How to make the most of AWS Lambda

There are many options for deploying cloud-native applications and services. Organizations developing large numbers of applications and services on different platforms and with varying compliance requirements are likely to consider containers and CaaS (containers as a service). Other organizations with few development stacks and operational restrictions looking for a simpler path to production often select PaaS options as they require less configuration and technical expertise.

Then there is FaaS, or functions as a service, which abstracts the underlying infrastructure setup and configuration and provides simple mechanisms to deploy and run code. Functions are ideally suited to executing code in response to events, and they can be used as infrastructure for lightweight microservices

In a previous article examining PaaS, CaaS, and FaaS, I share guidelines from architects and cloud experts on some of the considerations when selecting a cloud architecture. In this article, I’ll share more specific requirements for using serverless functions and provide several example use cases.

While I focus on AWS Lambda here, the same general principles will apply to using Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, IBM Cloud Functions, Oracle Functions, and other FaaS platforms. 

Technical requirements for AWS Lambda functions

AWS Lambda is one option for deploying serverless functions on public clouds. It’s important to consider the key technical requirements before implementing these services.

AMS Lambda functions can be developed in Java, Go, PowerShell, Node.js, C#, Python, and Ruby. AWS has a list of events that can trigger a Lambda function with the most simple ones triggered as API calls through Amazon API Gateway. Events can also be triggered by code commits, CI/CD pipelines, Kinesis data streams, cloud system monitors, and IoT Events. You can also schedule the running of functions using CloudWatch events. Functions operate synchronously or asynchronously, depending on the type of trigger.

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