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Decisions about AWS Lambda and Kubernetes
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 29 upvotes · 4.3M views

Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

  • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
  • Respectively Git as revision control system
  • SourceTree as Git GUI
  • Visual Studio Code as IDE
  • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
  • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
  • SonarQube as quality gate
  • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
  • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
  • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
  • Heroku for deploying in test environments
  • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
  • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
  • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
  • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
  • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

  • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
  • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
  • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
  • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
  • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
  • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
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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 Kubernetes
  • 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
  • 161
    Leading docker container management solution
  • 126
    Simple and powerful
  • 103
    Open source
  • 75
    Backed by google
  • 56
    The right abstractions
  • 24
    Scale services
  • 19
    Replication controller
  • 9
    Permission managment
  • 7
    Simple
  • 7
    Supports autoscaling
  • 6
    Cheap
  • 4
    Self-healing
  • 4
    No cloud platform lock-in
  • 4
    Reliable
  • 3
    Open, powerful, stable
  • 3
    Scalable
  • 3
    Quick cloud setup
  • 3
    Promotes modern/good infrascture practice
  • 2
    Backed by Red Hat
  • 2
    Cloud Agnostic
  • 2
    Runs on azure
  • 2
    Custom and extensibility
  • 2
    Captain of Container Ship
  • 2
    A self healing environment with rich metadata
  • 1
    Golang
  • 1
    Easy setup
  • 1
    Everything of CaaS
  • 1
    Sfg
  • 1
    Expandable
  • 1
    Gke

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Cons of AWS Lambda
Cons of Kubernetes
  • 6
    Cant execute ruby or go
  • 1
    Compute time limited
  • 0
    Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort
  • 15
    Poor workflow for development
  • 13
    Steep learning curve
  • 7
    Orchestrates only infrastructure
  • 4
    High resource requirements for on-prem clusters
  • 1
    Additional vendor lock-in (Docker)
  • 1
    Additional Technology Overhead
  • 1
    More moving parts to secure
  • 1
    Too heavy for simple systems

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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 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.

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Jobs that mention AWS Lambda and Kubernetes as a desired skillset
Pinterest
San Francisco, CA, US; Atlanta, GA, US; New York, NY, US
CBRE
United States of America Texas Richardson
CBRE
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland England London
What companies use AWS Lambda?
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What are some alternatives to AWS Lambda and Kubernetes?
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