Skip to content


The Serverless Container framework can be deployed by cloning its GitHub repo and placing and starting the proper services, in the correct order and on the right environments.

To clone the project, you can use:

git clone

The actual deployment can be divided into different phases, as next described:


Serverless Containers supports any container engine and container technology that is backed by the cgroups file system. Specifically, for development the LXD container manager, which deploys Linux Containers (LXC), has been used.

There is no need for any specific configuration regarding the container deployment, nor there is a need to restart any container to begin adjusting its resources automatically. Nevertheless, in order to successfully perform such resource scaling operations, it may be needed to have permissions to write on the affected container's cgroups files. To do this, the Container Scaler service has to be started with such permissions.

Previous Requirements

In order to work, Serverless Containers needs to have a constant feed of the resources the containers are using, as close to real-time as possible in order to maintain the responsiveness of the scaling. This feature is currently provided by the BDWatchdog framework, which is mainly composed of a time series database, OpenTSBD and of a resource monitor agent (atop) coupled with a processing pipeline which are able to work inside containers.

In addition, this framework has also at its core a JSON document database used as a cache of the system's state, referred to as State Database. Currently, a CouchDB database is used. The installation of a functional CouchDB database is quite simple and there is no need for any specific configuration to be used by this frameworks. Nonetheless, because the need for a high response of the database operations, the fact that the stored data does not need to be persisted across time and that the required storage size is relatively small (no more than 1 GiB for 30+ containers), it may be desirable to use it with an in-memory storage file system.

Finally, other requirements include the Python3 runtime environment and other Python packages such as Flask.


All of the microservices deployed by Serverless Containers have been implemented as Python3 programs and thus, can be started by simply launching them with the system's interpreter. In addition, most of them also interact with the State Database so it is advisable that their latency with the latter is small. Other latencies that may be interesting to take into account, as well as a proposed placement, are shown in the next image.

Microservice placement

Finally, it should also be considered that some of these microservices, due to their inner operations and continuous polling, can present an overhead that although should not be particularly high, it could be noticeable particularly in experimentation testbeds. Because of this, it is advisable to run as many microservices as possible in an dedicated/isolated instance separated from any environment not to be disturbed.


Services: Structure Snapshoter, Database Snapshoter, Refeeder Snapshoter

Regarding the passive microservices, the Structure Snapshoter in particular has to poll the containers via the Container Scaler service, which is deployed in all the infrastructure hosts that run containers. Because of this, the latency of this microservice should also be small when interacting with the nodes.


Services: Guardian, Scaler

As with the Structure Snapshoter passive microservice, the Scaler also need to interact with the infrastructure hosts and their Container Scaler service, so the latency between the two should be kept low.


Services: Orchestrator, Container Scaler

When it comes to the remaining microservices, the Orchestrator should be placed near the State Database, as it may require to perform many database operations in a short amount of time, while the Container Scaler is required to be deployed on each infrastructure host that runs containers.