AWS Lambda vs Google App Engine: 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 Google App Engine? Build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications. 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.
AWS Lambda can be classified as a tool in the "Serverless / Task Processing" category, while Google App Engine is grouped under "Platform as a Service".
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, Google App Engine provides the following key features:
- Zero to sixty: Scale your app automatically without worrying about managing machines.
- Supercharged APIs: Supercharge your app with services such as Task Queue, XMPP, and Cloud SQL, all powered by the same infrastructure that powers the Google services you use every day.
- You're in control: Manage your application with a simple, web-based dashboard allowing you to customize your app's performance.
"No infrastructure", "Cheap" and "Quick" are the key factors why developers consider AWS Lambda; whereas "Easy to deploy", "Auto scaling" and "Good free plan" are the primary reasons why Google App Engine is favored.
According to the StackShare community, AWS Lambda has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1023 company stacks & 614 developers stacks; compared to Google App Engine, which is listed in 482 company stacks and 345 developer stacks.
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.
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
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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