AWS Lambda and the Serverless Cloud

AWS Lambda evolution and re:Invent 2015 news

Tim Wagner – general manager of AWS Lambda and AWS IoT at AWS – talked about how AWS Lambda – and the serverless cloud it spawned – have evolved since the service’s 2014 launch.

What AWS Lambda is and how it’s been evolving

First of all, AWS Lambda allows you to NOT think about servers. Which means you no longer have to deal with over/under capacity, deployments, scaling and fault tolerance, OS or language updates, metrics, and logging.

On the other hand, AWS Lambda lets you painlessly drop in your own code, run code in parallel, create backends, develop event handlers and data processing systems, and never pay for idle time.

In practice, AWS Lambda introduced a new serverless world, providing an event-driven scale with the flexibility of sub-second billing.

Back in November 2014, only S3, Amazon DynamoDB, and Kinesis were available for Lambda functions. Since then, plenty of other services have been integrated, like CloudFormation, SWF, CloudTrail, SES, Cognito, API Gateway, SNS, and CloudWatch. In this hands-on lab you learn how we can use the log stream functionality of CloudWatch to monitor the execution of a Lambda function.

Initially, only Node.js was supported, and Lambda functions had to be coded in JavaScript. Later, AWS added CORS support, mobile backends capabilities, sync calls and resource policies. Since this summer, new features and options have been available: Java support, S3 uploads, Tokyo region, and Alexa skills.

Blueprints from AWS partners have recently begun appearing to help you get started quickly by using sample configurations of events sources and Lambda functions.

AWS Lambda Cloudwatch Logs Processing

What’s new in AWS Lambda?

Werner Vogels highlighted recent Lambda-related updates during his second re:Invent Keynote in Las Vegas. Here are the new features Lambda now offers:

  • SES inbound rules for custom spam/virus checks.
  • CloudWatch Log processing to scan, audit, or index log entries in near real-time.
  • Python 2.7 support in all SDKs, CLI, and Console, including the latest SDK (version 1.1.3 of boto3).
  • Long-running functions  – from only 60 seconds up to 5 minutes.
  • Resource sizing between 23 power levels: compute price scales with the power level, the duration can range from 100ms to 5min. Keep in mind that AWS Free Tier includes 1M free requests and 400KGB-s/month.
  • Scheduled functions to enable periodic execution with a 5 min granularity (or by using cronjob syntax). For example, you could easily poll SQS or other data sources. CLI and SDK support will be available later this year.
  • Functions Versioning by using incremental integer versions, plus $LATEST and custom aliases, so you get total flexibility with versioning (both on API Gateway and Lambda).
  • IoT backends, to easily develop backends for your IoT applications.
  • VPC support for Lambda execution inside your own VPC. There is a new VpcConfig function configuration parameter. The execution takes just a bit longer, but you can finally access VPC resources such as RDS databases and local Memcached instances.

AWS Lambda versioning aliases
We are definitely looking forward to getting our hands of whatever is coming next for Lambda. If you want to deepen your understanding of how Lambda works, try Cloud Academy’s Understanding AWS Lambda course and read article AWS Lambda: an introduction and practical walkthrough.

Avatar

Written by

Alex Casalboni

Alex is a Software Engineer with a great passion for music and web technologies. He's experienced in web development and software design, with a particular focus on frontend and UX.


Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— January 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More

Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...

Read more
  • agile
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Linux
  • OWASP
  • programming
  • red hat
  • scrum
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 24, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more

Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you.  Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...

Read more
  • AWS
  • azure best practices
  • blog digest
  • Cloud Academy
  • Google Cloud
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— December 12, 2019

Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 10, 2019

New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level

Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • hands-on
  • labs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 5, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS solution architect
  • AZ-203
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • FCCS
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— December 4, 2019

Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration

What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Data Migration
Wendy Dessler
Wendy Dessler
— November 27, 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year

In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
  • certified
Avatar
Andrea Colangelo
— November 26, 2019

AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around

The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Dzenan Dzevlan
— November 20, 2019

Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer

What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...

Read more
  • ALB
  • Application Load Balancer
  • AWS
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • ELB
Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 31, 2019

AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS IoT Events
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
  • AWS IoT Things Graph
  • IoT