Apex vs AWS Lambda vs Serverless

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AWS Lambda

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Decisions about Apex, AWS Lambda, and Serverless
Tim Nolet
Founder, Engineer & Dishwasher at Checkly · | 13 upvotes · 102.2K views

When adding a new feature to Checkly rearchitecting some older piece, I tend to pick Heroku for rolling it out. But not always, because sometimes I pick AWS Lambda . The short story:

  • Developer Experience trumps everything.
  • AWS Lambda is cheap. Up to a limit though. This impact not only your wallet.
  • If you need geographic spread, AWS is lonely at the top.
The setup

Recently, I was doing a brainstorm at a startup here in Berlin on the future of their infrastructure. They were ready to move on from their initial, almost 100% Ec2 + Chef based setup. Everything was on the table. But we crossed out a lot quite quickly:

  • Pure, uncut, self hosted Kubernetes — way too much complexity
  • Managed Kubernetes in various flavors — still too much complexity
  • Zeit — Maybe, but no Docker support
  • Elastic Beanstalk — Maybe, bit old but does the job
  • Heroku
  • Lambda

It became clear a mix of PaaS and FaaS was the way to go. What a surprise! That is exactly what I use for Checkly! But when do you pick which model?

I chopped that question up into the following categories:

  • Developer Experience / DX 🤓
  • Ops Experience / OX 🐂 (?)
  • Cost 💵
  • Lock in 🔐

Read the full post linked below for all details

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Pros of Apex
Pros of AWS Lambda
Pros of Serverless
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 126
      No infrastructure
    • 80
    • 67
    • 57
    • 46
      No deploy, no server, great sleep
    • 9
      AWS Lambda went down taking many sites with it
    • 5
      Extensive API
    • 5
      Event Driven Governance
    • 5
      Easy to deploy
    • 4
      Auto scale and cost effective
    • 3
      VPC Support
    • 1
      Integrated with various AWS services
    • 12
      API integration
    • 6
      Supports cloud functions for Google, Azure, and IBM
    • 2
      Lower cost
    • 1
      Auto scale
    • 0

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of Apex
    Cons of AWS Lambda
    Cons of Serverless
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 5
        Cant execute ruby or go
      • 0
        Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort
        Be the first to leave a con

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        - No public GitHub repository available -

        What is Apex?

        Apex is a small tool for deploying and managing AWS Lambda functions. With shims for languages not yet supported by Lambda, you can use Golang out of the box.

        What is AWS Lambda?

        AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying compute resources for you. You can use AWS Lambda to extend other AWS services with custom logic, or create your own back-end services that operate at AWS scale, performance, and security.

        What is Serverless?

        Build applications comprised of microservices that run in response to events, auto-scale for you, and only charge you when they run. This lowers the total cost of maintaining your apps, enabling you to build more logic, faster. The Framework uses new event-driven compute services, like AWS Lambda, Google CloudFunctions, and more.

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        Blog Posts

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        What are some alternatives to Apex, AWS Lambda, and Serverless?
        Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
        Azure Functions
        Azure Functions is an event driven, compute-on-demand experience that extends the existing Azure application platform with capabilities to implement code triggered by events occurring in virtually any Azure or 3rd party service as well as on-premises systems.
        Cloud Functions for Firebase
        Cloud Functions for Firebase lets you create functions that are triggered by Firebase products, such as changes to data in the Realtime Database, uploads to Cloud Storage, new user sign ups via Authentication, and conversion events in Analytics.
        Google Cloud Functions
        Construct applications from bite-sized business logic billed to the nearest 100 milliseconds, only while your code is running
        Google Cloud Run
        A managed compute platform that enables you to run stateless containers that are invocable via HTTP requests. It's serverless by abstracting away all infrastructure management.
        See all alternatives
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        How much does Serverless cost?
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