Introduction to Modal

Modal is a new tool that lets you run code in the cloud without having to think about infrastructure.

Features

  • Run any code remotely within seconds.
  • Define container environments in code (or use one of our pre-built backends).
  • Scale up horizontally without having to set up any infrastructure.
  • Deploy persistent cron jobs with ease.
  • Run code on GPUs
  • Turn your functions into webhooks with a single line of code.
  • Use powerful primitives like distributed dictionaries and queues.

Getting started

The nicest thing about all of this is that you don’t have to install any infrastructure. Just:

  1. Create an account on modal.com (currently invite-only),
  2. Install a client package
  3. Set up a token

… and you can run large-scale jobs right away.

Modal is currently Python only, but may include other languages in the future.

How does it work?

Modal takes your code, puts it in a container, and executes it in the cloud.

Where does it run? Modal runs it in its own cloud environment. The benefit of this is that we solve all the hard infrastructure problems so you don’t have to do anything.

This means, you don’t need Kubernetes or Docker or even an AWS account.

What’s the business model?

Modal charges you per CPU-hour, similar to other cloud infrastructure, like EC2 or Lambda.

Luckily, at the moment, we have not implemented billing support, so if you have an account, it’s all on us. In the future we are planning to offer a free plan up to x hours/month, and charge for usage above that point.