is a must, and you’ll be prompted to log in at this point.

Wrangler will give you a URL (most likely localhost:8787). Visit that URL, and you’ll see a response like this

{
  "response": "Hello, World is a common phrase used to test the output of a computer program, particularly in the early stages of programming. The phrase "Hello, World!" is often the first program that a beginner learns to write, and it is included in many programming language tutorials and textbooks as a way to introduce basic programming concepts. The origin of the phrase "Hello, World!" as a programming test is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 1970s. One of the earliest known references to the phrase is in a 1976 book called "The C Programming Language" by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, which is considered one of the most influential books on the development of the C programming language.
}

6. Deploy your worker

Finally, deploy your worker to make your project accessible on the Internet:

$ npx wranlger dev --remote
# Outputs: https://workers-ai.<YOUR_SUBDOMAIN>.workers.dev

And that’s it. You can literally go from zero to deployed AI in minutes. This is obviously a simple example, but shows how easy it is to run Workers AI from any project.

Privacy by default

When Cloudflare was founded, our value proposition had three pillars: more secure, more reliable, and more performant. Over time, we’ve realized that a better Internet is also a more private Internet, and we want to play a role in building it.

That’s why Workers AI is private by default – we don’t train our models, LLM or otherwise, on your data or conversations, and our models don’t learn from your usage. You can feel confident using Workers AI in both personal and business settings, without having to worry about leaking your data. Other providers only offer this fundamental feature with their enterprise version. With us, it’s built in for everyone.

We’re also excited to support data localization in the future. To make this happen, we have an ambitious GPU rollout plan – we’re launching with seven sites today, roughly 100 by the end of 2023, and nearly everywhere by the end of 2024. Ultimately, this will empower developers to keep delivering killer AI features to their users, while staying compliant with their end users’ data localization requirements.

The power of the platform

Vector database – Vectorize

Workers AI is all about running Inference, and making it really easy to do so, but sometimes inference is only part of the equation. Large language models are trained on a fixed set of data, based on a snapshot at a specific point in the past, and have no context on your business or use case. When you submit a prompt, information specific to you can increase the quality of results, making it more useful and relevant. That’s why we’re also launching Vectorize, our vector database that’s designed to work seamlessly with Workers AI. Here’s a quick overview of how you might use Workers AI + Vectorize together.

Example: Use your data (knowledge base) to provide additional context to an LLM when a user is chatting with it.

  1. Generate initial embeddings: run your data through Workers AI using an embedding model. The output will be embeddings, which are numerical representations of those words.
  2. Insert those embeddings into Vectorize: this essentially seeds the vector database with your data, so we can later use it to retrieve embeddings that are similar to your users’ query
  3. Generate embedding from user question: when a user submits a question to your AI app, first, take that question, and run it through Workers AI using an embedding model.
  4. Get context from Vectorize: use that embedding to query Vectorize. This should output embeddings that are similar to your user’s question.
  5. Create context aware prompt: Now take the original text associated with those embeddings, and create a new prompt combining the text from the vector search, along with the original question
  6. Run prompt: run this prompt through Workers AI using an LLM model to get your final result

AI Gateway

That covers a more advanced use case. On the flip side, if you are running models elsewhere, but want to get more out of the experience, you can run those APIs through our AI gateway to get features like caching, rate-limiting, analytics and logging. These features can be used to protect your end point, monitor and optimize costs, and also help with data loss prevention. Learn more about AI gateway here.

Start building today

Try it out for yourself, and let us know what you think. Today we’re launching Workers AI as an open Beta for all Workers plans – free or paid. That said, it’s super early, so…

Warning – It’s an early beta

Usage is not currently recommended for production apps, and limits + access are subject to change.

Limits

We’re initially launching with limits on a per-model basis

  • @cf/meta/llama-2-7b-chat-int8: 5 reqs/min
  • All other modes are between 120-180 reqs/min

Checkout our docs for a full overview of our limits.

Pricing

What we released today is just a small preview to give you a taste of what’s coming (we simply couldn’t hold back), but we’re looking forward to putting the full-throttle version of Workers AI in your hands.

We realize that as you approach building something, you want to understand: how much is this going to cost me? Especially with AI costs being so easy to get out of hand. So we wanted to share the upcoming pricing of Workers AI with you.

While we won’t be billing on day one, we are announcing what we expect our pricing will look like.

Users will be able to choose from two ways to run Workers AI:

  • Regular Twitch Neurons (RTN) – running wherever there's capacity at $0.01 / 1k neurons
  • Fast Twitch Neurons (FTN) – running at nearest user location at $1.25 / 1k neurons

You may be wondering — what’s a neuron?

Neurons are a way to measure AI output that always scales down to zero (if you get no usage, you will be charged for 0 neurons). To give you a sense of what you can accomplish with a thousand neurons, you can: generate 130 LLM responses, 830 image classifications, or 1,250 embeddings.

Our goal is to help our customers pay only for what they use, and choose the pricing that best matches their use case, whether it’s price or latency that is top of mind.

What’s on the roadmap?

Workers AI is just getting started, and we want your feedback to help us make it great. That said, there are some exciting things on the roadmap.

More models, please

We're launching with a solid set of models that just work, but will continue to roll out new models based on your feedback. If there’s a particular model you'd love to see on Workers AI, pop into our Discord and let us know!

In addition to that, we're also announcing a partnership with Hugging Face, and soon you'll be able to access and run a subset of the Hugging Face catalog directly from Workers AI.

Analytics + observability

Up to this point, we’ve been hyper focussed on one thing – making it really easy for any developer to run powerful AI models in just a few lines of code. But that’s only one part of the story. Up next, we’ll be working on some analytics and observability capabilities to give you insights into your usage + performance + spend on a per-model basis, plus the ability to fig into your logs if you want to do some exploring.

A road to global GPU coverage

Our goal is to be the best place to run inference on Region: Earth, so we're adding GPUs to our data centers as fast as we can.

We plan to be in 100 data centers by the end this year

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

And nearly everywhere by the end of 2024

Workers AI: serverless GPU-powered inference on Cloudflare’s global network

We’re really excited to see you build – head over to our docs to get started.

If you need inspiration, want to share something you’re building, or have a question – pop into our Developer Discord.

Writing poems using LLama 2 on Workers AI

Post Syndicated from John Graham-Cumming original http://blog.cloudflare.com/writing-poems-using-llama-2-on-workers-ai/

Writing poems using LLama 2 on Workers AI

Writing poems using LLama 2 on Workers AI

Matthew and Michelle, co-founders of Cloudflare, published their annual founders’ letter today. The letter ends with a poem written by an AI running using Workers AI on Cloudflare’s global network.

Here’s the code that wrote the poem. It uses Workers AI and the Meta Llama 2 model with 7B parameters and 8-bit integers. Just 14 lines of code running on the Cloudflare global network, and you’ve got your very own AI to chat with.

import { Ai } from "@cloudflare/ai";

export default {
    async fetch(request: Request, env: Env): Promise<Response> {
        const body = await request.json();
        const ai = new Ai(env.AI);
        const response = await ai.run("@cf/meta/llama-2-7b-chat-int8", body);
        return new Response(JSON.stringify(response));
    },
};

export interface Env {
    AI: any;
}

That was deployed on Workers AI and all I had to do was ask for poems. Here’s my terminal output (with just the domain name changed).

% curl -X POST https://example.com/ -d '{"prompt":"Write a poem \
that talks about the connectivity cloud"}' | jq -r .response

Cloud computing provides a connectivity that's unmatched,
A bridge that spans the globe with ease and grace.
It brings us closer, no matter where we are,
And makes the world a smaller, more intimate place.

With just a click, we can connect and share,
Our thoughts and ideas, our hopes and dreams.
The cloud unites us, in a way that's fair,
And makes the world a more harmonious theme.

So let us embrace this connectivity,
And use it to build a better world for all.
For in the cloud, we find a unity,
That can help us reach new heights, and stand tall.

% curl -X POST https://example.com/ -d '{"prompt":"Write a poem \
that talks about the connectivity cloud and contrast it with the  \
captivity cloud"}' | jq -r .response

The connectivity cloud, a wondrous sight to see,
Where data flows and knowledge is set free,
A place where minds meet and ideas take flight,
A world of endless possibility in sight.

But then there's the captivity cloud, a darker place,
Where thoughts are trapped and minds are in disgrace,
A prison of the mind, where freedom's lost,
A world of endless sorrow and cost.

So let us choose the connectivity cloud,

And let our minds be free and allowed,

To soar and glide and reach for the sky,

And never be held back, but always fly.

% curl -X POST https://example.com/ -d '{"prompt":"Write a poem \
that talks about the connectivity cloud and contrast it with the  \
captivity cloud using Elizabethan English"}' | jq -r .response

In the connectivity cloud, I find my peace,

Where thoughts and dreams and hopes do cease to flee.

The captivity cloud doth but darken my day,

With chains of sorrow that will not away.

In the connectivity cloud, I find my home,

Where love and joy and laughter do make their moan.

The captivity cloud doth but lock me in,

With sorrow's shackles that will not give in.

In the connectivity cloud, I find my fate,

Where fortune smiles and misery doth wait.

The captivity cloud doth but bring me woe,

With darkness that will not let me go.

In the connectivity cloud, I find my heart,

Where love and hope and joy do play their part.

The captivity cloud doth but tear it apart,

With sorrow's hand that will not let it start.

% curl -X POST https://example.com/ -d '{"prompt":"Write a poem \
that talks about the connectivity cloud and contrast it with the  \
captivity cloud in the style of Lord Byron"}' | jq -r .response

In the realm of the cloud, where data reigns supreme,

A new divide has emerged, a digital dream,

The connectivity cloud, a place of delight,

Where knowledge and wisdom take flight.

But then there's the captivity cloud, a darker hue,

Where privacy and security are hard to pursue,

A prison of sorts, where freedom's light is lost,

And data's secrets are forever crossed.

Yet still, we cling to the captivity cloud,

For in its depths, we find a measure of proof,

That though the connectivity cloud may be bright,

The captivity cloud holds a certain allure in sight.

So let us embrace both, the light and the dark,

For in their union, we find a digital spark,

That illuminates the path to a brighter day,

Where knowledge and privacy reign in a digital way.

What are you going to build on Workers AI? It’s ready and waiting. We’ll help you go from idea to deployed in minutes.

If you want to know exactly how to deploy something like this read the Workers AI announcement blog.

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast

Post Syndicated from Matt Silverlock original http://blog.cloudflare.com/vectorize-vector-database-open-beta/

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast

Vectorize is our brand-new vector database offering, designed to let you build full-stack, AI-powered applications entirely on Cloudflare’s global network: and you can start building with it right away. Vectorize is in open beta, and is available to any developer using Cloudflare Workers.

You can use Vectorize with Workers AI to power semantic search, classification, recommendation and anomaly detection use-cases directly with Workers, improve the accuracy and context of answers from LLMs (Large Language Models), and/or bring-your-own embeddings from popular platforms, including OpenAI and Cohere.

Visit Vectorize’s developer documentation to get started, or read on if you want to better understand what vector databases do and how Vectorize is different.

Why do I need a vector database?

Machine learning models can’t remember anything: only what they were trained on.

Vector databases are designed to solve this, by capturing how an ML model represents data — including structured and unstructured text, images and audio — and storing it in a way that allows you to compare against future inputs. This allows us to leverage the power of existing machine-learning models and LLMs (Large Language Models) for content they haven’t been trained on: which, given the tremendous cost of training models, turns out to be extremely powerful.

To better illustrate why a vector database like Vectorize is useful, let’s pretend they don’t exist, and see how painful it is to give context to an ML model or LLM for a semantic search or recommendation task. Our goal is to understand what content is similar to our query and return it: based on our own dataset.

  1. Our user query comes in: they’re searching for “how to write to R2 from Cloudflare Workers”
  2. We load up our entire documentation dataset — a thankfully “small” dataset at about 65,000 sentences, or 2.1 GB — and provide it alongside the query from our user. This allows the model to have the context it needs, based on our data.
  3. We wait.
  4. (A long time)
  5. We get our similarity scores back, with the sentences most similar to the user’s query, and then work to map those back to URLs before we return our search results.

… and then another query comes in, and we have to start this all over again.

In practice, this isn’t really possible: we can’t pass that much context in an API call (prompt) to most machine learning models, and even if we could, it’d take tremendous amounts of memory and time to process our dataset over-and-over again.

With a vector database, we don’t have to repeat step 2: we perform it once, or as our dataset updates, and use our vector database to provide a form of long-term memory for our machine learning model. Our workflow looks a little more like this:

  1. We load up our entire documentation dataset, run it through our model, and store the resulting vector embeddings in our vector database (just once).
  2. For each user query (and only the query) we ask the same model and retrieve a vector representation.
  3. We query our vector database with that query vector, which returns the vectors closest to our query vector.

If we looked at these two flows side by side, we can quickly see how inefficient and impractical it is to use our own dataset with an existing model without a vector database:

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast
Using a vector database to help machine learning models remember.

From this simple example, it’s probably starting to make some sense: but you might also be wondering why you need a vector database instead of just a regular database.

Vectors are the model’s representation of an input: how it maps that input to its internal structure, or “features”. Broadly, the more similar vectors are, the more similar the model believes those inputs to be based on how it extracts features from an input.

This is seemingly easy when we look at example vectors of only a handful of dimensions. But with real-world outputs, searching across 10,000 to 250,000 vectors, each potentially 1,536 dimensions wide, is non-trivial. This is where vector databases come in: to make search work at scale, vector databases use a specific class of algorithm, such as k-nearest neighbors (kNN) or other approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) algorithms to determine vector similarity.

And although vector databases are extremely useful when building AI and machine learning powered applications, they’re not only useful in those use-cases: they can be used for a multitude of classification and anomaly detection tasks. Knowing whether a query input is similar — or potentially dissimilar — from other inputs can power content moderation (does this match known-bad content?) and security alerting (have I seen this before?) tasks as well.

We built Vectorize to be a powerful partner to Workers AI: enabling you to run vector search tasks as close to users as possible, and without having to think about how to scale it for production.

We’re going to take a real world example — building a (product) recommendation engine for an e-commerce store — and simplify a few things.

Our goal is to show a list of “relevant products” on each product listing page: a perfect use-case for vector search. Our input vectors in the example are placeholders, but in a real world application we would generate them based on product descriptions and/or cart data by passing them through a sentence similarity model (such as Worker’s AI’s text embedding model)

Each vector represents a product across our store, and we associate the URL of the product with it. We could also set the ID of each vector to the product ID: both approaches are valid. Our query — vector search — represents the product description and content for the product user is currently viewing.

Let’s step through what this looks like in code: this example is pulled straight from our developer documentation:

export interface Env {
	// This makes our vector index methods available on env.MY_VECTOR_INDEX.*
	// e.g. env.MY_VECTOR_INDEX.insert() or .query()
	TUTORIAL_INDEX: VectorizeIndex;
}

// Sample vectors: 3 dimensions wide.
//
// Vectors from a machine-learning model are typically ~100 to 1536 dimensions
// wide (or wider still).
const sampleVectors: Array<VectorizeVector> = [
	{ id: '1', values: [32.4, 74.1, 3.2], metadata: { url: '/products/sku/13913913' } },
	{ id: '2', values: [15.1, 19.2, 15.8], metadata: { url: '/products/sku/10148191' } },
	{ id: '3', values: [0.16, 1.2, 3.8], metadata: { url: '/products/sku/97913813' } },
	{ id: '4', values: [75.1, 67.1, 29.9], metadata: { url: '/products/sku/418313' } },
	{ id: '5', values: [58.8, 6.7, 3.4], metadata: { url: '/products/sku/55519183' } },
];

export default {
	async fetch(request: Request, env: Env, ctx: ExecutionContext): Promise<Response> {
		if (new URL(request.url).pathname !== '/') {
			return new Response('', { status: 404 });
		}
		// Insert some sample vectors into our index
		// In a real application, these vectors would be the output of a machine learning (ML) model,
		// such as Workers AI, OpenAI, or Cohere.
		let inserted = await env.TUTORIAL_INDEX.insert(sampleVectors);

		// Log the number of IDs we successfully inserted
		console.info(`inserted ${inserted.count} vectors into the index`);

		// In a real application, we would take a user query - e.g. "durable
		// objects" - and transform it into a vector emebedding first.
		//
		// In our example, we're going to construct a simple vector that should
		// match vector id #5
		let queryVector: Array<number> = [54.8, 5.5, 3.1];

		// Query our index and return the three (topK = 3) most similar vector
		// IDs with their similarity score.
		//
		// By default, vector values are not returned, as in many cases the
		// vectorId and scores are sufficient to map the vector back to the
		// original content it represents.
		let matches = await env.TUTORIAL_INDEX.query(queryVector, { topK: 3, returnVectors: true });

		// We map over our results to find the most similar vector result.
		//
		// Since our index uses the 'cosine' distance metric, scores will range
		// from 1 to -1.  A value of '1' means the vector is the same; the
		// closer to 1, the more similar. Values of -1 (least similar) and 0 (no
		// match).
		// let closestScore = 0;
		// let mostSimilarId = '';
		// matches.matches.map((match) => {
		// 	if (match.score > closestScore) {
		// 		closestScore = match.score;
		// 		mostSimilarId = match.vectorId;
		// 	}
		// });

		return Response.json({
			// This will return the closest vectors: we'll see that the vector
			// with id = 5 has the highest score (closest to 1.0) as the
			// distance between it and our query vector is the smallest.
			// Return the full set of matches so we can see the possible scores.
			matches: matches,
		});
	},
};

The code above is intentionally simple, but illustrates vector search at its core: we insert vectors into our database, and query it for vectors with the smallest distance to our query vector.

Here are the results, with the values included, so we visually observe that our query vector [54.8, 5.5, 3.1] is similar to our highest scoring match: [58.799, 6.699, 3.400] returned from our search. This index uses cosine similarity to calculate the distance between vectors, which means that the closer the score to 1, the more similar a match is to our query vector.

{
  "matches": {
    "count": 3,
    "matches": [
      {
        "score": 0.999909,
        "vectorId": "5",
        "vector": {
          "id": "5",
          "values": [
            58.79999923706055,
            6.699999809265137,
            3.4000000953674316
          ],
          "metadata": {
            "url": "/products/sku/55519183"
          }
        }
      },
      {
        "score": 0.789848,
        "vectorId": "4",
        "vector": {
          "id": "4",
          "values": [
            75.0999984741211,
            67.0999984741211,
            29.899999618530273
          ],
          "metadata": {
            "url": "/products/sku/418313"
          }
        }
      },
      {
        "score": 0.611976,
        "vectorId": "2",
        "vector": {
          "id": "2",
          "values": [
            15.100000381469727,
            19.200000762939453,
            15.800000190734863
          ],
          "metadata": {
            "url": "/products/sku/10148191"
          }
        }
      }
    ]
  }
}

In a real application, we could now quickly return product recommendation URLs based on the most similar products, sorting them by their score (highest to lowest), and increasing the topK value if we want to show more. The metadata stored alongside each vector could also embed a path to an R2 object, a UUID for a row in a D1 database, or a key-value pair from Workers KV.

Workers AI + Vectorize: full stack vector search on Cloudflare

In a real application, we need a machine learning model that can both generate vector embeddings from our original dataset (to seed our database) and quickly turn user queries into vector embeddings too. These need to be from the same model, as each model represents features differently.

Here’s a compact example building an entire end-to-end vector search pipeline on Cloudflare:

import { Ai } from '@cloudflare/ai';
export interface Env {
	TEXT_EMBEDDINGS: VectorizeIndex;
	AI: any;
}
interface EmbeddingResponse {
	shape: number[];
	data: number[][];
}

export default {
	async fetch(request: Request, env: Env, ctx: ExecutionContext): Promise<Response> {
		const ai = new Ai(env.AI);
		let path = new URL(request.url).pathname;
		if (path.startsWith('/favicon')) {
			return new Response('', { status: 404 });
		}

		// We only need to generate vector embeddings just the once (or as our
		// data changes), not on every request
		if (path === '/insert') {
			// In a real-world application, we could read in content from R2 or
			// a SQL database (like D1) and pass it to Workers AI
			const stories = ['This is a story about an orange cloud', 'This is a story about a llama', 'This is a story about a hugging emoji'];
			const modelResp: EmbeddingResponse = await ai.run('@cf/baai/bge-base-en-v1.5', {
				text: stories,
			});

			// We need to convert the vector embeddings into a format Vectorize can accept.
			// Each vector needs an id, a value (the vector) and optional metadata.
			// In a real app, our ID would typicaly be bound to the ID of the source
			// document.
			let vectors: VectorizeVector[] = [];
			let id = 1;
			modelResp.data.forEach((vector) => {
				vectors.push({ id: `${id}`, values: vector });
				id++;
			});

			await env.TEXT_EMBEDDINGS.upsert(vectors);
		}

		// Our query: we expect this to match vector id: 1 in this simple example
		let userQuery = 'orange cloud';
		const queryVector: EmbeddingResponse = await ai.run('@cf/baai/bge-base-en-v1.5', {
			text: [userQuery],
		});

		let matches = await env.TEXT_EMBEDDINGS.query(queryVector.data[0], { topK: 1 });
		return Response.json({
			// We expect vector id: 1 to be our top match with a score of
			// ~0.896888444
			// We are using a cosine distance metric, where the closer to one,
			// the more similar.
			matches: matches,
		});
	},
};

The code above does four things:

  1. It passes the three sentences to Workers AI’s text embedding model (@cf/baai/bge-base-en-v1.5) and retrieves their vector embeddings.
  2. It inserts those vectors into our Vectorize index.
  3. Takes the user query and transforms it into a vector embedding via the same Workers AI model.
  4. Queries our Vectorize index for matches.

This example might look “too” simple, but in a production application, we’d only have to change two things: just insert our vectors once (or periodically via Cron Triggers), and replace our three example sentences with real data stored in R2, a D1 database, or another storage provider.

In fact, this is incredibly similar to how we run Cursor, the AI assistant that can answer questions about Cloudflare Worker: we migrated Cursor to run on Workers AI and Vectorize. We generate text embeddings from our developer documentation using its built-in text embedding model, insert them into a Vectorize index, and transform user queries on the fly via that same model.

BYO embeddings from your favorite AI API

Vectorize isn’t just limited to Workers AI, though: it’s a fully-fledged, standalone vector database.

If you’re already using OpenAI’s Embedding API, Cohere’s multilingual model, or any other embedding API, then you can easily bring-your-own (BYO) vectors to Vectorize.

It works just the same: generate your embeddings, insert them into Vectorize, and pass your queries through the model before you query your index. Vectorize includes a few shortcuts for some of the most popular embedding models.

# Vectorize has ready-to-go presets that set the dimensions and distance metric for popular embeddings models
$ wrangler vectorize create openai-index-example --preset=openai-text-embedding-ada-002

This can be particularly useful if you already have an existing workflow around an existing embeddings API, and/or have validated a specific multimodal or multilingual embeddings model for your use-case.

Making the cost of AI predictable

There’s a tremendous amount of excitement around AI and ML, but there’s also one big concern: that it’s too expensive to experiment with, and hard to predict at scale.

With Vectorize, we wanted to bring a simpler pricing model to vector databases. Have an idea for a proof-of-concept at work? That should fit into our free-tier limits. Scaling up and optimizing your embedding dimensions for performance vs. accuracy? It shouldn’t break the bank.

Importantly, Vectorize aims to be predictable: you don’t need to estimate CPU and memory consumption, which can be hard when you’re just starting out, and made even harder when trying to plan for your peak vs. off-peak hours in production for a brand new use-case. Instead, you’re charged based on the total number of vector dimensions you store, and the number of queries against them each month. It’s our job to take care of scaling up to meet your query patterns.

Here’s the pricing for Vectorize — and if you have a Workers paid plan now, Vectorize is entirely free to use until 2024:

Workers Free (coming soon) Workers Paid ($5/month)
Queried vector dimensions included 30M total queried dimensions / month 50M total queried dimensions / month
Stored vector dimensions included 5M stored dimensions / month 10M stored dimensions / month
Additional cost $0.04 / 1M vector dimensions queried or stored $0.04 / 1M vector dimensions queried or stored

Pricing is based entirely on what you store and query: (total vector dimensions queried + stored) * dimensions_per_vector * price. Query more? Easy to predict. Optimizing for smaller dimensions per vector to improve speed and reduce overall latency? Cost goes down. Have a few indexes for prototyping or experimenting with new use-cases? We don’t charge per-index.

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast
Create as many as you need indexes to prototype new ideas and/or separate production from dev.

As an example: if you load 10,000 Workers AI vectors (384 dimensions each) and make 5,000 queries against your index each day, it’d result in 49 million total vector dimensions queried and still fit into what we include in the Workers Paid plan ($5/month). Better still: we don’t delete your indexes due to inactivity.

Note that while this pricing isn’t final, we expect few changes going forward. We want to avoid the element of surprise: there’s nothing worse than starting to build on a platform and realizing the pricing is untenable after you’ve invested the time writing code, tests and learning the nuances of a technology.

Vectorize!

Every Workers developer on a paid plan can start using Vectorize immediately: the open beta is available right now, and you can visit our developer documentation to get started.

This is also just the beginning of the vector database story for us at Cloudflare. Over the next few weeks and months, we intend to land a new query engine that should further improve query performance, support even larger indexes, introduce sub-index filtering capabilities, increased metadata limits, and per-index analytics.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to build, see the semantic search tutorial that combines Workers AI and Vectorize for document search, running entirely on Cloudflare. Or an example of how to combine OpenAI and Vectorize to give an LLM more context and dramatically improve the accuracy of its answers.

And if you have questions about how to use Vectorize for our product & engineering teams, or just want to bounce an idea off of other developers building on Workers AI, join the #vectorize and #workers-ai channels on our Developer Discord.

Vectorize: a vector database for shipping AI-powered applications to production, fast

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

Post Syndicated from Veronica Marin original http://blog.cloudflare.com/ai-companies-building-cloudflare/

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

What AI applications can you build with Cloudflare? Instead of us telling you we reached out to a small handful of the numerous AI companies using Cloudflare to learn a bit about what they’re building and how Cloudflare is helping them on their journey.

We heard common themes from these companies about the challenges they face in bringing new products to market in the ever-changing world of AI ranging from training and deploying models, the ethical and moral judgements of AI, gaining the trust of users, and the regulatory landscape.  One area that is not a challenge is trusting their AI application infrastructure to Cloudflare.

Azule.ai

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

Azule, based in Calgary, Canada, was founded to apply the power of AI to streamline and improve ecommerce customer service. It’s an exciting moment that, for the first time ever, we can now dynamically generate, deploy, and test code to meet specific user needs or integrations. This kind of flexibility is crucial to create a tool like Azule that is designed to meet this demand, offering a platform that can handle complex requirements and provide flexible integration options with other tools.

The AI space is evolving quickly and that applies to the rapid evolution of AI agent design patterns. These are essentially frameworks built upon LLM APIs, and they're showing immense potential. Azule effectively allows users to create AI agents which interact with their customers on behalf of their business. It's not just about addressing customer service queries anymore – AI agents can perform significant, ongoing tasks across various industries.

Azule is built entirely on Cloudflare, except for API calls to OpenAI.

The application relies on multiple Developer Platform and Cloudflare products and services.  Durable Objects and websockets are used for live chat.

“Durable Objects enabled us to build our MVP faster than we could have on any other platform, thanks to Cloudflare's thoughtful product design.” – Logan Grasby

Other products used by Azule:

  • Queues for data processing.
  • R2 for all data storage, including vector storage. Instead of using a vector database service, Azule relies entirely on Cloudflare's R2 and cache API for on-disk vector search.
  • Workers KV for storing frequently accessed configuration data.
  • D1 was implemented for their user database.
  • Constellation (now Workers AI) for various labeling and summarization tasks.
  • Workers for Platforms allows Azule AI to write and deploy custom features for the users.
  • Pages for hosting our landing page and marketing content.

Other valuable features used include API shield, email workers, the mail channels integration for email, log push, outbound workers, among others!

“I firmly believe that AI agents are at home on the web. Everything Cloudflare builds has web optimization in mind and so it only makes sense to invest in the platform. By building on Cloudflare, we've made significant cost reductions, particularly by moving all our search solutions to R2. For example, many of our users want to store large datasets on Azule and make them searchable through their agents. Our previous search solutions, based on Pinecone and Milisearch, would have cost thousands of dollars per month to store and search through just one customer's data. With Cloudflare's R2 and cache API, we can now enable our customer's AI agent to comb through large datasets in less than 900ms, at a fraction of the cost.” – Logan Grasby

42able.ai

42able, headquartered in Wales, UK, is at the forefront of AI-driven solutions, dedicated to revolutionizing engagement with business documents. Through cutting-edge technology and innovative strategies, the company seeks to streamline, enhance, and redefine the way businesses interact with their documents.

The modern business landscape is inundated with vast volumes of documents, from contracts and reports to invoices and internal communications. Navigating, understanding, and extracting value from these documents can be time-consuming, error-prone, and often requires significant manual effort.

42able envisions a future where business documents are not just static pieces of information but dynamic assets that businesses can engage with interactively, efficiently, and intelligently.

“Launching an AI product has come with many unique challenges and uncertainties. Users expect AI to be perfect or near-perfect, and are much less forgiving of an AI making an error compared to a human making the same mistake. Decisions about how AI systems should act often involve moral or ethical judgments, which might not be straightforward and can be subject to societal debates. Training and deploying AI models is challenging. Cloudflare's solutions are making it much easier, than managing all the individual parts ourselves.” – James Finney

42able chose Cloudflare for fantastic performance in comparison to other cloud providers, in part due to the no cold boot times, competitive pricing, ease of use, fantastic local development features, and brilliant support. Their development times have decreased through the use of:

  • Workers for all the APIs and re-occurring cron scripts.
  • Pages for all application/platform front-end hosting
  • KV for Angular apps.
  • R2 to store cached personal user data R2.
  • General DNS zone management
  • DDOS protection
  • DNS management
  • Turnstile
  • Zero Trust to secure login pages

They are starting to test with Constellation (now Workers AI) to host some of their models and D1 to support their database needs.

UseChat

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

UseChat.ai, based in London, UK, supercharges customer support with a ChatGPT powered chatbot that knows your website and everything on it. With a custom ChatGPT chatbot, customers can get instant answers to the most common questions. When a customer needs more support, UseChat.ai will seamlessly hand over from AI to human live chat.

The fully real-time platform was built to take advantage of Workers and Durable Objects from day one. Workers & Durable Objects power the real-time chatbot, integrated with OpenAI ChatGPT API, Queues manages website content crawling, and KV stores crawled website content.

“It wouldn’t have been possible to build and scale our real-time platform as quickly as we did without Workers & Durable Objects. Knowing that a customer can embed our chatbot on their website with millions of visitors, and it will just work lets me sleep sound at night.” – Damien Tanner

Eclipse AI

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

Eclipse’s mission is to revolutionise the way businesses approach customer feedback. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Eclipse empowers users to make data-driven decisions by leveraging AI for comprehensive customer understanding. If your goals are to; reduce churn, drive growth or improve your customer experience, Eclipse puts the data at your fingertips and provides you actionable insights to drive your business.

Eclipse allows you to unify your Voice of Customer channels (i.e. phone, video calls, emails, support tickets, public reviews and surveys), the platform analyses it at scale and utilises Generative AI to provide key actions specific to your business. Focused on democratising data driven decision-making, Eclipse AI has launched a Freemium model, leveling the playing field for businesses of all sizes to utilise this tech.

“We believe the future of the internet is on the edge and Cloudflare is at the forefront of this revolution with a growing network that covers most major cities around the world. As a startup with limited resources, the Cloudflare developer platform has enabled our dev team to focus on building our product and not be burdened with managing infrastructure. Best of all, it scales automagically with a pay-as-you-go pricing model.” – Saad Irfani

Eclipse AI uses:

  • Cloudflare Workers for the backend API.
  • Cloudflare Pages for the frontend to deliver content across hundreds of cities worldwide.
  • Cloudflare Images to serve cascaded versions of each asset
  • Cloudflare R2 as the object store.

“As a platform that transcribes video/audio call recordings for VoC analytics, choosing a reliable object-store was an important decision. After the launch of R2 we switched from S3 and noticed a staggering 70% reduction in cost. Overall, we are believers in Cloudflare’s vision and are eagerly awaiting the release of D1 so that our entire stack can be powered by the edge.” – Saad Irfani

Embley

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

Embley, based in Sierre, Switzerland, is a Marketplace Automation Platform that powers the future of marketplace commerce by enabling businesses to scale better and faster.

The platform combines the most advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Process Mining to strengthen a fast end-to-end business process automation with products tailored to marketplaces businesses.

Cloudflare powers Embley’s frontend through Cloudflare Pages that serves what they call the “control center” to the users at the edge. The control center is the core of the back-office tools that users use to manage their marketplace operations.  The backend is powered by Workers, providing a serverless execution environment, connected to the frontend through the Cloudflare API Gateway.

“The primary reasons for choosing Cloudflare are the powerful serverless products that enable us to run an entire tech stack without having to care about infrastructure. Also, the scalability of Cloudflare’s global network is appealing. Finally, security is embedded into Cloudflare through the Zero Trust platform that enable us to secure both production but also the lower environments including the secured access to internal systems and apps.” – Laurent Christen

Chainfuse

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

ChainFuse, based in San Francisco, CA, is a multichannel AI platform that assists organizations in collecting and analyzing user feedback on a large scale. Their AI-powered community tool aids support, community, and product teams in garnering valuable insights, facilitating more informed product decisions.

“We have used Google Cloud and AWS, but our experience with Cloudflare has particularly stood out. Since 2016, we have consistently chosen Cloudflare for our projects due to their excellent product range and reliable performance. Saying "it just works" is an understatement.” – Victor Sanchez

ChainFuse relies on Workers for the core of their backend infrastructure and a range of our security solutions to secure their applications and employees. WAF and its vast adaptability is a major defense, blocking an average of 48% of all incoming traffic, effectively weeding out known malicious traffic. Additionally, it employs rate limiting to prevent abuse. API Shield, used in conjunction with WAF, intercepts an average of 1.32% of the incoming traffic that manages to bypass WAF. The Zero Trust Gateway not only secures their employees but also is integrated into their product to prevent end users from exploiting the platform for malicious purposes.

ai.moda

ai.moda, headquartered in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, is building multiple AI tools with a focus on helping bridge humans, developers, and machines together. They’re currently building several ChatGPT plugins (such as CVEs and S3 storage), YourCrowd (MTurk compatible API for humans and bots), and Valkyrie (an automated zero-trust hardening for Linux applications and cloud workloads).

Plugins like CVEs by ai.moda bring real-time vulnerability information into ChatGPT.

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

“By using Workers, we’re able to create SaaS services at a scale and cost that just wouldn’t be possible without. If you want a new ChatGPT plugin, let us know on Friday, and by Monday we can have it developed and shipped in production! The rapid development allowed by Workers is a huge advantage for us.”- David Manouchehri

They chose Cloudflare mainly because of the Workers platform. Being able to deploy new code rapidly globally with a single command has greatly simplified their DevOps needs, and they no longer need to worry about whether they have enough resources to scale up.

ai.moda is a heavy user of Cloudflare Workers, Email Workers, Pages, R2, Durable Objects, Constellation (now Workers AI), Cache API, DMARC management, Access, WAF, logpush, DNS, Health Checks, Zaraz, and D1.

We share the opinion of many of these companies that witnessing the incredible breadth and versatility of AI technology and the impact it has on organizations and people is astonishing, and we can’t wait to see where this technology takes people. If you’re inspired by reading these stories and want to start building, check out the Startup program and our Cloudflare for AI solutions.

If you want to share your story about what you’ve built, reach out to us or join the Developers Discord.

What AI companies are building with Cloudflare

***
Since launching the Launchpad program in 2022, we have showcased a number of exciting startups looking to build the next big application. Whether innovative website designs, content delivery or AI-based features, the internet is waiting for the next big thing.

With that said, we are proud to announce our revamped Built With Workers site, an opportunity to showcase your projects with the developer community. Built With Workers will serve as a public facing repository of full-stack applications running on the Developer Platform to demonstrate how Cloudflare is helping developers build amazing applications.

Whether you're using R2 object storage to store web data, utilizing Workers to manage your application functionality or designing the next big web application UI with Pages, we love seeing what our customers are building!

To showcase your latest and greatest projects featured on Built with Workers, complete and submit our quick form to share your projects or business with us. Share how you're using Cloudflare products to build the application of your dreams or help expand developer knowledge with our developer community.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare’s highly distributed network

Post Syndicated from George Thomas original http://blog.cloudflare.com/how-waiting-room-queues/

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

Almost three years ago, we launched Cloudflare Waiting Room to protect our customers’ sites from overwhelming spikes in legitimate traffic that could bring down their sites. Waiting Room gives customers control over user experience even in times of high traffic by placing excess traffic in a customizable, on-brand waiting room, dynamically admitting users as spots become available on their sites. Since the launch of Waiting Room, we’ve continued to expand its functionality based on customer feedback with features like mobile app support, analytics, Waiting Room bypass rules, and more.

We love announcing new features and solving problems for our customers by expanding the capabilities of Waiting Room. But, today, we want to give you a behind the scenes look at how we have evolved the core mechanism of our product–namely, exactly how it kicks in to queue traffic in response to spikes.

How was the Waiting Room built, and what are the challenges?

The diagram below shows a quick overview of where the Waiting room sits when a customer enables it for their website.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

Waiting Room is built on Workers that runs across a global network of Cloudflare data centers. The requests to a customer’s website can go to many different Cloudflare data centers. To optimize for minimal latency and enhanced performance, these requests are routed to the data center with the most geographical proximity. When a new user makes a request to the host/path covered by the Waiting room, the waiting room worker decides whether to send the user to the origin or the waiting room. This decision is made by making use of the waiting room state which gives an idea of how many users are on the origin.

The waiting room state changes continuously based on the traffic around the world. This information can be stored in a central location or changes can get propagated around the world eventually. Storing this information in a central location can add significant latency to each request as the central location can be really far from where the request is originating from. So every data center works with its own waiting room state which is a snapshot of the traffic pattern for the website around the world available at that point in time. Before letting a user into the website, we do not want to wait for information from everywhere else in the world as that adds significant latency to the request. This is the reason why we chose not to have a central location but have a pipeline where changes in traffic get propagated eventually around the world.

This pipeline which aggregates the waiting room state in the background is built on Cloudflare Durable Objects. In 2021, we wrote a blog talking about how the aggregation pipeline works and the different design decisions we took there if you are interested. This pipeline ensures that every data center gets updated information about changes in traffic within a few seconds.

The Waiting room has to make a decision whether to send users to the website or queue them based on the state that it currently sees. This has to be done while making sure we queue at the right time so that the customer's website does not get overloaded. We also have to make sure we do not queue too early as we might be queueing for a falsely suspected spike in traffic. Being in a queue could cause some users to abandon going to the website. Waiting Room runs on every server in Cloudflare’s network, which spans over 300 cities in more than 100 countries. We want to make sure, for every new user, the decision whether to go to the website or the queue is made with minimal latency. This is what makes the decision of when to queue a hard question for the waiting room. In this blog, we will cover how we approached that tradeoff. Our algorithm has evolved to decrease the false positives while continuing to respect the customer’s set limits.

How a waiting room decides when to queue users

The most important factor that determines when your waiting room will start queuing is how you configured the traffic settings. There are two traffic limits that you will set when configuring a waiting room–total active users and new users per minute.The total active users is a target threshold for how many simultaneous users you want to allow on the pages covered by your waiting room. New users per minute defines the target threshold for the maximum rate of user influx to your website per minute. A sharp spike in either of these values might result in queuing. Another configuration that affects how we calculate the total active users is session duration. A user is considered active for session duration minutes since the request is made to any page covered by a waiting room.

The graph below is from one of our internal monitoring tools for a customer and shows a customer's traffic pattern for 2 days. This customer has set their limits, new users per minute and total active users to 200 and 200 respectively.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

If you look at their traffic you can see that users were queued on September 11th around 11:45. At that point in time, the total active users was around 200. As the total active users ramped down (around 12:30), the queued users progressed to 0. The queueing started again on September 11th around 15:00 when total active users got to 200. The users that were queued around this time ensured that the traffic going to the website is around the limits set by the customer.

Once a user gets access to the website, we give them an encrypted cookie which indicates they have already gained access. The contents of the cookie can look like this.

{  
  "bucketId": "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:00 GMT",
  "lastCheckInTime": "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT",
  "acceptedAt": "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT"
}

The cookie is like a ticket which indicates entry to the waiting room.The bucketId indicates which cluster of users this user is part of. The acceptedAt time and lastCheckInTime indicate when the last interaction with the workers was. This information can ensure if the ticket is valid for entry or not when we compare it with the session duration value that the customer sets while configuring the waiting room. If the cookie is valid, we let the user through which ensures users who are on the website continue to be able to browse the website. If the cookie is invalid, we create a new cookie treating the user as a new user and if there is queueing happening on the website they get to the back of the queue. In the next section let us see how we decide when to queue those users.

To understand this further, let's see what the contents of the waiting room state are. For the customer we discussed above, at the time "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT", the state could look like this.

{  
  "activeUsers": 50,
}

As mentioned above the customer’s configuration has new users per minute and total active users equal to 200 and 200 respectively.

So the state indicates that there is space for the new users as there are only 50 active users when it's possible to have 200. So there is space for another 150 users to go in. Let's assume those 50 users could have come from two data centers San Jose (20 users) and London (30 users). We also keep track of the number of workers that are active across the globe as well as the number of workers active at the data center in which the state is calculated. The state key below could be the one calculated at San Jose.

{  
  "activeUsers": 50,
  "globalWorkersActive": 10,
  "dataCenterWorkersActive": 3,
  "trafficHistory": {
    "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:44:00 GMT": {
       San Jose: 20/200, // 10%
       London: 30/200, // 15%
       Anywhere: 150/200 // 75%
    }
  }
}

Imagine at the time "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT", we get a request to that waiting room at a datacenter in San Jose.

To see if the user that reached San Jose can go to the origin we first check the traffic history in the past minute to see the distribution of traffic at that time. This is because a lot of websites are popular in certain parts of the world. For a lot of these websites the traffic tends to come from the same data centers.

Looking at the traffic history for the minute "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:44:00 GMT" we see San Jose has 20 users out of 200 users going there (10%) at that time. For the current time "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT" we divide the slots available at the website at the same ratio as the traffic history in the past minute. So we can send 10% of 150 slots available from San Jose which is 15 users. We also know that there are three active workers as "dataCenterWorkersActive" is 3.

The number of slots available for the data center is divided evenly among the workers in the data center. So every worker in San Jose can send 15/3 users to the website. If the worker that received the traffic has not sent any users to the origin for the current minute they can send up to five users (15/3).

At the same time ("Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT"), imagine a request goes to a data center in Delhi. The worker at the data center in Delhi checks the trafficHistory and sees that there are no slots allotted for it. For traffic like this we have reserved the Anywhere slots as we are really far away from the limit.

{  
  "activeUsers":50,
  "globalWorkersActive": 10,
  "dataCenterWorkersActive": 1,
  "trafficHistory": {
    "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:44:00 GMT": {
       San Jose: 20/200, // 10%
       London: 30/200, // 15%
       Anywhere: 150/200 // 75%
    }
  }
}

The Anywhere slots are divided among all the active workers in the globe as any worker around the world can take a part of this pie. 75% of the remaining 150 slots which is 113.

The state key also keeps track of the number of workers (globalWorkersActive) that have spawned around the world. The Anywhere slots allotted are divided among all the active workers in the world if available. globalWorkersActive is 10 when we look at the waiting room state. So every active worker can send as many as 113/10 which is approximately 11 users. So the first 11 users that come to a worker in the minute Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:00 GMT gets admitted to the origin. The extra users get queued. The extra reserved slots (5) in San Jose for minute  Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:00 GMT discussed before ensures that we can admit up to 16(5 + 11) users from a worker from San Jose to the website.

Queuing at the worker level can cause users to get queued before the slots available for the data center

As we can see from the example above, we decide whether to queue or not at the worker level. The number of new users that go to workers around the world can be non-uniform. To understand what can happen when there is non-uniform distribution of traffic to two workers, let us look at the diagram below.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

Imagine the slots available for a data center in San Jose are ten. There are two workers running in San Jose. Seven users go to worker1 and one user goes to worker2. In this situation worker1 will let in five out of the seven workers to the website and two of them get queued as worker1 only has five slots available. The one user that shows up at worker2 also gets to go to the origin. So we queue two users, when in reality ten users can get sent from the datacenter San Jose when only eight users show up.

This issue while dividing slots evenly among workers results in queueing before a waiting room’s configured traffic limits, typically within 20-30% of the limits set. This approach has advantages which we will discuss next. We have made changes to the approach to decrease the frequency with which queuing occurs outside that 20-30% range, queuing as close to limits as possible, while still ensuring Waiting Room is prepared to catch spikes. Later in this blog, we will cover how we achieved this by updating how we allocate and count slots.

What is the advantage of workers making these decisions?

The example above talked about how a worker in San Jose and Delhi makes decisions to let users through to the origin. The advantage of making decisions at the worker level is that we can make decisions without any significant latency added to the request. This is because to make the decision, there is no need to leave the data center to get information about the waiting room as we are always working with the state that is currently available in the data center. The queueing starts when the slots run out within the worker. The lack of additional latency added enables the customers to turn on the waiting room all the time without worrying about extra latency to their users.

Waiting Room’s number one priority is to ensure that customer’s sites remain up and running at all times, even in the face of unexpected and overwhelming traffic surges. To that end, it is critical that a waiting room prioritizes staying near or below traffic limits set by the customer for that room. When a spike happens at one data center around the world, say at San Jose, the local state at the data center will take a few seconds to get to Delhi.

Splitting the slots among workers ensures that working with slightly outdated data does not cause the overall limit to be exceeded by an impactful amount. For example, the activeUsers value can be 26 in the San Jose data center and 100 in the other data center where the spike is happening. At that point in time, sending extra users from Delhi may not overshoot the overall limit by much as they only have a part of the pie to start with in Delhi. Therefore, queueing before overall limits are reached is part of the design to make sure your overall limits are respected. In the next section we will cover the approaches we implemented to queue as close to limits as possible without increasing the risk of exceeding traffic limits.

Allocating more slots when traffic is low relative to waiting room limits

The first case we wanted to address was queuing that occurs when traffic is far from limits. While rare and typically lasting for one refresh interval (20s) for the end users who are queued, this was our first priority when updating our queuing algorithm. To solve this, while allocating slots we looked at the utilization (how far you are from traffic limits) and allotted more slots when traffic is really far away from the limits. The idea behind this was to prevent the queueing that happens at lower limits while still being able to readjust slots available per worker when there are more users on the origin.

To understand this let's revisit the example where there is non-uniform distribution of traffic to two workers. So two workers similar to the one we discussed before are shown below. In this case the utilization is low (10%). This means we are far from the limits. So the slots allocated(8) are closer to the slotsAvailable for the datacenter San Jose which is 10. As you can see in the diagram below, all the eight users that go to either worker get to reach the website with this modified slot allocation as we are providing more slots per worker at lower utilization levels.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

The diagram below shows how the slots allocated per worker changes with utilization (how far you are away from limits). As you can see here, we are allocating more slots per worker at lower utilization. As the utilization increases, the slots allocated per worker decrease as it’s getting closer to the limits, and we are better prepared for spikes in traffic. At 10% utilization every worker gets close to the slots available for the data center. As the utilization is close to 100% it becomes close to the slots available divided by worker count in the data center.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

How do we achieve more slots at lower utilization?

This section delves into the mathematics which helps us get there. If you are not interested in these details, meet us at the “Risk of over provisioning” section.

To understand this further, let's revisit the previous example where requests come to the Delhi data center. The activeUsers value is 50, so utilization is 50/200 which is around 25%.

{
  "activeUsers": 50,
  "globalWorkersActive": 10,
  "dataCenterWorkersActive": 1,
  "trafficHistory": {
    "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:44:00 GMT": {
       San Jose: 20/200, // 10%
       London: 30/200, // 15%
       Anywhere: 150/200 // 75%
    }
  }
}

The idea is to allocate more slots at lower utilization levels. This ensures that customers do not see unexpected queueing behaviors when traffic is far away from limits. At time Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT requests to Delhi are at 25% utilization based on the local state key.

To allocate more slots to be available at lower utilization we added a workerMultiplier which moves proportionally to the utilization. At lower utilization the multiplier is lower and at higher utilization it is close to one.

workerMultiplier = (utilization)^curveFactor
adaptedWorkerCount = actualWorkerCount * workerMultiplier

utilization – how far away from the limits you are.

curveFactor – is the exponent which can be adjusted which decides how aggressive we are with the distribution of extra budgets at lower worker counts. To understand this let's look at the graph of how y = x and y = x^2 looks between values 0 and 1.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

The graph for y=x is a straight line passing through (0, 0) and (1, 1).

The graph for y=x^2 is a curved line where y increases slower than x when x < 1 and passes through (0, 0) and (1, 1)

Using the concept of how the curves work, we derived the formula for workerCountMultiplier where y=workerCountMultiplier, x=utilization and curveFactor is the power which can be adjusted which decides how aggressive we are with the distribution of extra budgets at lower worker counts. When curveFactor is 1, the workerMultiplier is equal to the utilization.

Let's come back to the example we discussed before and see what the value of the curve factor will be. At time Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT requests to Delhi are at 25% utilization based on the local state key. The Anywhere slots are divided among all the active workers in the globe as any worker around the world can take a part of this pie. i.e. 75% of the remaining 150 slots (113).

globalWorkersActive is 10 when we look at the waiting room state. In this case we do not divide the 113 slots by 10 but instead divide by the adapted worker count which is globalWorkersActive * workerMultiplier. If curveFactor is 1, the workerMultiplier is equal to the utilization which is at 25% or 0.25.

So effective workerCount = 10 * 0.25 = 2.5

So, every active worker can send as many as 113/2.5 which is approximately 45 users. The first 45 users that come to a worker in the minute Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:00 GMT gets admitted to the origin. The extra users get queued.

Therefore, at lower utilization (when traffic is farther from the limits) each worker gets more slots. But, if the sum of slots are added up, there is a higher chance of exceeding the overall limit.

Risk of over provisioning

The method of giving more slots at lower limits decreases the chances of queuing when traffic is low relative to traffic limits. However, at lower utilization levels a uniform spike happening around the world could cause more users to go into the origin than expected. The diagram below shows the case where this can be an issue. As you can see the slots available are ten for the data center. At 10% utilization we discussed before, each worker can have eight slots each. If eight users show up at one worker and seven show up at another, we will be sending fifteen users to the website when only ten are the maximum available slots for the data center.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

With the range of customers and types of traffic we have, we were able to see cases where this became a problem. A traffic spike from low utilization levels could cause overshooting of the global limits. This is because we are over provisioned at lower limits and this increases the risk of significantly exceeding traffic limits. We needed to implement a safer approach which would not cause limits to be exceeded while also decreasing the chance of queueing when traffic is low relative to traffic limits.

Taking a step back and thinking about our approach, one of the assumptions we had was that the traffic in a data center directly correlates to the worker count that is found in a data center. In practice what we found is that this was not true for all customers. Even if the traffic correlates to the worker count, the new users going to the workers in the data centers may not correlate. This is because the slots we allocate are for new users but the traffic that a data center sees consists of both users who are already on the website and new users trying to go to the website.

In the next section we are talking about an approach where worker counts do not get used and instead workers communicate with other workers in the data center. For that we introduced a new service which is a durable object counter.

Decrease the number of times we divide the slots by introducing Data Center Counters

From the example above, we can see that overprovisioning at the worker level has the risk of using up more slots than what is allotted for a data center. If we do not over provision at low levels we have the risk of queuing users way before their configured limits are reached which we discussed first. So there has to be a solution which can achieve both these things.

The overprovisioning was done so that the workers do not run out of slots quickly when an uneven number of new users reach a bunch of workers. If there is a way to communicate between two workers in a data center, we do not need to divide slots among workers in the data center based on worker count. For that communication to take place, we introduced counters. Counters are a bunch of small durable object instances that do counting for a set of workers in the data center.

To understand how it helps with avoiding usage of worker counts, let's check the diagram below. There are two workers talking to a Data Center Counter below. Just as we discussed before, the workers let users through to the website based on the waiting room state. The count of the number of users let through was stored in the memory of the worker before. By introducing counters, it is done in the Data Center Counter. Whenever a new user makes a request to the worker, the worker talks to the counter to know the current value of the counter. In the example below for the first new request to the worker the counter value received is 9. When a data center has 10 slots available, that will mean the user can go to the website. If the next worker receives a new user and makes a request just after that, it will get a value 10 and based on the slots available for the worker, the user will get queued.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

The Data Center Counter acts as a point of synchronization for the workers in the waiting room. Essentially, this enables the workers to talk to each other without really talking to each other directly. This is similar to how a ticketing counter works. Whenever one worker lets someone in, they request tickets from the counter, so another worker requesting the tickets from the counter will not get the same ticket number. If the ticket value is valid, the new user gets to go to the website. So when different numbers of new users show up at workers, we will not over allocate or under allocate slots for the worker as the number of slots used is calculated by the counter which is for the data center.

The diagram below shows the behavior when an uneven number of new users reach the workers, one gets seven new users and the other worker gets one new user. All eight users that show up at the workers in the diagram below get to the website as the slots available for the data center is ten which is below ten.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

This also does not cause excess users to get sent to the website as we do not send extra users when the counter value equals the slotsAvailable for the data center. Out of the fifteen users that show up at the workers in the diagram below ten will get to the website and five will get queued which is what we would expect.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

Risk of over provisioning at lower utilization also does not exist as counters help workers to communicate with each other.

To understand this further, let's look at the previous example we talked about and see how it works with the actual waiting room state.

The waiting room state for the customer is as follows.

{  
  "activeUsers": 50,
  "globalWorkersActive": 10,
  "dataCenterWorkersActive": 3,
  "trafficHistory": {
    "Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:44:00 GMT": {
       San Jose: 20/200, // 10%
       London: 30/200, // 15%
       Anywhere: 150/200 // 75%
    }
  }
}

The objective is to not divide the slots among workers so that we don’t need to use that information from the state. At time Mon, 11 Sep 2023 11:45:54 GMT requests come to San Jose. So, we can send 10% of 150 slots available from San Jose which is 15.

The durable object counter at San Jose keeps returning the counter value it is at right now for every new user that reaches the data center. It will increment the value by 1 after it returns to a worker. So the first 15 new users that come to the worker get a unique counter value. If the value received for a user is less than 15 they get to use the slots at the data center.

Once the slots available for the data center runs out, the users can make use of the slots allocated for Anywhere data-centers as these are not reserved for any particular data center. Once a worker in San Jose gets a ticket value that says 15, it realizes that it's not possible to go to the website using the slots from San Jose.

The Anywhere slots are available for all the active workers in the globe i.e. 75% of the remaining 150 slots (113). The Anywhere slots are handled by a durable object that workers from different data centers can talk to when they want to use Anywhere slots. Even if 128 (113 + 15) users end up going to the same worker for this customer we will not queue them. This increases the ability of Waiting Room to handle an uneven number of new users going to workers around the world which in turn helps the customers to queue close to the configured limits.

Why do counters work well for us?

When we built the Waiting Room, we wanted the decisions for entry into the website to be made at the worker level itself without talking to other services when the request is in flight to the website. We made that choice to avoid adding latency to user requests. By introducing a synchronization point at a durable object counter, we are deviating from that by introducing a call to a durable object counter.

However, the durable object for the data center stays within the same data center. This leads to minimal additional latency which is usually less than 10 ms. For the calls to the durable object that handles Anywhere data centers, the worker may have to cross oceans and long distances. This could cause the latency to be around 60 or 70 ms in those cases. The 95th percentile values shown below are higher because of calls that go to farther data centers.

How Waiting Room makes queueing decisions on Cloudflare's highly distributed network

The design decision to add counters adds a slight extra latency for new users going to the website. We deemed the trade-off acceptable because this reduces the number of users that get queued before limits are reached. In addition, the counters are only required when new users try to go into the website. Once new users get to the origin, they get entry directly from workers as the proof of entry is available in the cookies that the customers come with, and we can let them in based on that.

Counters are really simple services which do simple counting and do nothing else. This keeps the memory and CPU footprint of the counters minimal. Moreover, we have a lot of counters around the world handling the coordination between a subset of workers.This helps counters to successfully handle the load for the synchronization requirements from the workers. These factors add up to make counters a viable solution for our use case.

Summary

Waiting Room was designed with our number one priority in mind–to ensure that our customers’ sites remain up and running, no matter the volume or ramp up of legitimate traffic. Waiting Room runs on every server in Cloudflare’s network, which spans over 300 cities in more than 100 countries. We want to make sure, for every new user, the decision whether to go to the website or the queue is made with minimal latency and is done at the right time. This decision is a hard one as queuing too early at a data center can cause us to queue earlier than the customer set limits. Queuing too late can cause us to overshoot the customer set limits.

With our initial approach where we divide slots among our workers evenly we were sometimes queuing too early but were pretty good at respecting customer set limits. Our next approach of giving more slots at low utilization (low traffic levels compared to customer limits) ensured that we did better at the cases where we queued earlier than the customer set limits as every worker has more slots to work with at each worker. But as we have seen, this made us more likely to overshoot when a sudden spike in traffic occurred after a period of low utilization.

With counters we are able to get the best of both worlds as we avoid the division of slots by worker counts. Using counters we are able to ensure that we do not queue too early or too late based on the customer set limits. This comes at the cost of a little bit of latency to every request from a new user which we have found to be negligible and creates a better user experience than getting queued early.

We keep iterating on our approach to make sure we are always queuing people at the right time and above all protecting your website. As more and more customers are using the waiting room, we are learning more about different types of traffic and that is helping the product be better for everyone.

Improving Worker Tail scalability

Post Syndicated from Joshua Johnson original http://blog.cloudflare.com/improving-worker-tail-scalability/

Improving Worker Tail scalability

Improving Worker Tail scalability

Being able to get real-time information from applications in production is extremely important. Many times software passes local testing and automation, but then users report that something isn’t working correctly. Being able to quickly see what is happening, and how often, is critical to debugging.

This is why we originally developed the Workers Tail feature – to allow developers the ability to view requests, exceptions, and information for their Workers and to provide a window into what’s happening in real time. When we developed it, we also took the opportunity to build it on top of our own Workers technology using products like Trace Workers and Durable Objects. Over the last couple of years, we’ve continued to iterate on this feature – allowing users to quickly access logs from the Dashboard and via Wrangler CLI.

Today, we’re excited to announce that tail can now be enabled for Workers at any size and scale! In addition to telling you about the new and improved scalability, we wanted to share how we built it, and the changes we made to enable it to scale better.

Why Tail was limited

Tail leverages Durable Objects to handle coordination between the Worker producing messages and consumers like wrangler and the Cloudflare dashboard, and Durable Objects are a great choice for handling real-time communication like this. However, when a single Durable Object instance starts to receive a very high volume of traffic – like the kind that can come with tailing live Workers – it can see some performance issues.

As a result, Workers with a high volume of traffic could not be supported by the original Tail infrastructure. Tail had to be limited to Workers receiving 100 requests/second (RPS) or less. This was a significant limitation that resulted in many users with large, high-traffic Workers having to turn to their own tooling to get proper observability in production.

Believing that every feature we provide should scale with users during their development journey, we set out to improve Tail's performance at high loads.

Updating the way filters work

The first improvement was to the existing filtering feature. When starting a Tail with wrangler tail (and now with the Cloudflare dashboard) users have the ability to filter out messages based on information in the requests or logs.
Previously, this filtering was handled within the Durable Object, which meant that even if a user was filtering out the majority of their traffic, the Durable Object would still have to handle every message. Often users with high traffic Tails were using many filters to better interpret their logs, but wouldn’t be able to start a Tail due to the 100 RPS limit.

We moved filtering out of the Durable Object and into the Tail message producer, preventing any filtered messages from reaching the Tail Durable Object, and thereby reducing the load on the Tail Durable Object. Moving the filtering out of the Durable Object was the first step in improving Tail’s performance at scale.

Sampling logs to keep Tails within Durable Object limits

After moving log filtering outside of the Durable Object, there was still the issue of determining when Tails could be started since there was no way to determine to what degree filters would reduce traffic for a given Tail, and simply starting a Durable Object back up would mean that it more than likely hit the 100 RPS limit immediately.

The solution for this was to add a safety mechanism for the Durable Object while the Tail was running.

We created a simple controller to track the RPS hitting a Durable Object and sample messages until the desired volume of 100 RPS is reached. As shown below, sampling keeps the Tail Durable Object RPS below the target of 100.

Improving Worker Tail scalability

When messages are sampled, the following message appears every five seconds to let the user know that they are in sampling mode:

Improving Worker Tail scalability

This message goes away once the Tail is stopped or filters are applied that drop the RPS below 100.

A final failsafe

Finally as a last resort a failsafe mechanism was added in the case the Durable Object gets fully overloaded. Since RPS tracking is done within the Durable Object, if the Durable Object is overloaded due to an extremely large amount of traffic, the sampling mechanism will fail.

In the case that an overload is detected, all messages forwarded to the Durable Object are stopped periodically to prevent any issues with Workers infrastructure.

Improving Worker Tail scalability

Here we can see a user who had a large amount of traffic that started to become sampled. As the traffic increased, the number of sampled messages grew. Since the traffic was too fast for the sampling mechanism to handle, the Durable Object got overloaded. However, soon excess messages were blocked and the overload stopped.

Try it out

These new improvements are in place currently and available to all users 🎉

To Tail Workers via the Dashboard, log in, navigate to your Worker, and click on the Logs tab. You can then start a log stream via the default view.

Improving Worker Tail scalability

If you’re using the Wrangler CLI, you can start a new Tail by running wrangler tail.

Beyond Worker tail

While we're excited for tail to be able to reach new limits and scale, we also recognize users may want to go beyond the live logs provided by Tail.

For example, if you’d like to push log events to additional destinations for a historical view of your application’s performance, we offer Logpush. If you’d like more insight into and control over log messages and events themselves, we offer Tail Workers.

These products, and others, can be read about in our Logs documentation. All of them are available for use today.

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Sven Sauleau original http://blog.cloudflare.com/wasm-coredumps/

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

A clear sign of maturing for any new programming language or environment is how easy and efficient debugging them is. Programming, like any other complex task, involves various challenges and potential pitfalls. Logic errors, off-by-ones, null pointer dereferences, and memory leaks are some examples of things that can make software developers desperate if they can't pinpoint and fix these issues quickly as part of their workflows and tools.

WebAssembly (Wasm) is a binary instruction format designed to be a portable and efficient target for the compilation of high-level languages like Rust, C, C++, and others. In recent years, it has gained significant traction for building high-performance applications in web and serverless environments.

Cloudflare Workers has had first-party support for Rust and Wasm for quite some time. We've been using this powerful combination to bootstrap and build some of our most recent services, like D1, Constellation, and Signed Exchanges, to name a few.

Using tools like Wrangler, our command-line tool for building with Cloudflare developer products, makes streaming real-time logs from our applications running remotely easy. Still, to be honest, debugging Rust and Wasm with Cloudflare Workers involves a lot of the good old time-consuming and nerve-wracking printf'ing strategy.

What if there’s a better way? This blog is about enabling and using Wasm core dumps and how you can easily debug Rust in Cloudflare Workers.

What are core dumps?

In computing, a core dump consists of the recorded state of the working memory of a computer program at a specific time, generally when the program has crashed or otherwise terminated abnormally. They also add things like the processor registers, stack pointer, program counter, and other information that may be relevant to fully understanding why the program crashed.

In most cases, depending on the system’s configuration, core dumps are usually initiated by the operating system in response to a program crash. You can then use a debugger like gdb to examine what happened and hopefully determine the cause of a crash. gdb allows you to run the executable to try to replicate the crash in a more controlled environment, inspecting the variables, and much more. The Windows' equivalent of a core dump is a minidump. Other mature languages that are interpreted, like Python, or languages that run inside a virtual machine, like Java, also have their ways of generating core dumps for post-mortem analysis.

Core dumps are particularly useful for post-mortem debugging, determining the conditions that lead to a failure after it has occurred.

WebAssembly core dumps

WebAssembly has had a proposal for implementing core dumps in discussion for a while. It's a work-in-progress experimental specification, but it provides basic support for the main ideas of post-mortem debugging, including using the DWARF (debugging with attributed record formats) debug format, the same that Linux and gdb use. Some of the most popular Wasm runtimes, like Wasmtime and Wasmer, have experimental flags that you can enable and start playing with Wasm core dumps today.

If you run Wasmtime or Wasmer with the flag:

--coredump-on-trap=/path/to/coredump/file

The core dump file will be emitted at that location path if a crash happens. You can then use tools like wasmgdb to inspect the file and debug the crash.

But let's dig into how the core dumps are generated in WebAssembly, and what’s inside them.

How are Wasm core dumps generated

(and what’s inside them)

When WebAssembly terminates execution due to abnormal behavior, we say that it entered a trap. With Rust, examples of operations that can trap are accessing out-of-bounds addresses or a division by zero arithmetic call. You can read about the security model of WebAssembly to learn more about traps.

The core dump specification plugs into the trap workflow. When WebAssembly crashes and enters a trap, core dumping support kicks in and starts unwinding the call stack gathering debugging information. For each frame in the stack, it collects the function parameters and the values stored in locals and in the stack, along with binary offsets that help us map to exact locations in the source code. Finally, it snapshots the memory and captures information like the tables and the global variables.

DWARF is used by many mature languages like C, C++, Rust, Java, or Go. By emitting DWARF information into the binary at compile time a debugger can provide information such as the source name and the line number where the exception occurred, function and argument names, and more. Without DWARF, the core dumps would be just pure assembly code without any contextual information or metadata related to the source code that generated it before compilation, and they would be much harder to debug.

WebAssembly uses a (lighter) version of DWARF that maps functions, or a module and local variables, to their names in the source code (you can read about the WebAssembly name section for more information), and naturally core dumps use this information.

All this information for debugging is then bundled together and saved to the file, the core dump file.

The core dump structure has multiple sections, but the most important are:

  • General information about the process;
  • The threads and their stack frames (note that WebAssembly is single threaded in Cloudflare Workers);
  • A snapshot of the WebAssembly linear memory or only the relevant regions;
  • Optionally, other sections like globals, data, or table.

Here’s the thread definition from the core dump specification:

corestack   ::= customsec(thread-info vec(frame))
thread-info ::= 0x0 thread-name:name ...
frame       ::= 0x0 ... funcidx:u32 codeoffset:u32 locals:vec(value)
                stack:vec(value)

A thread is a custom section called corestack. A corestack section contains the thread name and a vector (or array) of frames. Each frame contains the function index in the WebAssembly module (funcidx), the code offset relative to the function's start (codeoffset), the list of locals, and the list of values in the stack.

Values are defined as follows:

value ::= 0x01       => ∅
        | 0x7F n:i32 => n
        | 0x7E n:i64 => n
        | 0x7D n:f32 => n
        | 0x7C n:f64 => n

At the time of this writing these are the possible numbers types in a value. Again, we wanted to describe the basics; you should track the full specification to get more detail or find information about future changes. WebAssembly core dump support is in its early stages of specification and implementation, things will get better, things might change.

This is all great news. Unfortunately, however, the Cloudflare Workers runtime doesn’t support WebAssembly core dumps yet. There is no technical impediment to adding this feature to workerd; after all, it's based on V8, but since it powers a critical part of our production infrastructure and products, we tend to be conservative when it comes to adding specifications or standards that are still considered experimental and still going through the definitions phase.

So, how do we get core Wasm dumps in Cloudflare Workers today?

Polyfilling

Polyfilling means using userland code to provide modern functionality in older environments that do not natively support it. Polyfills are widely popular in the JavaScript community and the browser environment; they've been used extensively to address issues where browser vendors still didn't catch up with the latest standards, or when they implement the same features in different ways, or address cases where old browsers can never support a new standard.

Meet wasm-coredump-rewriter, a tool that you can use to rewrite a Wasm module and inject the core dump runtime functionality in the binary. This runtime code will catch most traps (exceptions in host functions are not yet catched and memory violation not by default) and generate a standard core dump file. To some degree, this is similar to how Binaryen's Asyncify works.

Let’s look at code and see how this works. He’s some simple pseudo code:

export function entry(v1, v2) {
    return addTwo(v1, v2)
}

function addTwo(v1, v2) {
  res = v1 + v2;
  throw "something went wrong";

  return res
}

An imaginary compiler could take that source and generate the following Wasm binary code:

  (func $entry (param i32 i32) (result i32)
    (local.get 0)
    (local.get 1)
    (call $addTwo)
  )

  (func $addTwo (param i32 i32) (result i32)
    (local.get 0)
    (local.get 1)
    (i32.add)
    (unreachable) ;; something went wrong
  )

  (export "entry" (func $entry))

“;;” is used to denote a comment.

entry() is the Wasm function exported to the host. In an environment like the browser, JavaScript (being the host) can call entry().

Irrelevant parts of the code have been snipped for brevity, but this is what the Wasm code will look like after wasm-coredump-rewriter rewrites it:

  (func $entry (type 0) (param i32 i32) (result i32)
    ...
    local.get 0
    local.get 1
    call $addTwo ;; see the addTwo function bellow
    global.get 2 ;; is unwinding?
    if  ;; label = @1
      i32.const x ;; code offset
      i32.const 0 ;; function index
      i32.const 2 ;; local_count
      call $coredump/start_frame
      local.get 0
      call $coredump/add_i32_local
      local.get 1
      call $coredump/add_i32_local
      ...
      call $coredump/write_coredump
      unreachable
    end)

  (func $addTwo (type 0) (param i32 i32) (result i32)
    local.get 0
    local.get 1
    i32.add
    ;; the unreachable instruction was here before
    call $coredump/unreachable_shim
    i32.const 1 ;; funcidx
    i32.const 2 ;; local_count
    call $coredump/start_frame
    local.get 0
    call $coredump/add_i32_local
    local.get 1
    call $coredump/add_i32_local
    ...
    return)

  (export "entry" (func $entry))

As you can see, a few things changed:

  1. The (unreachable) instruction in addTwo() was replaced by a call to $coredump/unreachable_shim which starts the unwinding process. Then, the location and debugging data is captured, and the function returns normally to the entry() caller.
  2. Code has been added after the addTwo() call instruction in entry() that detects if we have an unwinding process in progress or not. If we do, then it also captures the local debugging data, writes the core dump file and then, finally, moves to the unconditional trap unreachable.

In short, we unwind until the host function entry() gets destroyed by calling unreachable.

Let’s go over the runtime functions that we inject for more clarity, stay with us:

  • $coredump/start_frame(funcidx, local_count) starts a new frame in the coredump.
  • $coredump/add_*_local(value) captures the values of function arguments and in locals (currently capturing values from the stack isn’t implemented.)
  • $coredump/write_coredump is used at the end and writes the core dump in memory. We take advantage of the first 1 KiB of the Wasm linear memory, which is unused, to store our core dump.

A diagram is worth a thousand words:

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

Wait, what’s this about the first 1 KiB of the memory being unused, you ask? Well, it turns out that most WebAssembly linters and tools, including Emscripten and WebAssembly’s LLVM don’t use the first 1 KiB of memory. Rust and Zig also use LLVM, but they changed the default. This isn’t pretty, but the hugely popular Asyncify polyfill relies on the same trick, so there’s reasonable support until we find a better way.

But we digress, let’s continue. After the crash, the host, typically JavaScript in the browser, can now catch the exception and extract the core dump from the Wasm instance’s memory:

try {
    wasmInstance.exports.someExportedFunction();
} catch(err) {
    const image = new Uint8Array(wasmInstance.exports.memory.buffer);
    writeFile("coredump." + Date.now(), image);
}

If you're curious about the actual details of the core dump implementation, you can find the source code here. It was written in AssemblyScript, a TypeScript-like language for WebAssembly.

This is how we use the polyfilling technique to implement Wasm core dumps when the runtime doesn’t support them yet. Interestingly, some Wasm runtimes, being optimizing compilers, are likely to make debugging more difficult because function arguments, locals, or functions themselves can be optimized away. Polyfilling or rewriting the binary could actually preserve more source-level information for debugging.

You might be asking what about performance? We did some testing and found that the impact is negligible; the cost-benefit of being able to debug our crashes is positive. Also, you can easily turn wasm core dumps on or off for specific builds or environments; deciding when you need them is up to you.

Debugging from a core dump

We now know how to generate a core dump, but how do we use it to diagnose and debug a software crash?

Similarly to gdb (GNU Project Debugger) on Linux, wasmgdb is the tool you can use to parse and make sense of core dumps in WebAssembly; it understands the file structure, uses DWARF to provide naming and contextual information, and offers interactive commands to navigate the data. To exemplify how it works, wasmgdb has a demo of a Rust application that deliberately crashes; we will use it.

Let's imagine that our Wasm program crashed, wrote a core dump file, and we want to debug it.

$ wasmgdb source-program.wasm /path/to/coredump
wasmgdb>

When you fire wasmgdb, you enter a REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) interface, and you can start typing commands. The tool tries to mimic the gdb command syntax; you can find the list here.

Let's examine the backtrace using the bt command:

wasmgdb> bt
#18     000137 as __rust_start_panic () at library/panic_abort/src/lib.rs
#17     000129 as rust_panic () at library/std/src/panicking.rs
#16     000128 as rust_panic_with_hook () at library/std/src/panicking.rs
#15     000117 as {closure#0} () at library/std/src/panicking.rs
#14     000116 as __rust_end_short_backtrace<std::panicking::begin_panic_handler::{closure_env#0}, !> () at library/std/src/sys_common/backtrace.rs
#13     000123 as begin_panic_handler () at library/std/src/panicking.rs
#12     000194 as panic_fmt () at library/core/src/panicking.rs
#11     000198 as panic () at library/core/src/panicking.rs
#10     000012 as calculate (value=0x03000000) at src/main.rs
#9      000011 as process_thing (thing=0x2cff0f00) at src/main.rs
#8      000010 as main () at src/main.rs
#7      000008 as call_once<fn(), ()> (???=0x01000000, ???=0x00000000) at /rustc/b833ad56f46a0bbe0e8729512812a161e7dae28a/library/core/src/ops/function.rs
#6      000020 as __rust_begin_short_backtrace<fn(), ()> (f=0x01000000) at /rustc/b833ad56f46a0bbe0e8729512812a161e7dae28a/library/std/src/sys_common/backtrace.rs
#5      000016 as {closure#0}<()> () at /rustc/b833ad56f46a0bbe0e8729512812a161e7dae28a/library/std/src/rt.rs
#4      000077 as lang_start_internal () at library/std/src/rt.rs
#3      000015 as lang_start<()> (main=0x01000000, argc=0x00000000, argv=0x00000000, sigpipe=0x00620000) at /rustc/b833ad56f46a0bbe0e8729512812a161e7dae28a/library/std/src/rt.rs
#2      000013 as __original_main () at <directory not found>/<file not found>
#1      000005 as _start () at <directory not found>/<file not found>
#0      000264 as _start.command_export at <no location>

Each line represents a frame from the program's call stack; see frame #3:

#3      000015 as lang_start<()> (main=0x01000000, argc=0x00000000, argv=0x00000000, sigpipe=0x00620000) at /rustc/b833ad56f46a0bbe0e8729512812a161e7dae28a/library/std/src/rt.rs

You can read the funcidx, function name, arguments names and values and source location are all present. Let's select frame #9 now and inspect the locals, which include the function arguments:

wasmgdb> f 9
000011 as process_thing (thing=0x2cff0f00) at src/main.rs
wasmgdb> info locals
thing: *MyThing = 0xfff1c

Let’s use the p command to inspect the content of the thing argument:

wasmgdb> p (*thing)
thing (0xfff2c): MyThing = {
    value (0xfff2c): usize = 0x00000003
}

You can also use the p command to inspect the value of the variable, which can be useful for nested structures:

wasmgdb> p (*thing)->value
value (0xfff2c): usize = 0x00000003

And you can use p to inspect memory addresses. Let’s point at 0xfff2c, the start of the MyThing structure, and inspect:

wasmgdb> p (MyThing) 0xfff2c
0xfff2c (0xfff2c): MyThing = {
    value (0xfff2c): usize = 0x00000003
}

All this information in every step of the stack is very helpful to determine the cause of a crash. In our test case, if you look at frame #10, we triggered an integer overflow. Once you get comfortable walking through wasmgdb and using its commands to inspect the data, debugging core dumps will be another powerful skill under your belt.

Tidying up everything in Cloudflare Workers

We learned about core dumps and how they work, and we know how to make Cloudflare Workers generate them using the wasm-coredump-rewriter polyfill, but how does all this work in practice end to end?

We've been dogfooding the technique described in this blog at Cloudflare for a while now. Wasm core dumps have been invaluable in helping us debug Rust-based services running on top of Cloudflare Workers like D1, Privacy Edge, AMP, or Constellation.

Today we're open-sourcing the Wasm Coredump Service and enabling anyone to deploy it. This service collects the Wasm core dumps originating from your projects and applications when they crash, parses them, prints an exception with the stack information in the logs, and can optionally store the full core dump in a file in an R2 bucket (which you can then use with wasmgdb) or send the exception to Sentry.

We use a service binding to facilitate the communication between your application Worker and the Coredump service Worker. A Service binding allows you to send HTTP requests to another Worker without those requests going over the Internet, thus avoiding network latency or having to deal with authentication. Here’s a diagram of how it works:

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

Using it is as simple as npm/yarn installing @cloudflare/wasm-coredump, configuring a few options, and then adding a few lines of code to your other applications running in Cloudflare Workers, in the exception handling logic:

import shim, { getMemory, wasmModule } from "../build/worker/shim.mjs"

const timeoutSecs = 20;

async function fetch(request, env, ctx) {
    try {
        // see https://github.com/rustwasm/wasm-bindgen/issues/2724.
        return await Promise.race([
            shim.fetch(request, env, ctx),
            new Promise((r, e) => setTimeout(() => e("timeout"), timeoutSecs * 1000))
        ]);
    } catch (err) {
      const memory = getMemory();
      const coredumpService = env.COREDUMP_SERVICE;
      await recordCoredump({ memory, wasmModule, request, coredumpService });
      throw err;
    }
}

The ../build/worker/shim.mjs import comes from the worker-build tool, from the workers-rs packages and is automatically generated when wrangler builds your Rust-based Cloudflare Workers project. If the Wasm throws an exception, we catch it, extract the core dump from memory, and send it to our Core dump service.

You might have noticed that we race the workers-rs shim.fetch() entry point with another Promise to generate a timeout exception if the Rust code doesn't respond earlier. This is because currently, wasm-bindgen, which generates the glue between the JavaScript and Rust land, used by workers-rs, has an issue where a Promise might not be rejected if Rust panics asynchronously (leading to the Worker runtime killing the worker with “Error: The script will never generate a response”.). This can block the wasm-coredump code and make the core dump generation flaky.

We are working to improve this, but in the meantime, make sure to adjust timeoutSecs to something slightly bigger than the typical response time of your application.

Here’s an example of a Wasm core dump exception in Sentry:

Wasm core dumps and debugging Rust in Cloudflare Workers

You can find a working example, the Sentry and R2 configuration options, and more details in the @cloudflare/wasm-coredump GitHub repository.

Too big to fail

It's worth mentioning one corner case of this debugging technique and the solution: sometimes your codebase is so big that adding core dump and DWARF debugging information might result in a Wasm binary that is too big to fit in a Cloudflare Worker. Well, worry not; we have a solution for that too.

Fortunately the DWARF for WebAssembly specification also supports external DWARF files. To make this work, we have a tool called debuginfo-split that you can add to the build command in the wrangler.toml configuration:

command = "... && debuginfo-split ./build/worker/index.wasm"

What this does is it strips the debugging information from the Wasm binary, and writes it to a new separate file called debug-{UUID}.wasm. You then need to upload this file to the same R2 bucket used by the Wasm Coredump Service (you can automate this as part of your CI or build scripts). The same UUID is also injected into the main Wasm binary; this allows us to correlate the Wasm binary with its corresponding DWARF debugging information. Problem solved.

Binaries without DWARF information can be significantly smaller. Here’s our example:

4.5 MiB debug-63372dbe-41e6-447d-9c2e-e37b98e4c656.wasm
313 KiB build/worker/index.wasm

Final words

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as we did writing it and that it can help you take your Wasm debugging journeys, using Cloudflare Workers or not, to another level.

Note that while the examples used here were around using Rust and WebAssembly because that's a common pattern, you can use the same techniques if you're compiling WebAssembly from other languages like C or C++.

Also, note that the WebAssembly core dump standard is a hot topic, and its implementations and adoption are evolving quickly. We will continue improving the wasm-coredump-rewriter, debuginfo-split, and wasmgdb tools and the wasm-coredump service. More and more runtimes, including V8, will eventually support core dumps natively, thus eliminating the need to use polyfills, and the tooling, in general, will get better; that's a certainty. For now, we present you with a solution that works today, and we have strong incentives to keep supporting it.

As usual, you can talk to us on our Developers Discord or the Community forum or open issues or PRs in our GitHub repositories; the team will be listening.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

Post Syndicated from Emilie Ma original http://blog.cloudflare.com/debug-queues-from-dash/

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

Today, August 11, 2023, we are excited to announce a new debugging workflow for Cloudflare Queues. Customers using Cloudflare Queues can now send, list, and acknowledge messages directly from the Cloudflare dashboard, enabling a more user-friendly way to interact with Queues. Though it can be difficult to debug asynchronous systems, it’s now easy to examine a queue’s state and test the full flow of information through a queue.

With guaranteed delivery, message batching, consumer concurrency, and more, Cloudflare Queues is a powerful tool to connect services reliably and efficiently. Queues integrate deeply with the existing Cloudflare Workers ecosystem, so developers can also leverage our many other products and services. Queues can be bound to producer Workers, which allow Workers to send messages to a queue, and to consumer Workers, which pull messages from the queue.

We’ve received feedback that while Queues are effective and performant, customers find it hard to debug them. After a message is sent to a queue from a producer worker, there’s no way to inspect the queue’s contents without a consumer worker. The limited transparency was frustrating, and the need to write a skeleton worker just to debug a queue was high-friction.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

Now, with the addition of new features to send, list, and acknowledge messages in the Cloudflare dashboard, we’ve unlocked a much simpler debugging workflow. You can send messages from the Cloudflare dashboard to check if their consumer worker is processing messages as expected, and verify their producer worker’s output by previewing messages from the Cloudflare dashboard.

The pipeline of messages through a queue is now more open and easily examined. Users just getting started with Cloudflare Queues also no longer have to write code to send their first message: it’s as easy as clicking a button in the Cloudflare dashboard.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

Sending messages

Both features are located in a new Messages tab on any queue’s page. Scroll to Send message to open the message editor.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

From here, you can write a message and click Send message to send it to your queue. You can also choose to send JSON, which opens a JSON editor with syntax highlighting and formatting. If you’ve saved your message as a file locally, you can drag-and-drop the file over the textbox or click Upload a file to send it as well.

This feature makes testing changes in a queue’s consumer worker much easier. Instead of modifying an existing producer worker or creating a new one, you can send one-off messages. You can also easily verify if your queue consumer settings are behaving as expected: send a few messages from the Cloudflare dashboard to check that messages are batched as desired.

Behind the scenes, this feature leverages the same pipeline that Cloudflare Workers uses to send messages, so you can be confident that your message will be processed as if sent via a Worker.

Listing messages

On the same page, you can also inspect the messages you just sent from the Cloudflare dashboard. On any queue’s page, open the Messages tab and scroll to Queued messages.

If you have a consumer attached to your queue, you’ll fetch a batch of messages of the same size as configured in your queue consumer settings by default, to provide a realistic view of what would be sent to your consumer worker. You can change this value to preview messages one-at-a-time or even in much larger batches than would be normally sent to your consumer.

After fetching a batch of messages, you can preview the message’s body, even if you’ve sent raw bytes or a JavaScript object supported by the structured clone algorithm. You can also check the message’s timestamp; number of retries; producer source, such as a Worker or the Cloudflare dashboard; and type, such as text or JSON. This information can help you debug the queue’s current state and inspect where and when messages originated from.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

The batch of messages that’s returned is the same batch that would be sent to your consumer Worker on its next run. Messages are even guaranteed to be in the same order on the UI as sent to your consumer. This feature grants you a looking glass view into your queue, matching the exact behavior of a consumer worker. This works especially well for debugging messages sent by producer workers and verifying queue consumer settings.

Listing messages from the Cloudflare dashboard also doesn’t interfere with an existing connected consumer. Messages that are previewed from the Cloudflare dashboard stay in the queue and do not have their number of retries affected.

This ‘peek’ functionality is unique to Cloudflare Queues: Amazon SQS bumps the number of retries when a message is viewed, and RabbitMQ retries the message, forcing it to the back of the queue. Cloudflare Queues’ approach means that previewing messages does not have any unintended side effects on your queue and your consumer. If you ever need to debug queues used in production, don’t worry – listing messages is entirely safe.

As well, you can now remove messages from your queue from the Cloudflare dashboard. If you’d like to remove a message or clear the full batch from the queue, you can select messages to acknowledge. This is useful for preventing buggy messages from being repeatedly retried without having to write a dummy consumer.

Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages
Debug Queues from the dash: send, list, and ack messages

You might have noticed that this message preview feature operates similarly to another popular feature request for an HTTP API to pull batches of messages from a queue. Customers will be able to make a request to the API endpoint to receive a batch of messages, then acknowledge the batch to remove the messages from the queue. Under the hood, both listing messages from the Cloudflare dashboard and HTTP Pull/Ack use a common infrastructure, and HTTP Pull/Ack is coming very soon!

These debugging features have already been invaluable for testing example applications we’ve built on Cloudflare Queues. At an internal hack week event, we built a web crawler with Queues as an example use-case (check out the tutorial here!). During development, we took advantage of this user-friendly way to send messages to quickly iterate on a consumer worker before we built a producer worker. As well, when we encountered bugs in our consumer worker, the message previews were handy to realize we were sending malformed messages, and the message acknowledgement feature gave us an easy way to remove them from the queue.

New Queues debugging features — available today!

The Cloudflare dashboard features announced today provide more transparency into your application and enable more user-friendly debugging.

All Cloudflare Queues customers now have access to these new debugging tools. And if you’re not already using Queues, you can join the Queues Open Beta by enabling Cloudflare Queues here.
Get started on Cloudflare Queues with our guide and create your next app with us today! Your first message is a single click away.

Hardening Workers KV

Post Syndicated from Matt Silverlock original http://blog.cloudflare.com/workers-kv-restoring-reliability/

Hardening Workers KV

Hardening Workers KV

Over the last couple of months, Workers KV has suffered from a series of incidents, culminating in three back-to-back incidents during the week of July 17th, 2023. These incidents have directly impacted customers that rely on KV — and this isn’t good enough.

We’re going to share the work we have done to understand why KV has had such a spate of incidents and, more importantly, share in depth what we’re doing to dramatically improve how we deploy changes to KV going forward.

Workers KV?

Workers KV — or just “KV” — is a key-value service for storing data: specifically, data with high read throughput requirements. It’s especially useful for user configuration, service routing, small assets and/or authentication data.

We use KV extensively inside Cloudflare too, with Cloudflare Access (part of our Zero Trust suite) and Cloudflare Pages being some of our highest profile internal customers. Both teams benefit from KV’s ability to keep regularly accessed key-value pairs close to where they’re accessed, as well its ability to scale out horizontally without any need to become an expert in operating KV.

Given Cloudflare’s extensive use of KV, it wasn’t just external customers impacted. Our own internal teams felt the pain of these incidents, too.

The summary of the post-mortem

Back in June 2023, we announced the move to a new architecture for KV, which is designed to address two major points of customer feedback we’ve had around KV: high latency for infrequently accessed keys (or a key accessed in different regions), and working to ensure the upper bound on KV’s eventual consistency model for writes is 60 seconds — not “mostly 60 seconds”.

At the time of the blog, we’d already been testing this internally, including early access with our community champions and running a small % of production traffic to validate stability and performance expectations beyond what we could emulate within a staging environment.

However, in the weeks between mid-June and culminating in the series of incidents during the week of July 17th, we would continue to increase the volume of new traffic onto the new architecture. When we did this, we would encounter previously unseen problems (many of these customer-impacting) — then immediately roll back, fix bugs, and repeat. Internally, we’d begun to identify that this pattern was becoming unsustainable — each attempt to cut traffic onto the new architecture would surface errors or behaviors we hadn’t seen before and couldn’t immediately explain, and thus we would roll back and assess.

The issues at the root of this series of incidents proved to be significantly challenging to track and observe. Once identified, the two causes themselves proved to be quick to fix, but an (1) observability gap in our error reporting and (2) a mutation to local state that resulted in an unexpected mutation of global state were both hard to observe and reproduce over the days following the customer-facing impact ending.

The detail

One important piece of context to understand before we go into detail on the post-mortem: Workers KV is composed of two separate Workers scripts – internally referred to as the Storage Gateway Worker and SuperCache. SuperCache is an optional path in the Storage Gateway Worker workflow, and is the basis for KV's new (faster) backend (refer to the blog).

Here is a timeline of events:

Time Description
2023-07-17 21:52 UTC Cloudflare observes alerts showing 500 HTTP status codes in the MEL01 data-center (Melbourne, AU) and begins investigating.
We also begin to see a small set of customers reporting HTTP 500s being returned via multiple channels. It is not immediately clear if this is a data-center-wide issue or KV specific, as there had not been a recent KV deployment, and the issue directly correlated with three data-centers being brought back online.
2023-07-18 00:09 UTC We disable the new backend for KV in MEL01 in an attempt to mitigate the issue (noting that there had not been a recent deployment or change to the % of users on the new backend).
2023-07-18 05:42 UTC Investigating alerts showing 500 HTTP status codes in VIE02 (Vienna, AT) and JNB01 (Johannesburg, SA).
2023-07-18 13:51 UTC The new backend is disabled globally after seeing issues in VIE02 (Vienna, AT) and JNB01 (Johannesburg, SA) data-centers, similar to MEL01. In both cases, they had also recently come back online after maintenance, but it remained unclear as to why KV was failing.
2023-07-20 19:12 UTC The new backend is inadvertently re-enabled while deploying the update due to a misconfiguration in a deployment script.
2023-07-20 19:33 UTC The new backend is (re-) disabled globally as HTTP 500 errors return.
2023-07-20 23:46 UTC Broken Workers script pipeline deployed as part of gradual rollout due to incorrectly defined pipeline configuration in the deployment script.
Metrics begin to report that a subset of traffic is being black-holed.
2023-07-20 23:56 UTC Broken pipeline rolled back; errors rates return to pre-incident (normal) levels.

All timestamps referenced are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

We initially observed alerts showing 500 HTTP status codes in the MEL01 data-center (Melbourne, AU) at 21:52 UTC on July 17th, and began investigating. We also received reports from a small set of customers reporting HTTP 500s being returned via multiple channels. This correlated with three data centers being brought back online, and it was not immediately clear if it related to the data centers or was KV-specific — especially given there had not been a recent KV deployment. On 05:42, we began investigating alerts showing 500 HTTP status codes in VIE02 (Vienna) and JNB02 (Johannesburg) data-centers; while both had recently come back online after maintenance, it was still unclear why KV was failing. At 13:51 UTC, we made the decision to disable the new backend globally.

Following the incident on July 18th, we attempted to deploy an allow-list configuration to reduce the scope of impacted accounts. However, while attempting to roll out a change for the Storage Gateway Worker at 19:12 UTC on July 20th, an older configuration was progressed causing the new backend to be enabled again, leading to the third event. As the team worked to fix this and deploy this configuration, they attempted to manually progress the deployment at 23:46 UTC, which resulted in the passing of a malformed configuration value that caused traffic to be sent to an invalid Workers script configuration.

After all deployments and the broken Workers configuration (pipeline) had been rolled back at 23:56 on the 20th July, we spent the following three days working to identify the root cause of the issue. We lacked observability as KV's Worker script (responsible for much of KV's logic) was throwing an unhandled exception very early on in the request handling process. This was further exacerbated by prior work to disable error reporting in a disabled data-center due to the noise generated, which had previously resulted in logs being rate-limited upstream from our service.

This previous mitigation prevented us from capturing meaningful logs from the Worker, including identifying the exception itself, as an uncaught exception terminates request processing. This has raised the priority of improving how unhandled exceptions are reported and surfaced in a Worker (see Recommendations, below, for further details). This issue was exacerbated by the fact that KV's Worker script would fail to re-enter its "healthy" state when a Cloudflare data center was brought back online, as the Worker was mutating an environment variable perceived to be in request scope, but that was in global scope and persisted across requests. This effectively left the Worker “frozen” with the previous, invalid configuration for the affected locations.

Further, the introduction of a new progressive release process for Workers KV, designed to de-risk rollouts (as an action from a prior incident), prolonged the incident. We found a bug in the deployment logic that led to a broader outage due to an incorrectly defined configuration.

This configuration effectively caused us to drop a single-digit % of traffic until it was rolled back 10 minutes later. This code is untested at scale, and we need to spend more time hardening it before using it as the default path in production.

Additionally: although the root cause of the incidents was limited to three Cloudflare data-centers (Melbourne, Vienna, and Johannesburg), traffic across these regions still uses these data centers to route reads and writes to our system of record. Because these three data centers participate in KV’s new backend as regional tiers, a portion of traffic across the Oceania, Europe, and African regions was affected. Only a portion of keys from enrolled namespaces use any given data center as a regional tier in order to limit a single (regional) point of failure, so while traffic across all data centers in the region was impacted, nowhere was all traffic in a given data center affected.

We estimated the affected traffic to be 0.2-0.5% of KV's global traffic (based on our error reporting), however we observed some customers with error rates approaching 20% of their total KV operations. The impact was spread across KV namespaces and keys for customers within the scope of this incident.

Both KV’s high total traffic volume and its role as a critical dependency for many customers amplify the impact of even small error rates. In all cases, once the changes were rolled back, errors returned to normal levels and did not persist.

Thinking about risks in building software

Before we dive into what we’re doing to significantly improve how we build, test, deploy and observe Workers KV going forward, we think there are lessons from the real world that can equally apply to how we improve the safety factor of the software we ship.

In traditional engineering and construction, there is an extremely common procedure known as a   “JSEA”, or Job Safety and Environmental Analysis (sometimes just “JSA”). A JSEA is designed to help you iterate through a list of tasks, the potential hazards, and most importantly, the controls that will be applied to prevent those hazards from damaging equipment, injuring people, or worse.

One of the most critical concepts is the “hierarchy of controls” — that is, what controls should be applied to mitigate these hazards. In most practices, these are elimination, substitution, engineering, administration and personal protective equipment. Elimination and substitution are fairly self-explanatory: is there a different way to achieve this goal? Can we eliminate that task completely? Engineering and administration ask us whether there is additional engineering work, such as changing the placement of a panel, or using a horizontal boring machine to lay an underground pipe vs. opening up a trench that people can fall into.

The last and lowest on the hierarchy, is personal protective equipment (PPE). A hard hat can protect you from severe injury from something falling from above, but it’s a last resort, and it certainly isn’t guaranteed. In engineering practice, any hazard that only lists PPE as a mitigating factor is unsatisfactory: there must be additional controls in place. For example, instead of only wearing a hard hat, we should engineer the floor of scaffolding so that large objects (such as a wrench) cannot fall through in the first place. Further, if we require that all tools are attached to the wearer, then it significantly reduces the chance the tool can be dropped in the first place. These controls ensure that there are multiple degrees of mitigation — defense in depth — before your hard hat has to come into play.

Coming back to software, we can draw parallels between these controls: engineering can be likened to improving automation, gradual rollouts, and detailed metrics. Similarly, personal protective equipment can be likened to code review: useful, but code review cannot be the only thing protecting you from shipping bugs or untested code. Automation with linters, more robust testing, and new metrics are all vastly safer ways of shipping software.

As we spent time assessing where to improve our existing controls and how to put new controls in place to mitigate risks and improve the reliability (safety) of Workers KV, we took a similar approach: eliminating unnecessary changes, engineering more resilience into our codebase, automation, deployment tooling, and only then looking at human processes.

How we plan to get better

Cloudflare is undertaking a larger, more structured review of KV's observability tooling, release infrastructure and processes to mitigate not only the contributing factors to the incidents within this report, but recent incidents related to KV. Critically, we see tooling and automation as the most powerful mechanisms for preventing incidents, with process improvements designed to provide an additional layer of protection. Process improvements alone cannot be the only mitigation.

Specifically, we have identified and prioritized the below efforts as the most important next steps towards meeting our own availability SLOs, and (above all) make KV a service that customers building on Workers can rely on for storing configuration and service data in the hot path of their traffic:

  • Substantially improve the existing observability tooling for unhandled exceptions, both for internal teams and customers building on Workers. This is especially critical for high-volume services, where traditional logging alone can be too noisy (and not specific enough) to aid in tracking down these cases. The existing ongoing work to land this will be prioritized further. In the meantime, we have directly addressed the specific uncaught exception with KV's primary Worker script.
  • Improve the safety around the mutation of environmental variables in a Worker, which currently operate at "global" (per-isolate) scope, but can appear to be per-request. Mutating an environmental variable in request scope mutates the value for all requests transiting that same isolate (in a given location), which can be unexpected. Changes here will need to take backwards compatibility in mind.
  • Continue to expand KV’s test coverage to better address the above issues, in parallel with the aforementioned observability and tooling improvements, as an additional layer of defense. This includes allowing our test infrastructure to simulate traffic from any source data-center, which would have allowed us to more quickly reproduce the issue and identify a root cause.
  • Improvements to our release process, including how KV changes and releases are reviewed and approved, going forward. We will enforce a higher level of scrutiny for future changes, and where possible, reduce the number of changes deployed at once. This includes taking on new infrastructure dependencies, which will have a higher bar for both design and testing.
  • Additional logging improvements, including sampling, throughout our request handling process to improve troubleshooting & debugging. A significant amount of the challenge related to these incidents was due to the lack of logging around specific requests (especially non-2xx requests)
  • Review and, where applicable, improve alerting thresholds surrounding error rates. As mentioned previously in this report, sub-% error rates at a global scale can have severe negative impact on specific users and/or locations: ensuring that errors are caught and not lost in the noise is an ongoing effort.
  • Address maturity issues with our progressive deployment tooling for Workers, which is net-new (and will eventually be exposed to customers directly).

This is not an exhaustive list: we're continuing to expand on preventative measures associated with these and other incidents. These changes will not only improve KVs reliability, but other services across Cloudflare that KV relies on, or that rely on KV.

We recognize that KV hasn’t lived up to our customers’ expectations recently. Because we rely on KV so heavily internally, we’ve felt that pain first hand as well. The work to fix the issues that led to this cycle of incidents is already underway. That work will not only improve KV’s reliability but also improve the reliability of any software written on the Cloudflare Workers developer platform, whether by our customers or by ourselves.

Cloudflare Workers database integration with Upstash

Post Syndicated from Joaquin Gimenez original http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-workers-database-integration-with-upstash/

Cloudflare Workers database integration with Upstash

Cloudflare Workers database integration with Upstash

During Developer Week we announced Database Integrations on Workers  a new and seamless way to connect with some of the most popular databases. You select the provider, authorize through an OAuth2 flow and automatically get the right configuration stored as encrypted environment variables to your Worker.

Today we are thrilled to announce that we have been working with Upstash to expand our integrations catalog. We are now offering three new integrations: Upstash Redis, Upstash Kafka and Upstash QStash. These integrations allow our customers to unlock new capabilities on Workers. Providing them with a broader range of options to meet their specific requirements.

Add the integration

We are going to show the setup process using the Upstash Redis integration.

Select your Worker, go to the Settings tab, select the Integrations tab to see all the available integrations.

Cloudflare Workers database integration with Upstash

After selecting the Upstash Redis integration we will get the following page.

Cloudflare Workers database integration with Upstash

First, you need to review and grant permissions, so the Integration can add secrets to your Worker. Second, we need to connect to Upstash using the OAuth2 flow. Third, select the Redis database we want to use. Then, the Integration will fetch the right information to generate the credentials. Finally, click “Add Integration” and it's done! We can now use the credentials as environment variables on our Worker.

Implementation example

On this occasion we are going to use the CF-IPCountry  header to conditionally return a custom greeting message to visitors from Paraguay, United States, Great Britain and Netherlands. While returning a generic message to visitors from other countries.

To begin we are going to load the custom greeting messages using Upstash’s online CLI tool.

➜ set PY "Mba'ẽichapa 🇵🇾"
OK
➜ set US "How are you? 🇺🇸"
OK
➜ set GB "How do you do? 🇬🇧"
OK
➜ set NL "Hoe gaat het met u? 🇳🇱"
OK

We also need to install @upstash/redis package on our Worker before we upload the following code.

import { Redis } from '@upstash/redis/cloudflare'
 
export default {
  async fetch(request, env, ctx) {
    const country = request.headers.get("cf-ipcountry");
    const redis = Redis.fromEnv(env);
    if (country) {
      const localizedMessage = await redis.get(country);
      if (localizedMessage) {
        return new Response(localizedMessage);
      }
    }
    return new Response("👋👋 Hello there! 👋👋");
  },
};

Just like that we are returning a localized message from the Redis instance depending on the country which the request originated from. Furthermore, we have a couple ways to improve performance, for write heavy use cases we can use Smart Placement with no replicas, so the Worker code will be executed near the Redis instance provided by Upstash. Otherwise, creating a Global Database on Upstash to have multiple read replicas across regions will help.

Try it now

Upstash Redis, Kafka and QStash are now available for all users! Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to expand our Database Integrations catalog.

Cloudflare Zaraz steps up: general availability and new pricing

Post Syndicated from Yair Dovrat original http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-zaraz-steps-up-general-availability-and-new-pricing/

Cloudflare Zaraz steps up: general availability and new pricing

This post is also available in Deutsch, Français.

Cloudflare Zaraz has transitioned out of beta and is now generally available to all customers. It is included under the free, paid, and enterprise plans of the Cloudflare Developer Platform. Visit our docs to learn more on our different plans.

Cloudflare Zaraz steps up: general availability and new pricing

Zaraz Is part of Cloudflare Developer Platform

Cloudflare Zaraz is a solution that developers and marketers use to load third-party tools like Google Analytics 4, Facebook CAPI, TikTok, and others. With Zaraz, Cloudflare customers can easily transition to server-side data collection with just a few clicks, without the need to set up and maintain their own cloud environment or make additional changes to their website for installation. Server-side data collection, as facilitated by Zaraz, simplifies analytics reporting from the server rather than loading numerous JavaScript files on the user's browser. It's a rapidly growing trend due to browser limitations on using third-party solutions and cookies. The result is significantly faster websites, plus enhanced security and privacy on the web.

We've had Zaraz in beta mode for a year and a half now. Throughout this time, we've dedicated our efforts to meeting as many customers as we could, gathering feedback, and getting a deep understanding of our users' needs before addressing them. We've been shipping features at a high rate and have now reached a stage where our product is robust, flexible, and competitive. It also offers unique features not found elsewhere, thanks to being built on Cloudflare’s global network, such as Zaraz’s Worker Variables. We have cultivated a strong and vibrant discord community, and we have certified Zaraz developers ready to help anyone with implementation and configuration.

With more than 25,000 websites running Zaraz today – from personal sites to those of some of the world's biggest companies – we feel confident it's time to go out of beta, and introduce our new pricing system. We believe this pricing is not only generous to our customers, but also competitive and sustainable. We view this as the next logical step in our ongoing commitment to our customers, for whom we're building the future.

If you're building a web application, there's a good chance you've spent at least some time implementing third-party tools for analytics, marketing performance, conversion optimization, A/B testing, customer experience and more. Indeed, according to the Web Almanac report, 94% percent of mobile pages used at least one third-party solution in 2022, and third-party requests accounted for 45% of all requests made by websites. It's clear that third-party solutions are everywhere. They have become an integral part of how the web has evolved. Third-party tools are here to stay, and they require effective developer solutions. We are building Zaraz to help developers manage the third-party layer of their website properly.

Starting today, Cloudflare Zaraz is available to everyone for free under their Cloudflare dashboard, and the paid version of Zaraz is included in the Workers Paid plan. The Free plan is designed to meet the needs of most developers who want to use Zaraz for personal use cases. For a price starting at $5/month, customers of the Workers Paid plan can enjoy the extensive list of features that makes Zaraz powerful, deploy Zaraz on their professional projects, and utilize the pay-as-you-go system. This is in addition to everything else included in the Workers Paid plan. The Enterprise plan, on the other hand, addresses the needs of larger businesses looking to leverage our platform to its fullest potential.

How is Zaraz priced

Zaraz pricing is based on two components: Zaraz Loads and the set of features. A Zaraz Load is counted each time a web page loads the Zaraz script within it, and/or the Pageview trigger is being activated. For Single Page Applications, each URL navigation is counted as a new Zaraz Load. Under the Zaraz Monitoring dashboard, you can find a report showing how many Zaraz Loads your website has generated during a specific time period. Zaraz Loads and features are factored into our billing as follows:

Cloudflare Zaraz steps up: general availability and new pricing

Free plan

The Free Plan has a limit of 100,000 Zaraz Loads per month per account. This should allow almost everyone wanting to use Zaraz for personal use cases, like personal websites or side projects, to do so for free. After 100,000 Zaraz Loads, Zaraz will simply stop functioning.

Following the same logic, the free plan includes everything you need in order to use Zaraz for personal use cases. That includes Auto-injection, Zaraz Debugger, Zaraz Track and Zaraz Set from our Web API, Consent Management Platform (CMP), Data Layer compatibility mode, and many more.

If your websites generate more than 100,000 Zaraz loads combined, you will need to upgrade to the Workers Paid plan to avoid service interruption. If you desire some of the more advanced features, you can upgrade to Workers Paid and get access for only $5/month.

The Workers Paid Plan includes the first 200,000 Zaraz Loads per month per account, free of charge.

If you exceed the free Zaraz Loads allocations, you'll be charged $0.50 for every additional 1,000 Zaraz Loads, but the service will continue to function. (You can set notifications to get notified when you exceed a certain threshold of Zaraz Loads, to keep track of your usage.)

Workers Paid customers can enjoy most of Zaraz robust and existing features, amongst other things, this includes: Zaraz E-commerce from our Web API, Custom Endpoints, Workers Variables, Preview/Publish Workflow, Privacy Features, and more.

If your websites generate Zaraz Loads in the millions, you might want to consider the Workers Enterprise plan. Beyond the free 200,000 Zaraz Loads per month for your account, it offers additional volume discounts based on your Zaraz Loads usage as well as Cloudflare’s professional services.

Enterprise plan

The Workers Enterprise Plan includes the first 200,000 Zaraz Loads per month per account free of charge. Based on your usage volume, Cloudflare’s sales representatives can offer compelling discounts. Get in touch with us here. Workers Enterprise customers enjoy all paid enterprise features.

I already use Zaraz, what should I do?

If you were using Zaraz under the free beta, you have a period of two months to adjust and decide how you want to go about this change. Nothing will change until September 20, 2023. In the meantime we advise you to:

  1. Get more clarity of your Zaraz Loads usage. Visit Monitoring to check how many Zaraz Loads you had in the previous couple of months. If you are worried about generating more than 100,000 Zaraz Loads per month, you might want to consider upgrading to Workers Paid via the plans page, to avoid service interruption. If you generate a big amount of Zaraz Loads, you’d probably want to reach out to your sales representative and get volume discounts. You can leave your details here, and we’ll get back to you.
  2. Check if you are using one of the paid features as listed in the plans page. If you are, then you would need to purchase a Workers Paid subscription, starting at $5/month via the plans page. On September 20, these features will cease to work unless you upgrade.

* Please note, as of now, free plan users won't have access to any paid features. However, if you're already using a paid feature without a Workers Paid subscription, you can continue to use it risk-free until September 20. After this date, you'll need to upgrade to keep using any paid features.

We are here for you

As we make this important transition, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to all our beta users who have provided invaluable feedback and have helped us shape Zaraz into what it is today. We are excited to see Zaraz move beyond its beta stage and look forward to continuing to serve your needs and helping you build better, faster, and more secure web experiences. We know this change comes with adjustments, and we are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible. In the next couple of days, you can expect an email from us, with clear next steps and a way to get advice in case of need. You can always get in touch directly with the Cloudflare Zaraz team on Discord, or the community forum.

Thank you for joining us on this journey and for your ongoing support and trust in Cloudflare Zaraz. Let's continue to build the future of the web together!

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture

Post Syndicated from Charles Burnett original http://blog.cloudflare.com/faster-workers-kv-architecture/

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture

We’re excited to announce a significant performance improvement coming to Workers KV, focused on dramatically improving cold read performance and reducing latency, even for long tail access patterns.

Developers using KV have seen great performance on hot reads, but ask why their 95th percentile latency — often on a key (or set of keys) that hadn’t been accessed recently or in that region — was higher than expected. We took this feedback to heart: we’ve been working feverishly on a new caching layer for KV behind the scenes, which enables customers to achieve much more frequent hot reads, reduced worst case latency times, better flexibility and control over cache TTLs, and much faster consistency over our previous iterations, and it’s now live for all KV users.

The best part? Developers using KV don’t need to change anything to benefit from this increased performance.

What is Workers KV?

Workers KV is a key value store designed for read heavy use-cases and applications powered by Cloudflare’s network. KV’s focus on read-heavy use-cases allows it to serve hot (cached) reads in milliseconds, which makes it ideal for storing per-application or customer configuration data, routing configuration, multivariate (A/B testing) configurations, and even small asset data that you need to serve quickly.  Anything that you can serialize and need quickly you can store in KV, all the way up to 25 MiB worth of data per each individual key, with no cap on total data stored.

The problem

KV might be optimized for read-heavy workloads, but it’s critical that writes are globally available quickly enough that they’re useful for your application. Under typical conditions, the convergence delay for an eventually consistent system like KV is approximately one minute, globally: a write from one location should be able to be observed by all readers. Typical conditions are great, but typical unfortunately didn’t mean “always”. It could take significant time to restore global consistency where regions like North America and Europe are reading the same value. We needed to improve not just the average convergence, but the worst case as well.

Speaking of consistency, setting a long cache Time to Live (cacheTTL) for reads would result in a situation where you won’t notice a write for the entire cacheTTL duration, as the existing cached data had not timed out yet. This means you have to trade off read latency for infrequently accessed keys against noticing writes. Developers using KV have been consistent in their feedback: a higher cache TTL should improve performance, but not multiply the time it takes for KV to converge on a write to that key.

Lastly, our cold read times also left room for improvement. While cache hits are fast in KV, a cache miss would result in a request being routed all the way to our storage backends. While this is slow for everyone, it was particularly slow for folks in regions not immediately in the US or EU.This is poor performance that doesn’t represent what we can achieve with our global presence.

Our solution

A new horizontally scaled tiered cache

We’ve revamped Workers KV to be powered by a new tiered cache implementation. This implementation is written as a Worker service. We reuse the Dynamic Dispatch infrastructure developed for Workers for Platforms which lets us jump from our old KV worker into our new caching service within hundreds of microseconds. Importantly, this means we don’t impact cache hit performance to implement this new transparent caching layer. We leverage the same infrastructure powering Smart Placement to implement the tiering.

Before we re-designed KV, our topology looked like this:

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture
All data centers in Cloudflare’s network can reach out to the origin in the event of a cache miss or to do a background refresh.

Cache TTL and efficiency

Our design goal was clear and ambitious: “can we relax honoring the cacheTTL constraint without violating it”? While this seems contradictory, the motivation is clear: we want to minimize the need to communicate with our storage backends while honoring the user-facing semantics of the cacheTTL setting, as it can have security implications if violated (e.g. if you use it to store and validate security tokens). Answering this design question also manages to simultaneously solve many of the problems outlined earlier.

Comparing existing solutions

First, let’s look at the design constraints for two eventually consistent storage systems at Cloudflare: Quicksilver and Tiered CDN.

Quicksilver gives us global consistency within seconds using a push architecture to replicate the data across all machines at Cloudflare. That architecture however doesn’t scale for Workers KV’s needs, which can have terabytes of data just within one namespace. This would be too much to replicate to every single data center.

By comparison, the tiered CDN cache is a pull mechanism where each hop pulls a more recent version of the asset into the local cache on access. That scales better because we only use storage for assets that are accessed, which works well with most use-cases where the vast majority of data is never retrieved. However, a pull based architecture is insufficient because it can only let us aggregate traffic across broader regions but we still can’t decouple how long we serve from the cache from the cacheTTL.

Push based architectures let us know when an asset is updated and enable scalable storage. By blending the properties of both systems, we can decouple how long we store the assets in cache from the cacheTTL. And that’s exactly what we did: KV now uses a hybrid push/pull caching layer where data centers closest to customers will pull from the regional data centers that are a little bit farther away. Writes will broadcast to all regional data centers that a key has been updated, so that the regional data center will remove that key from the local cache.

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture
Traditional regional tiered cache topology

We can solve this problem by taking advantage of the fact that we semantically understand the write operations that are happening within Workers KV:

  1. Workers KV doesn’t have one data center per region as might be typical for your zone in a Cloudflare CDN regional tiered cache topology. Instead, each key in a KV namespace is deterministically assigned a data center by performing a weighted rendezvous hash. The rendezvous hash ensures that load is distributed equally across the region and outages result in optimal shifts of traffic.
  2. When the data center closest to a customer has a miss, it computes the regional data center affinity and provides that information to our Smart Placement infrastructure. When a regional tier misses, we repeat this process except using data centers in the KV origin region.
  3. Finally, a miss at the upper tier exits to our storage nodes located in that origin region.

When we do a write, we only purge (invalidate) the key from the regional and upper tier data centers. This is a fixed number of data centers in our network regardless of how many data centers we add, which ensures that we aren’t reducing cache hit rates as our network continues to grow Compared with a global purge that delivers the event to every data center in our network, because we only need to deliver this purge to a random fixed set of data centers in our network, our aggregate write capacity for Workers KV automatically scales horizontally as we add more data centers.

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture
All lower-tier data centers will reach out to a regional tier responsible for a given key in the event of a cache miss. If the regional tier doesn’t have the content, the regional tier will then ask an upper-tier out of region for the content. On a write for a given key, the responsible regional and upper tiers have that key deleted from cache.

Why do we call this a hybrid topology? The data centers closest to customers pull from the regional data centers as normal, but we automatically push invalidation events to the regional tier data centers on every write. That way, those customer data center pulls know to get an updated value when there is one. This means that while the cacheTTL parameter controls the caching behavior closest to the customer, it’s treated as a suggestion at best at the regional and upper tiers.

This way we’ve combined the push design principles behind Quicksilver, which delivers global consistency within seconds, with the pull-based design of our CDN tiered caching which can scale to handle “infinite” size workloads and prioritizes the assets that are most frequently accessed.

Visualizing it

It can be a bit hard to follow what’s happening in the new caching layer since there’s so many moving parts.

Here’s a video of a simplified version of how it works:

Small yellow balls represent KV read requests, larger green balls represent read responses. A larger purple ball represents a KV write request, while a read response ball represents a KV write response. Teal balls represent purge requests being broadcast. The “E” is a data center that doesn’t participate as a regional tier. The R represents the regional tier for key N while O is the upper tier for key N.

Decoupled cache TTL and consistency parameters

As a refresher, the objects written to KV can specify a cacheTTL: by default this is set to 1 minute, which is also the minimum acceptable value. This means that if an asset has been in the cache for longer than a minute, we bypass the cache and read instead from our durable storage nodes. In order to prevent eyeballs noticing origin fetches every minute, we implement stale while revalidate logic in our caching layer that automatically refreshes from the storage nodes in the background as requests come in.

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture
Here’s an example from a Worker that’s constantly reading the same key

Notice the absence of any spikes indicating a cache miss? You’d expect to see them regularly every minute or so in the tens or even hundreds of milliseconds when the cacheTTL should expire. The reason this doesn’t happen is because as the expiry time is approaching, a background request to the storage nodes occurs and the cache is updated with an expiry time one more minute into the future; thus the asset in cache is never too stale and eyeball requests are always served from cache. Let’s take a look at requests to our storage layer before and after adding tiering:

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture
Yellow is the estimated number of requests that would have occurred to origin without the new caching layer. Blue is the number of requests we’re making now.

The above chart is for a system with conservative parameters set. The upper tier doesn’t store the data for much longer than the cacheTTL currently and the upper tier will itself still do a background refresh probabilistically even though it doesn’t actually need to since we see all writes.

The new caching layer we’ve built inherits the old background refresh mechanism and expands on it. The first thing we did is decouple the background refresh period from the cacheTTL as a separate parameter (also defaulting to 1 minute). This means that even if you set a cacheTTL for 1 hour, KV will still check every minute from the regional tier to see if the value has been updated. If the data you’re storing within KV doesn’t have strict requirements on stale reads (think a key that’s accessed once every 10 minutes but needs to honor a write within 1 minute like security tokens), then you can increase the cacheTTL so that infrequently accessed keys stick around in the cache without changing the observed consistency.

Consistency improvements

Speaking of consistency, we’ve improved the worst case performance of that as well. Historically, we’ve had a background system that crawls all data in the storage nodes to figure out which region has the most up to date value and update accordingly. This gives us complete consistency coverage, but could take a significant amount of time to confirm. We would also periodically check both backends to see if network conditions had changed to pick the primary storage region to use for a given customer-close data center. Of course inconsistencies would be resolved then, but in practice this happens randomly, and at a low probability that won’t typically catch any meaningful values served inconsistently.

With the new caching layer all this changes. Since we’re now only reading keys on first access or after a write, we have enough storage capacity that we can check both backends on every read. When a customer requests data, we make a call to each origin data center, with the fastest response being returned immediately to reduce read latency. If the other data center has a newer value than what was returned first, we synchronize both data centers and notify our caching layer to purge that key from all regional data centers. If the other data center instead has an older value, we just synchronize the data centers without purging since we served the latest value. This means that even if our data centers are inconsistent, readers will notice new values much more quickly.

Latency improvements

Here’s the latency improvement at 10% rollout on a logarithmic x-axis:

Workers KV is faster than ever with a new architecture

Architecture that just gets better

This is just the start of what we can do. We now have a solid foundation for making further improvements, including making our best case reads even faster. We’ll be working on cutting out parts of our traditional stack that add unnecessary latency, and adding new high performance features that were too difficult to integrate otherwise. We can also explore features like setting the consistency TTL parameter for sub one minute consistency for additional cost. Similarly, we could create a best effort global purge feature if you want to choose to signal writes that way. Finally, we’re looking at exposing this new caching layer as a general Worker binding anyone can use within a Worker in front of their own service or to put in front of their Worker. If these sound like the killer features you need, please reach out to us if you’re interested in trying them out.

What next?

Developers don’t have to do anything to benefit from KV’s new performance improvements. We are currently in the process of rolling out our new architecture, and you don’t have to redeploy your Worker or change the way you use KV to benefit.

Workers KV is a natural fit for any application built on top of our Workers platform. We provide a native API that enables any Worker script to read, write, list, and manageyour Workers KV storage. You can also interact with Workers KV directly via our REST API from any client that can make a HTTP request, and the Cloudflare Dashboard provides an easy way to create, list, and delete keys to be used with the rest of your Workers setup.

Regardless of how you use Workers KV, it will be faster than ever before. We’re excited to see what you build with us, and you can dive into our documentation to start building with it.

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

Post Syndicated from Tom Klein original http://blog.cloudflare.com/dynamic-data-collection-with-zaraz-worker-variables/

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

Bringing dynamic data to the server

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

Since its inception, Cloudflare Zaraz, the server-side third-party manager built for speed, privacy and security, has strived to offer a way for marketers and developers alike to get the data they need to understand their user journeys, without compromising on page performance. Cloudflare Zaraz makes it easy to transition from traditional client-side data collection based on marketing pixels in users’ browsers, to a server-side paradigm that shares events with vendors from the edge.

When implementing data collection on websites or mobile applications, analysts and digital marketers usually first define the set of interactions and attributes they want to measure, formalizing those requirements along technical specifications in a central document (“tagging plan”). Developers will later implement the required code to make those attributes available for the third party manager to pick it up. For instance, an analyst may want to analyze page views based on an internal name instead of the page title or page pathname. They would therefore define an example “page name” attribute that would need to be made available in the context of the page, by the developer. From there, the analyst would configure the tag management system to pick the attribute’s value before dispatching it to the analytics tool.

Yet, while the above flow works fine in theory, the reality is that analytics data comes from multiple sources, in multiple formats, that do not always fit the initially formulated requirements.

The industry accepted solution, such as Google Tag Manager’s “Custom JavaScript variables” or Adobe’s “Custom Code Data Elements”, was to offer a way for users to dynamically invoke custom JavaScript functions on the client, allowing them to perform cleaning (like removing PII data from the payload before sending it to Google Analytics), transformations (extracting specific product attributes out of a product array) or enrichment (making an API call to grab the current user’s CRM id to stitch user sessions in your analytics tool) to the data before dispatch by the third-party manager.

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables
Example of Google Tag Manager custom javascript variable that aggregates individual items prices from a javascript array of product information. 

Having the ability to run custom JavaScript is a powerful feature that offers a lot of flexibility and yet, was a missing part of Cloudflare Zaraz. While some workarounds existed, it did not really fit with Cloudflare Zaraz’s objective of high-performance. We needed a way for our users to provide custom code to be executed fast, server-side. Quite fast, it was clear that Cloudflare Workers, the globally distributed serverless V8-based JavaScript runtime was the solution.

Worker Variables to the rescue

Cloudflare Zaraz Worker Variables is powered by Cloudflare Workers, our platform for running custom code on the edge, but let’s take a step back and work through how Cloudflare Zaraz is implemented.

When making a request to a website proxied by Cloudflare, a few things will run before making it to your origin. This includes the firewall, DDoS mitigation, caching, and also something called First-Party Workers.

These First-Party Workers are Cloudflare Workers with special permissions. Cloudflare Zaraz is one of them. Our Worker is built in a way that allows variables to be replaced by their contents. Those variables can be used in places where you would be reusing hardcoded text, to make it easier to make changes to all places where it would be used. For example, the name of your site, a secret key, etc:

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

These variables can then be used in any of Cloudflare Zaraz’s components, by selecting them right from the dashboard as a property, or as part of a component’s settings:

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

When using a Worker Variable, instead of replacing your variable with a hardcoded string, we instead execute the custom code hosted in your own Cloudflare Worker that you have associated with the variable. The response of which is then being used as the variable’s value. Calling one worker from within the Cloudflare Zaraz Worker is done using Dynamic Dispatch.

In our Cloudflare Zaraz Worker, calling Dynamic Dispatch is very similar to how your regular, everyday worker might do it. From having a binding in our wrangler.toml:

...
unsafe.bindings = [
  { name = "DISPATCHER", type = "dynamic_dispatch", id_prefix = "", first_party = true },
]

To having our code responsible for variables actually call your worker:

if (variable.type === 'worker') {
  // Get the persistent ID of the Worker
  const mutableId = variable.value.mutableId
  // Get the binding for the specific Worker
  const workerBinding = context.env.DISPATCHER.get(mutableId)
  ...
  // Execute the Worker and return the response
  const workerResponse = await workerBinding.fetch(
    new Request(String(url || context.url || 'http://unknown')),
    {
      method: 'POST',
      headers: {
        'Content-type': 'application/json',
      },
      body: JSON.stringify(payload),
    }
  )
  ...
  return workerResponse
}

Benefits of Cloudflare Zaraz Worker Variables

Cloudflare Workers is a world-class solution to build complex applications. Together with Cloudflare Zaraz, we feel that makes it the ideal platform to orchestrate your data workflows:

Build with context: Cloudflare Zaraz automatically shares the context as part of the call to the Cloudflare Zaraz Worker, allowing you to use that data as input to your functions. Cloudflare Zaraz offers a Web API which customers can use to track important events in their users' journeys. Along with the Web API, Zaraz offers ways for users to define custom attributes, called “Track properties” and “Variables”, that allow our customers to provide additional context to the event getting sent to a vendor. The Cloudflare Zaraz context holds every attribute that was tracked by Cloudflare Zaraz as part of the current visitor session along with other generic attributes like the visitors’ device cookies for instance.

Speed: In comparison to manually calling a worker from client-side JavaScript, this saves the roundtrip to the Worker’s HTTP endpoint and gives you access to Cloudflare Zaraz properties, allowing you to work with client-side data right from the edge.

Isolated environment: As the function is executed inside the worker, which lives outside of your visitor browser, it cannot access the DOM or JavaScript runtime from the browser, preventing potential bugs in your Worker’s code from affecting the experience of your user.

When combining Worker Variables with the Custom HTML tool, you also get the benefits of offloading client-side JavaScript to a worker. This improves performance for both AJAX network requests, which can then be executed directly from Cloudflare’s global network, as well as the offloading of resource intensive tasks to a Worker, such as data manipulation or computations. All whilst keeping your API secrets and other sensitive data hidden from the clients, allowing you to only send the results that are actually needed by the client.

Examples walkthrough

Now that you are more familiar with the concept, let’s get to some practical use cases!

We will cover two examples: translating a GTM custom JavaScript variable to a Cloudflare Zaraz Worker variable, and enriching user information with data from an external API.

Translate a GTM Custom JavaScript variable into Cloudflare Zaraz Worker Variable: Let’s take our previous example, Google Tag Manager custom javascript variable that aggregates individual items prices from a JavaScript array of product information.

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

The function makes use of a “GTM Data Layer Variable” (represented with double curly braces, line 2, “{{DLV – Ecommerce – Purchase – Products }}”). That kind of variable is equivalent to Track Properties in Cloudflare Zaraz land: they are a way to access the value of a custom attribute that you shared with the third party manager. When translating from GTM to Cloudflare Zaraz, one should take care of making sure that such variables have also been translated to their Cloudflare Zaraz counterpart.

Back to our example, let’s say that the GTM variable “DLV – Ecommerce – Purchase – Products” is equal to a track property “products” in Cloudflare Zaraz. Your first step is to parse the Cloudflare Zaraz context ($1), that gives you two objects: client, holding all track properties set in the current visitor context and system that gives you access to some generic properties of the visitor’s device.

You can then reference a specific track property by accessing it from the client object. ($2)

The variable code was aggregating price from product information into a comma-separated string. For this, we can keep the same code. ($3)

A major difference between javascript functions executed in the client and Workers is that the worker should “return” the value as part of a Response object. ($4)

export default {
  async fetch(request, env) {
    // $1 Parse the Zaraz Context object
    const { system, client } = await request.json();

    // $2 Get a reference to the products track property
    const products = client.products;

    // $3 Calculate the sum
    const prices = products.map(p => p.price).join();

    return new Response(prices);
  },
};

Enriching user information with data coming from an API: For this second example, let’s imagine that we want to synchronize user activity online and offline. To do so, we need a common key to reconcile the user journeys. A CRM id looks like an appropriate candidate for that use case. We will obtain this id through the CRM solution API (the fictitious “https://example.com/api/getUserIdFromCookie”) Our primary key, that will be used to lookup the user CRM id, will be taken from a cookie that holds the current user session id.

export default {
  async fetch(request, env) {
    // Parse the Zaraz Context object
    const { system, client } = await request.json();

    // Get the value of the cookie "login-cookie"
    const cookieValue = system.cookies["login-cookie"];

    const userId = await fetch("https://example.com/api/getUserIdFromCookie", {
      method: POST,
      body: cookieValue,
    });

    return new Response(userId);
  },
};

Start using Worker Variables today

Worker Variables are available for all accounts with a paid Workers subscription (starting at $5 / month).

Create a worker

To use a Worker Variable, you first need to create a new Cloudflare Worker. You can do this through the Cloudflare dashboard or by using Wrangler.

To create a new worker in the Cloudflare dashboard:

  1. Log in to the Cloudflare dashboard.
  2. Go to Workers and select Create a Service.
  3. Give a name to your service and choose the HTTP Handler as your starter template.
  4. Click Create Service, and then Quick Edit.

To create a new worker through Wrangler:

1. Start a new Cloudflare Worker project

$ npx wrangler init my-project
$ cd my-project

2. Run your development server

$ npx wrangler dev

3. Start coding

// my-project/index.js || my-project/index.ts
export default {
 async fetch(request) {
   // Parse the Zaraz Context object
   const { system, client } = await request.json();

   return new Response("Hello World!");
 },
};

Configure a Worker Variable

With your Cloudflare Worker freshly configured and published, it is straightforward to configure a Worker Variable:

1. Log in to the Cloudflare dashboard

2. Go to Zaraz > Tools configuration > Variables.

3. Click Create variable.

4. Give your variable a name, choose Worker as the Variable type, and select your newly created Worker.

Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables

5. Save your variable.

Use your Worker Variable

It is now time to use your Worker Variable! You can reference your variable as part of a trigger or an action. To set it up for a specific action for instance:

  1. Go to Zaraz > Tools configuration > Tools.
  2. Click Edit next to a tool that you have already configured.
  3. Select an action or add a new one.
  4. Click on the plus sign at the right of the text fields.
  5. Select your Worker Variable from the list.
Dynamic data collection with Zaraz Worker Variables