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Decisions about AWS Lambda and Docker
Florian Sager
IT DevOp at Agitos GmbH · | 2 upvotes · 176.4K views
Chose
LXD
over
Docker

lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.

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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 Docker
  • 126
    No infrastructure
  • 81
    Cheap
  • 68
    Quick
  • 57
    Stateless
  • 47
    No deploy, no server, great sleep
  • 9
    AWS Lambda went down taking many sites with it
  • 5
    Easy to deploy
  • 5
    Event Driven Governance
  • 5
    Extensive API
  • 4
    Auto scale and cost effective
  • 3
    VPC Support
  • 1
    Integrated with various AWS services
  • 821
    Rapid integration and build up
  • 688
    Isolation
  • 517
    Open source
  • 504
    Testa­bil­i­ty and re­pro­ducibil­i­ty
  • 459
    Lightweight
  • 217
    Standardization
  • 182
    Scalable
  • 105
    Upgrading / down­grad­ing / ap­pli­ca­tion versions
  • 86
    Security
  • 84
    Private paas environments
  • 33
    Portability
  • 25
    Limit resource usage
  • 15
    I love the way docker has changed virtualization
  • 15
    Game changer
  • 12
    Fast
  • 11
    Concurrency
  • 7
    Docker's Compose tools
  • 4
    Fast and Portable
  • 4
    Easy setup
  • 4
    Because its fun
  • 3
    Makes shipping to production very simple
  • 2
    It's dope
  • 1
    Highly useful
  • 1
    MacOS support FAKE
  • 1
    Its cool
  • 1
    Docker hub for the FTW
  • 1
    Very easy to setup integrate and build
  • 1
    Package the environment with the application
  • 1
    Does a nice job hogging memory
  • 1
    Open source and highly configurable
  • 1
    Simplicity, isolation, resource effective

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Cons of AWS Lambda
Cons of Docker
  • 5
    Cant execute ruby or go
  • 0
    Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort
  • 7
    New versions == broken features
  • 4
    Unreliable networking
  • 4
    Documentation not always in sync
  • 3
    Moves quickly
  • 1
    Not Secure

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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 Docker?

The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere

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What are some alternatives to AWS Lambda and Docker?
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