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AWS Lambda vs Cloudflare Workers: What are the differences?

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.

What is Cloudflare Workers? Build serverless applications on Cloudflare's global cloud network. Build serverless applications on Cloudflare's global cloud network of 165 data centers. It provides a lightweight JavaScript execution environment that allows developers to augment existing applications or create entirely new ones without configuring or maintaining infrastructure.

AWS Lambda and Cloudflare Workers belong to "Serverless / Task Processing" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by AWS Lambda are:

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

On the other hand, Cloudflare Workers provides the following key features:

  • Load balance between multiple origins to improve speed or reliability
  • Render HTML templates while fetching dynamic content from your origin
  • Dynamically respond to requests without needing to connect to an origin server at all
Decisions about AWS Lambda and Cloudflare Workers

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 Lambda
Pros of Cloudflare Workers
  • 128
    No infrastructure
  • 82
    Cheap
  • 69
    Quick
  • 58
    Stateless
  • 47
    No deploy, no server, great sleep
  • 11
    AWS Lambda went down taking many sites with it
  • 6
    Event Driven Governance
  • 6
    Easy to deploy
  • 6
    Extensive API
  • 6
    Auto scale and cost effective
  • 5
    VPC Support
  • 3
    Integrated with various AWS services
    Be the first to leave a pro

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of AWS Lambda
    Cons of Cloudflare Workers
    • 6
      Cant execute ruby or go
    • 2
      Compute time limited
    • 0
      Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort
      Be the first to leave a con

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      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 Cloudflare Workers?

      Build serverless applications on Cloudflare's global cloud network of 165 data centers. It provides a lightweight JavaScript execution environment that allows developers to augment existing applications or create entirely new ones without configuring or maintaining infrastructure.

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

      Jobs that mention AWS Lambda and Cloudflare Workers as a desired skillset
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      See which teams inside your own company are using AWS Lambda or Cloudflare Workers.
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      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with AWS Lambda?
      What tools integrate with Cloudflare Workers?

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

      Blog Posts

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      GitHubDockerAmazon EC2+23
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      JavaScriptGitHubPython+42
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      What are some alternatives to AWS Lambda and Cloudflare Workers?
      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.
      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.
      AWS Elastic Beanstalk
      Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.
      AWS Step Functions
      AWS Step Functions makes it easy to coordinate the components of distributed applications and microservices using visual workflows. Building applications from individual components that each perform a discrete function lets you scale and change applications quickly.
      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.
      See all alternatives