Run your Business Faster than ever Before with AWS Lambdas

In this digital age, every business reaps benefits from running its applications on the public cloud. AWS offers more than 200 services, but AWS Lambdas stand out from all of them for a lot of reasons.

This article will help you understand what AWS Lambda is, its use cases, pros and cons, features, and how it is different from EC2. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into this article to learn more about AWS Lambda.

What is AWS Lambda and Why is it So Popular?

AWS Lambda is Amazon Web Services' serverless computing service. It runs your code in a highly available computing environment, taking care of everything from server and OS maintenance to capacity provisioning, automatic scaling, and logging.

You can use one of the supported languages and runtimes to create self-contained apps that you can upload and run flexibly and efficiently. AWS Lambda functions can call APIs, process data, serve web pages, and integrate with other AWS services.

Why is AWS Lambda So Popular?

AWS Lambda is a popular serverless computing service with unparalleled benefits. Since the launch of AWS Lambda in 2014, it has gained much popularity by becoming the most adopted and rapidly growing AWS service. One of the main reasons behind AWS Lambda's popularity is its flexibility and affordability. 

What are the Use Cases of the AWS Lambda?

When it comes to serverless architecture, AWS Lambda is one of the most promising services available. Let's take a look at some of the most effective AWS Lambdas use cases. 

  1. 1

    Operating Serverless Websites 

    This is the most useful case to maximize Lambda and S3-hosted static website pricing. Consider S3 hosting and CloudFront caching for the web front end.

    API Gateway HTTPS endpoints enable web frontend Lambda function requests. Lambda handles the logic of an application and saves data to a fully managed database service (either RDS for relational databases or DynamoDB for non-relational databases).

  2. 2

    Quick Document Conversion 

    If you’re providing documents like manuals or transaction records to the users, there is a possibility that they will want them in another format. Some users prefer standard HTML pages, while others prefer PDF formats; in short, there is a need for more formats.

    AWS Lambda apps can quickly retrieve, format, and convert content for website viewing or download. Documents can be generated on the spot, which is often much more convenient. AWS Lambda apps can quickly retrieve, format, and convert content for website viewing or download.

  3. 3

    Automated File Synchronization 

    AWS Lambdas can help you synchronize a repository to multiple locations regularly. Many people don’t use this dedicated instance for this kind of thing.

    Besides, they double or triple another instance to speed up things. Well, this isn’t a smart choice depending on the security policy in place or the level of competition for available resources at different times of the day.

    Instead of spending a lot of money on doubling and tripling other instances, use the Lambda function, which is triggered by a predetermined event, to synchronize the files. 

  4. 4

    Predictive Page Rendering 

    Lambda can do far more than just clean up the data. AWS Lambda plays a major role in predictive page rendering when preparing webpages for display.

    For example, you can use the Lambda app to recover multimedia files and documents and do an initial rendering of their display. If the Lambda app notices that media files are being served from an outside source, it will automatically switch to a backup source if the main one goes down.

What are the 3 Components of AWS Lambda?


You can configure a lambda function to execute in various runtime environments. Each environment comes with its own library of prebuilt binaries that can be used in your code based on the language you're developing in.

Any libraries or binaries that work in the target runtime environment may be packaged and included. Amazon Linux AMI serves as the foundation for all of our environments.

You can use different languages like JavaScript, C#, Go, Python, and Java to write a Lambda function. 


Lambda functions only have a few configuration options, which are listed below.

  • Memory dial controls not only how much memory a process uses but also how much CPU and network resources it uses.

  • The IAM Role provides lambda functions with access to AWS services and APIs.

  • For each lambda function, the permissions specify which push model event sources are authorized to call the function.

  • Whenever an invocation fails, the event is sent to the dead letter queue. We can use either an SNS or SQS thread for this.

  • You can use Version/Aliases to roll back a feature to a previous version. This is crucial for blue/green deployment strategies or separating production from lower environments.

Event Sources 

Activating AWS Lambda is possible via the Invoke API, but event sources within AWS are the recommended approach. Supported invocation models include the following:

  • Pushes triggered by API gateway, S3 object creation, or Amazon Alexa.

  • Pull the lambda function and poll an event source for new objects.

AWS Lambda vs EC2: Feature and Pricing Comparison

Let’s discuss the comparison of AWS Lambda vs EC2 to find out which platform is the best fit to your environment. 

1. Features: AWS Lambda vs EC2

AWS Lambda


Setup & Management

It doesn’t require provisioning containers or spinning up for your application, as it is automated scaling. 

It requires logging in through SSH by manually installing Apache. It requires all necessary automated and reproducible software. 


AWS handles OS upgrades and patches for Lambda, so cyber threats sit on servers for a long time before attackers act. 

You can customize EC2 security. Security groups, network ACLs, and VPC subnet route tables secure the instance. 


AWS Lambda is scalable. It dynamically launches more processes to handle the load. 

AWS EC2 demands complete control. You must manually configure all scalability features. 


Lambda limits direct uploads of zipped packages to 50 MB and layers to 250 MB. 

EC2's elastic nature lets you have as many dependencies as you want. 


Code size and execution time limits function to specific and highly-focused tasks. 

EC2 can run almost every application in a suitable instance. 


AWS Lambda has a prescribed timeout of 300 seconds. 

EC2 is plagued by connection timeouts due to overlapping security groups. 

2. Pricing: AWS Lambda vs EC2

AWS Lambda


Pricing Model

The costs are calculated on a per-unit basis.

The pricing structure for Amazon EC2 is "pay as you use.

Unit Pricing

$0.0000166667 per GB-second

$0.0336 per hour (t3. medium)

Hourly rate for 2000 instances
(4GB RAM, *2 vCPUs)



Which Platform is Best to Use for Your Business?

The above comparison can help you choose the best platform that meets your business needs. If your business wants to avoid wasting compute resources because of unpredictable traffic to your application, then AWS Lambda is your best bet. 

However, Lambda isn't a suitable fit for complex processing that can't be done in the limited execution time. With EC2, you can rest assured that your application will be running in a secure, reliable environment.

What are the Pros and Cons of AWS Lambda?


  • If you're looking to create serverless applications, this is the way to go. Lambda's autoscaling and pay-per-request pricing model ensure that you only pay for the compute resources you use.

  • Instead of fixed provisioning, you pay for what you use. 

  • With AWS Lambda, you can handle peaks in server activity without sacrificing performance since it automatically scales up and down. 

  • SAM, VS Code Plugins, the Serverless Framework, Pulumi, and many others are just some of the helpful tools it offers.

  • Since the service provider handles everything, you won't have to spend money on equipment or find qualified personnel to maintain it.   


  • You are only allotted 512 MB of storage space on your hard drive.

  • The deployment package defaults to 50 MB.

  • Memory in Lambda ranges from 128-3008 MB.

  • Functions can run for 15 minutes.

  • Request and response bodies can be 6 MB.

What are the Most Common AWS Lambda Challenges?

The following are the most common AWS Lambdas challenges that you can face while using it for your application:

  • Debugging 

    Sometimes, debugging AWS Lambdas functions can be quite challenging. It could be because AWS CloudWatch Logs does not provide a way to filter out instance-specific logs from the rest of the logs. 

  • Logging & Monitoring 

    There are some benefits to hiding the underlying infrastructure, but doing so also adds new problems. Lambda applications cannot use background daemons to monitor web servers.

  • Timeout Limit 

    There is a 15-minute time limit on reaching a Lambda function. This is plenty of time for the various majorities of applications, but it may not be sufficient for particularly lengthy processes.

What are the Best Solutions to Overcome These Challenges?

The following are the solutions to overcome the challenges that we have discussed above: 

  • Debugging 

    To overcome these challenges, finding the root cause can be time consuming. With the help of professional debugging tools, you can solve such problems easily. 

  • Logging & Monitoring 

    • Logging: By default, Lambda outputs every log to AWS CloudWatch Logs. 

    • Monitoring: AWS CloudWatch with Lambda offers basic runtime metrics for functions. 

  • Time Limit 

    To overcome this, break down the tasks into chunks to get them processed within the time limit. 

What is the Future of AWS Lambda for Serverless Computing?

Is AWS Lambda the future of serverless computing? Well, it’s hard to predict but there are some things that you should know. 

  • It will provide more complexity to cloud infrastructures while providing developers more choice for developing applications. 

  • In future, AWS Lambdas will cause developers to change the way of interacting with backend services. It will provide developers with new methods of accessing stored data in the cloud.

  • There are still many challenges in AWS Lambda that need to be addressed before businesses completely go for serverless computing. 


Everyone should go for serverless computing! Serveless technologies like AWS Lambdas can help your business make your applications scalable, flexible, and resilient.

Your team can own the system, which includes the infrastructure and architecture, so that there are fewer dependencies between teams.

Not only this, AWS Lambda helps business stakeholders understand the cost of transactions. This way, your business can make informed decisions on costs and the optimization of your application to maximize ROI.  


Is AWS Lambda a Microservice?

No, AWS Lambda isn’t a Microservice. It is a serverless computing platform that enables users to run code without managing servers. 

Is Lambda Iaas or PaaS?

AWS Lambdas are PaaS ( Platform as a Service). It can help you run as well as execute the backend code. 

What language is Lambda?

AWS Lambdas support a lot of languages, listed below: 

  • C#

  • PowerShell

  • Go

  • Java

  • Ruby

  • Node.js

  • JavaScript

  • Python

What Is AWS Lambda@Edge?

Lambda@Edge is an Amazon CloudFront feature that enables you to execute code nearer to the locations where your end users are located.

Lambda@Edge removes the burden of provisioning and managing infrastructure in numerous geographic regions. There are no fees incurred while your code is sleeping, and you only pay for the time it actually uses.

What is the alternative to AWS Lambda?

The following are some of the best alternatives to AWS Lambdas:

  • Serverless

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk

  • Azure Functions

  • Google App Engine

  • AWS Setup Functions

  • AWS Fargate 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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