Cloud technology has been in talks for quite some time now but it picked pace only after the inception of AWS Lambda by Amazon in 2014. The serverless computing was then adopted on a larger scale with other leaders joining the party including Microsoft with Azure Functions, IBM with OpenWhisk and Google with Cloud Functions.
But what does serverless computing really mean? How does it affect the way developers work? What does AWS Lambda hold for the future? How does it help businesses around the globe and alter the roles and responsibilities of in-house IT departments?
This blog post will take you through each aspect, although briefly but informatively.
One point that needs clarification is that serverless computing isn’t really serverless. There are servers that respond to requests and deliver information in the desired manner. What makes serverless computing different from conventional cloud computing is the fact that the servers are available on request. They do not run all the time as conventional ones. They respond whenever an alert request is raised and stop as soon as the request gets completed.
AWS Lambda is a high-tech serverless platform that takes sole responsibility for managing the application starting from loading the app code, executing it and returning desired variables and instances. All without troubling the development team on the premises. This is what makes it so special.
Following are the sections throwing light on its working, benefits and applications. Keep reading for valuable insights.
AWS Lambda is a scalable compute service offered to you by Amazon. It executes the code whenever the need arises and stops as soon as the request gets completed. This means you only pay for the time your code consumes the server. It lets you run code without provisioning and managing servers and can be scaled automatically from hundred requests per day to thousands per second.
It has the ability to run virtually any type of application or web service without investing in administration and infrastructure. It takes care of administering your server, maintenance of the operating system, auto-scaling, code monitoring and error logging.
It currently supports language like Node.js, Java, C# and Python. Input the code to the system in these supported languages and enjoy the magic created by AWS Lambda. It is that simple.
AWS Lambda allows developers to create Lambda functions that can be invoked by event sources. The action is performed only when the requirement arises. The application code can be uploaded directly to the machines via AWS graphic interface and at the time of event occurrence, the Lambda functions do the needful. Also, it scales up the objects automatically when required.
There are several ways in which developers can use AWS Lambda and make most of it. Here are some ways.
AWS Lambda can be used with AWS services as event sources. The event sources publish events that invoke Lambda function, which can be used for various AWS services like Amazon S3, Kinesis, Amazon DynamoDB and AWS CloudTrail.
In addition to invoking Lambda function over event sources, it can also be invoked over HTTS (Amazon API gateway). The function can be used by defining a custom REST API and an endpoint using the Amazon API gateway. Real-time requests over HTTPS can be fulfilled by using Lambda function.
Another popular use of AWS Lambda is of invoking code on a regular basis and after a certain time interval. You can fix a rate at which you want to invoke the code (number of hours, days or weeks) and rest would be taken care of by the AWS Lambda. Get to know how it is done here.
Custom apps can also invoke Lambda function using the AWS SDKs or AWS Mobile SDKs for Android or iOS.
There are several benefits of using serverless computing and especially if you opt to use AWS Lambda. Let’s have a look at them below.
The processing of data can happen in real-time after code loading to the Amazon S3. Data processing is facile and modification in data or system can be managed easily by the Lambda. Things like real-time image preview, modification of video encoding, content verification and data filtration are taken care of by the Lambda.
Based on the requirements, AWS Lambda scales automatically. Although the process of scaling is seamless but the addition of new processes makes way for new bugs and distractions. So it is important to closely monitor the scenario. Nonetheless, the automated feature is highly desirable and capable.
Security holds the key whatever is the case. Here as well security concerns were to be countered by encrypting the transmission funnel between the API gateway and the Lambda functions. Such concerns are easily avoided by AWS Lambda, thanks to its potency of achieving the highest degree of security at the system level. A plus point with Lambda is that it doesn’t require system updates, which makes it even more secure. Unlike ECS containers, it accommodates both public as well as private IP addresses.
Another useful benefit of Lambda is that it enables developers to perform various operations like filtration, sorting, verification and more whenever modification procedures are applied to the DynamoDB table. The data conversion during this course is extremely easy allowing developers to store it on external storage spaces in a hassle-free manner.
Lambda allows carefree streaming and data monitoring, which makes processes like app activity tracking, operation sequence monitoring, logs filtering, metrics analysis, social media engagement rates and real-time data analysis of IoT-enabled devices.
AWS Lambda enables developers to create internal serverless systems for handling incoming API requests from multiple sources like mobile, IoT devices, Internet-powered systems and more third-party platforms.
There can be a lot more advantages of using AWS Lambda as a serverless platform which only adds to its wide adoption and reliability around the globe.
AWS Lambda is a high-performance computing environment that not only eases developers’ workload but significantly reduces the cost of developing software or app. It works seamlessly in varied situations but should not be considered as a multipurpose service. There are limitations and dependencies of Lambda like there are with other tools and frameworks. Talking about its core functionality, it is just a masterpiece from Amazon. Show reliance on it and develop ground-breaking apps in real quick time.