Fastly can teach you about the Wasm future in just 6 talks

Four years ago we made a big bet on WebAssembly (we're founding members of the Bytecode Alliance, sit on its board, and employ multiple people who contribute to the Wasm ecosystem full- or part-time). We made that bet because we knew, even then, what the promise of WebAssembly could mean not only for the web but for its underlying infrastructure. That's why WebAssembly is the foundation of Fastly Compute, our serverless edge compute environment. It's a future we couldn't be more excited about — and we want to share it with you, through these six talks.

Earlier this year, our team went to WasmCon. We delivered talks about everything from Generative AI to how WebAssembly runs Machine Learning to ensuring security and correctness in Wasm. We wanted to share our vision of the Wasm future with you to demonstrate why we care so much about this ecosystem, so we collected these videos here for you. We believe that the path to superior performance, agility, security, and privacy — a truly better internet — is through the investment in and usage of open-source software, like WebAssembly. And the proof is right here.

Hear from Fastly at WasmCon 2023

What is a Component (and Why)?
Luke Wagner, Distinguished Engineer, Fastly

The WebAssembly Component Model is a proposal to build upon the core WebAssembly standard by defining how modules may be composed within an application or library. It aims to revolutionize the way we develop, distribute and conceptualize our software on a large scale. In this talk, we will define what a component is, how it relates to other familiar concepts, and how components will empower us with new capabilities in the future.

Machine Learning in Fastly's Compute
Andrew Brown, Software Engineer, Intel & Matthew Tamayo-Rios, Staff Software Engineer, Fastly

Recent advances in deep learning promise to transform the way we live, learn, and work. In this session, we will explore how WebAssembly modules can efficiently run machine learning models (ML) via wasi-nn. We will explain what it takes to make this work in Fastly's Compute environment. To enable efficient execution in a stateless FaaS environment we have extended the wasi-nn spec to avoid reloading models on every request, revised host APIs to avoid interference with Wasmtime’s event loop, balanced some security-related tradeoffs, and introduced a new proxy backend based on the KServe protocol. We will demonstrate all of this functionality by demoing a Compute service using OpenVINO, ONNX, and PyTorch for classification and generative AI.

Javascript Toolchain for WebAssembly Components
Guy Bedford, Principal Software Engineer, Web Assembly, Fastly

This presentation will introduce the JavaScript toolchain projects for WebAssembly Components, covering the latest supported component model features when running WebAssembly Components in JavaScript environments as well as for writing WebAssembly Components in JavaScript. Virtualization workflows will be covered demonstrating how platform primitives like filesystem access can be supported in different environments like browsers.

Unraveling the Magic of Two Hot Trends: WebAssembly and Generative AI
Larry Carvalho, Principal Consultant, RobustCloud; Radu Matei, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Fermyon; Aparna Sinha, Partner, Head Enterprise AI/ML, PearVC; Tyler McMullen, CTO & Co-Founder, Fastly

WebAssembly (Wasm) and Generative AI (GAI) are emerging technologies drawing attention with a big splash to their respective potential of transforming businesses. Both technologies promise to impact how we compute while delivering innovation at scale. GAI can transform the global economy with automation affecting many employee functions ranging from knowledge workers to software developers. Wasm can improve business outcomes by enabling faster, more efficient, and highly portable web applications, enhancing user experience, and increasing overall productivity. In this panel session, we'll discuss how these two technologies may complement each other. We'll discuss use cases, promising early innovations, and where this will lead. Larry Carvalho, Principal Consultant at RobustCloud, will moderate this session with the following star panelists: 1. Radu Matei, Co-Founder & CTO at Fermyon Technologies. 2. Tyler McMullen, CTO at Fastly 3. Aparna Sinha, VC/Entrepreneur at Pear VC.

The WASI OS - Isolation with Communication, Wasm style
Dan Gohman, Wasm, Fastly

A classic challenge in OS design is to combine the need to isolate programs from each other with the need to connect programs to each other. We'll look at WASI from an OS design perspective, and look at how Wasm instances and their ability to communicate are similar to and different from traditional OS processes and inter-process communication (IPC). And we'll look at how this theory translates into practice, looking at the WASI-http and WASI-sockets APIs in detail.

Security and Correctness in Wasmtime
Nick Fitzgerald, Technical Steering Committee Chair, Bytecode Alliance

WebAssembly programs are sandboxed and isolated from one another and from the host, so they can’t read or write external regions of memory, transfer control to arbitrary code in the process, or freely access the network and filesystem. This makes it safe to run untrusted WebAssembly programs: they cannot escape the sandbox to steal private data from elsewhere on your laptop or run a botnet on your servers. But these security properties only hold true if the WebAssembly runtime’s implementation is correct. This talk will explore the ways we are ensuring correctness in the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime and in its compiler, Cranelift.

Commitment to a better web

To continue to innovate and deliver the best online experiences possible developers need access to technology that makes it safe and easy to build applications within secure environments such as the Fastly edge. Investment in open source and cross-industry collaboration is vital to improving the security and performance of the internet for everyone. Fastly is committed to WebAssembly as a mission-critical technology that enables an interoperable software community, where organizations rally around shared foundations.

If you're ready to get your hands dirty with WebAssembly, check out this Getting Started guide!

Hannah Aubry
Fast Forward ecosystem lead

4 min read

Want to continue the conversation?
Schedule time with an expert
Share this post
Hannah Aubry
Fast Forward ecosystem lead

Hannah Aubry is an advocate for open technologies and ecosystems that benefit humanity. She leads Fast Forward, Fastly's $50 million commitment to support the open internet through open source projects and nonprofits like the Mastodon, Kubernetes, Rust Foundation, and Scratch. She also serves as a core organizer for the CHIditarod, a nonprofit organization fighting food scarcity in Chicago. Find her on Mastodon:

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or create an account.