AWS Lambda vs Realm: 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 Realm? Realm makes it easy to build reactive apps, realtime collaborative features, and offline-first experiences. The Realm Mobile Platform is a next-generation data layer for applications. Realm is reactive, concurrent, and lightweight, allowing you to work with live, native objects.
AWS Lambda belongs to "Serverless / Task Processing" category of the tech stack, while Realm can be primarily classified under "Mobile Database".
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, Realm provides the following key features:
- Feels like Home - Realm’s data structures look like the Objects and Arrays of your language, but provide additional features such as: querying, relationships & graphs, thread safety, and more.
- Memory-Efficient - Realm is not built on SQLite. Instead, a custom C++ core is used to provide memory-efficient access to your data by using Realm objects, which usually consume less RAM than native objects.
- F-F-Fast! - Realm offers extraordinary performance compared to SQLite and other persistence solutions.
"No infrastructure" is the primary reason why developers consider AWS Lambda over the competitors, whereas "Good" was stated as the key factor in picking Realm.
Realm is an open source tool with 13.3K GitHub stars and 1.73K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Realm's open source repository on GitHub.
9GAG, Asana, and CircleCI are some of the popular companies that use AWS Lambda, whereas Realm is used by SocialCops, Patreon, and Wongnai. AWS Lambda has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1022 company stacks & 612 developers stacks; compared to Realm, which is listed in 39 company stacks and 5 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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