AWS Lambda is now live across Amazon Web Services in preview form. The new compute service from Amazon provides an automated response to events within your business cloud processes or AWS services, and automatically launches a new piece of Node.js code or an application (up to 20MB upload size including libraries) to respond to the change. It manages the required computing resources automatically, creating a new and easier way to build responsive applications that help your business systems react to changing conditions or events.
Whatever the event, your AWS Lambda application will trigger within milliseconds, be it: requests to manage new data, handle image uploads, perform facial recognition or other tasks, react to customer website clicks, or a specific output from an Internet of Things device, such as home alarms, weather monitors or enterprise building management systems.
AWS Lambda can be used to create new automated services for the back end. This is easier to manage than EC2 tasks, where the user needs to do all the provisioning tasks. AWS Lambda processes are charged per request, so there is no wastage and with charges accruing per 100 milliseconds, costs of uncommon tasks can be kept to a bare minimum. Scaling is automatic, so new features or test features for your sites and services can be tested and measured in highly-accurate value terms.
Lambda runs these new applications on Amazon’s high-availability compute infrastructure (with the usual 99.99% uptime claims), with automated admin for compute resources, including server and OS maintenance, provisioning and scaling. Issues like code and security patch deployment, as well as monitoring and logging your code, are all handled automatically.
Lambda can be told to respond to changes in Amazon S3 buckets, Dynamo DB tables, Kenesis streams and other instances. Note that, currently, AWS Lambda functions cannot access resources that are stored behind a VPC. This creates an exciting new time for AWS professionals and users, as much more can be done in the background and without needing admin set up.
What would you do with an AWS Lambda instance and how could it help improve your business processes? We’re keen to know what you’d use it for.
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