When should I use AWS Lambda versus Amazon EC2?

A simple answer to this question would be, if you want your events driven service managed use AWS Lambda, you just provide the code in the required language and Amazon AWS does the rest. If you want to customise for your own needs and use whatever coding language you prefer Amazon EC2 offers flexibility and a whole range of EC2 Instance types to choose from, in conjunction with Elastic Beanstalk services for deploying onto Amazon EC2.

However, this is a very brief outlook, to fully understands how effective both these services function and the benefits they offer for your business a more detailed comparison is needed.

What is Lambda and how does it work?

AWS Lambda is a service for running code in response to events, such as changes to data in an Amazon S3 bucket and Amazon DynamoDB tables, or as compute services to run your code in response to HTTP requests using Amazon API gateway or API calls made by using AWS SDKs. This is an ideal computer platform for applications when run within the standard runtime environment.

AWS Lambda currently supports Node.js, Java and Python computer languages. Code is supplied by the customer, templates are available for specific functions , executes only when needed and scales automatically, to meet requirements. This enables Lambda to  build  data processing triggers  for AWS services. Aws Lambda manages the computer fleet that handles memory, CPU, networking and other resources in exchange for flexibility, in other words you cannot modify your instance in any way while hosted on AWS Lambda. This allows AWS Lambda to perform operational and administrative activities such as provisioning capacity, monitoring fleet health, applying security patching , and deploying code while monitoring and logging the AWS Lambda functions.

So what does all this really mean?

You pay for the compute time you use, no charge when not running, you can run code from virtually any type of application or backend service – all without administration responsibility. You just upload your code in the required language and AWS Lambda takes care of everything required to run and scale with high availability . Then  it can be set, to automatically trigger from other AWS services, or call directly from any web or mobile App.

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What is EC2 and  how does it work?

Amazon Elastic compute cloud (Amazon EC2) was designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. This provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. With Amazon EC2 offering scalability.  Applications can scale up and down to meet your needs. With complete control of your instance, root access to each instance, ability to stop, start and reboot from a web-service API. Amazon EC2 also offers flexible cloud hosting services, with a range of  multiple instances types, operating systems, and software packages. These all work in conjunction with Amazon simple storage services(S3)Amazon Relational Database services (Amazon RDS), Amazon Simple DB and Amazon Queue Services (Amazon SQS) and many more, providing a reliable 99.95% commitment of availability for each Amazon EC2 Region.

So why use Lambda?

With Amazon EC2 a  wide range of tools are available to monitor and log your instances automatically, however, triggers are not set unless done by the company and approved by AWS, all traffic is logged and monitored. With Amazon Lambda provided you are using the required language and you have coded it correctly to launch a triggered event, all the information is gathered specific to those triggered giving you  a “NoOps” function allowing real-time analytics of raw data. Companies using Amazon Lambda have shared their experience with us.                                         

Amazon Lambda eliminates the need to understand or worry about infrastructure, with companies highlighting  the benefits they acquired,  Amazon Lambda offers sample code for Real-time file processingReal-time stream processingExtract, Transform, Load for data validationServerless Backends i.e. IoT  Sensors to detect and redirect information, Mobile Backends for social Media APPs and web-Apps i.e. Weather Application. Amazon AWS have yet again shown why they are the leading company in cloud computing services.

About CloudRanger

CloudRanger offer a simple DevOps automation solution to make it easy to manage backups & servers on AWS cloud. Using CloudRanger, you can easily backup your RDS and EC2 instances as well as EBS volumes with snapshots and AMIs.

With an easy to use interface, managing your routine AWS tasks is simple and effective. CloudRanger saves your team time and hassle, making the day-to-day management of your AWS resources easier and more automated. CloudRanger can also help you save on your EC2 costs by starting/stopping non-production instances automatically when you need them.

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