Interview with Liam Randall and Stuart Harris

“wasmCloud allows us to rethink the cloud as just a stop on the way”

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Omelchenko

What’s wasmCloud and what are its use cases? Liam Randall and Stuart Harris spoke to us about wasmcloud: a higher level abstraction for the cloud that uses WebAssembly to run everywhere securely. See what’s new in the 0.50 release, what’s in store for the future, and what its benefits are.

JAXenter: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. First of all, can you tell us more about wasmCloud? What are its use cases?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: wasmcloud is a higher level abstraction for the cloud that uses WebAssembly to run everywhere securely. Virtual machines abstract away from specific hardware, containers abstract away from a Linux environment, and wasmCloud abstracts away from the specific capabilities you use to build an application. wasmCloud continues the trend of increasing abstractions for building and deploying software in the cloud. Kubernetes lets an organization run their containers in any cloud environment, and wasmCloud lets a developer run their business logic on any capabilities, in any cloud or edge environment.

JAXenter: What’s new in the 0.50 release?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: The 0.50 release of wasmCloud incorporates major customer community-driven improvements around the scale of use, developer experience, and support for deploying and executing actors in the browser.

wasmCloud 0.50 incorporates major customer community-driven improvements, including a stronger, faster, more scalable foundation using proven Elixir/OTP technologies; further enhancements to wasmCloud’s boiler-plate free developer experience; and introduces support for deploying and executing actors in the browser. Establishing support for over 3 billion Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox browsers as a deployment target for wasmCloud’s portable actors brings the project closer to delivering a universal computing substrate where actors can be deployed anywhere, including at the far edge in IoT devices too small for Linux or K3s.

SEE ALSO: What Pitfalls To Avoid In Digital Product Development

JAXenter: What is the Hybrid Elixir/Rust Foundation? What does this add to wasmCloud?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: wasmClouds adoption on Elixir / OTP on the backend was driven requirement to operate wasmCloud at a scale of hundreds of thousands or millions of interconnected wasmCloud hosts. As early adopters of wasmCloud have started to look at larger scale deployments our community evaluated a variety of approaches – Elixir/OTP has a proven track record in hyper-scale apps like Discord and WhatsApp. This best of breed approach brings a mature and resilient backend to wasmCloud.

JAXenter: What are the benefits of using WebAssembly?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: WebAssembly is the most portable executable format we’ve ever had — binaries can run on any machine architecture — because it models a conceptual stack-based virtual machine with linear memory. This portability is crucial for enabling workloads to run on any host, in any cloud or edge location. Because WASM is simple and un-opinionated, many of today’s languages can treat it as a compile target, making it ideal for modern cloud native distributed applications. Additionally, its deny-by-default security model makes it a great choice for server-side scenarios, not just for the browser!

JAXenter: Can you tell us anything about the future of wasmCloud? What’s on the roadmap for the future?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: wasmCloud is continuing to grow by leaps in bounds – both in capabilities, use case, and in diversity of customers. On our technical roadmap, in October we will release full integration with Kubernetes in the combination of our Lattice Controller and a Kubernetes Operator. We will also continue to build out support for additional capability providers for the commonly used cloud components such as a variety of database adapters. In the medium term, we will add support for more advanced use cases, such as distributed machine learning and a more automated developer experience.

SEE ALSO: Why you should consider WebAssembly in your next frontend project

JAXenter: Besides wasmCloud, what are some of your favorite open source projects?

Liam Randall and Stuart Harris: The entire wasmCloud team and project is built with best-of-breed open source projects, including Nats, Elixir/OTP and the Smithy project from AWS. Nats, from Synadia, has emerged as the internet’s dialtone – and in wasmCloud we use this to seamlessly connect wasmCloud hosts at the application layer. Elixir/OTP has over the last 20 years become the default way to scale to millions of processes and we adopted it on our backend in order to offer that incredible approach to our community. And while Smithy is a new project, it has been used successfully within AWS to model and design hundreds of APIs.

From a consumer’s perspective, according to Red Badger: As a consultancy that helps large organizations with their digital product transformation, we have many clients who need a true multi-cloud platform — possibly better expressed as location transparency for their workloads. For many years, the cloud has been seen as the destination, but wasmCloud allows us to rethink the cloud as just a stop on the way, a utility on top of which we can build a homogenous surface for hosting truly portable workloads. Our clients can finally contribute resources from many clouds, on-premise data centers, near and far edge — even browser tabs — to a single, potentially global, platform that is secure, whilst being totally agnostic of underlying network topology. Not only does this give us flexibility, and way more reliability, but it dramatically simplifies the dark art of building modern distributed applications, allowing us to concentrate on what really matters — generating value for our clients.

Read more news about wasmCloud releases:

Cosmonic Announces 0.50 Release of wasmCloud — Building a Stronger Foundation for Universally Portable, Secure-by-Default Distributed Applications

  • Hybrid Elixir/Rust foundation, enhanced developer experience, and support for Web runtimes headline 0.50 release
  • wasmCloud closer to becoming the universal application runtime from cloud to edge and now ‘far edge’

wasmCloud Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation as Sandbox Project

  • Hands-on Learning at Cloud Native Wasm Day at KubeCon North America and Free Web Assembly Classes
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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