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AWS Fargate vs AWS Lambda: What are the differences?

What is AWS Fargate? Run Containers Without Managing Infrastructure. AWS Fargate is a technology for Amazon ECS and EKS* that allows you to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters. With AWS Fargate, you no longer have to provision, configure, and scale clusters of virtual machines to run containers.

What is AWS Lambda? Automatically run code in response to modifications to objects in Amazon S3 buckets, messages in Kinesis streams, or updates in DynamoDB. 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.

AWS Fargate can be classified as a tool in the "Containers as a Service" category, while AWS Lambda is grouped under "Serverless / Task Processing".

Some of the features offered by AWS Fargate are:

  • No clusters to manage
  • seamless scaling
  • integrated with Amazon ECS and EKS

On the other hand, AWS Lambda provides the following key features:

  • Extend other AWS services with custom logic
  • Build custom back-end services
  • Completely Automated Administration

According to the StackShare community, AWS Lambda has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1345 company stacks & 2966 developers stacks; compared to AWS Fargate, which is listed in 53 company stacks and 30 developer stacks.

Decisions about AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda

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 AWS Fargate
Pros of AWS Lambda
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 128
      No infrastructure
    • 82
      Cheap
    • 69
      Quick
    • 58
      Stateless
    • 47
      No deploy, no server, great sleep
    • 9
      AWS Lambda went down taking many sites with it
    • 6
      Easy to deploy
    • 6
      Extensive API
    • 6
      Auto scale and cost effective
    • 6
      Event Driven Governance
    • 5
      VPC Support
    • 3
      Integrated with various AWS services

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of AWS Fargate
    Cons of AWS Lambda
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 5
        Cant execute ruby or go
      • 1
        Compute time limited
      • 0
        Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is AWS Fargate?

      AWS Fargate is a technology for Amazon ECS and EKS* that allows you to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters. With AWS Fargate, you no longer have to provision, configure, and scale clusters of virtual machines to run containers.

      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.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use AWS Fargate?
      What companies use AWS Lambda?
      See which teams inside your own company are using AWS Fargate or AWS Lambda.
      Sign up for Private StackShareLearn More

      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with AWS Fargate?
      What tools integrate with AWS Lambda?

      Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

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      What are some alternatives to AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda?
      Google App Engine
      Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
      Kubernetes
      Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
      AWS Batch
      It enables developers, scientists, and engineers to easily and efficiently run hundreds of thousands of batch computing jobs on AWS. It dynamically provisions the optimal quantity and type of compute resources (e.g., CPU or memory optimized instances) based on the volume and specific resource requirements of the batch jobs submitted.
      Batch
      Yes, we’re really free. So, how do we keep the lights on? Instead of charging you a monthly fee, we sell ads on your behalf to the top 500 mobile advertisers in the world. With Batch, you earn money each month while accessing great engagement tools for free.
      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