Azure Functions vs Serverless

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Azure Functions

402
431
+ 1
38
Serverless

971
877
+ 1
21
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Azure Functions vs Serverless: What are the differences?

Developers describe Azure Functions as "Listen and react to events across your stack". 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. On the other hand, Serverless is detailed as "The most widely-adopted toolkit for building serverless applications". 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.

Azure Functions and Serverless can be primarily classified as "Serverless / Task Processing" tools.

"Pay only when invoked" is the top reason why over 7 developers like Azure Functions, while over 10 developers mention "API integration " as the leading cause for choosing Serverless.

Serverless is an open source tool with 30.9K GitHub stars and 3.43K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Serverless's open source repository on GitHub.

Droplr, Plista GmbH, and Hammerhead are some of the popular companies that use Serverless, whereas Azure Functions is used by Property With Potential, OneWire, and Veris. Serverless has a broader approval, being mentioned in 117 company stacks & 44 developers stacks; compared to Azure Functions, which is listed in 30 company stacks and 22 developer stacks.

Decisions about Azure Functions and Serverless

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 Azure Functions
Pros of Serverless
  • 11
    Pay only when invoked
  • 8
    Great developer experience for C#
  • 5
    Multiple languages supported
  • 5
    Great debugging support
  • 2
    Poor developer experience for C#
  • 2
    Easy scalability
  • 2
    Can be used as lightweight https service
  • 1
    Event driven
  • 1
    Azure component events for Storage, services etc
  • 1
    WebHooks
  • 12
    API integration
  • 6
    Supports cloud functions for Google, Azure, and IBM
  • 2
    Lower cost
  • 1
    Auto scale
  • 0
    Openwhisk

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is 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.

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.

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

What companies use Azure Functions?
What companies use Serverless?

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What tools integrate with Azure Functions?
What tools integrate with Serverless?

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What are some alternatives to Azure Functions and Serverless?
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.
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.
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.
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Interest over time