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Rahul Ladumor
Rahul Ladumor

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Stop using AWS Lambda for everything! πŸ›‘

AWS Serverless Showdown: Lambda vs ECS vs EKS - Which One Fits Your Startup Like a Glove? 🧀

Hey devs, how’s it going? πŸ‘‹ If you're like me, you've probably dabbled in the AWS ecosystem, especially when you're keen on cutting down on infrastructure management and want to go the serverless route. πŸš€ But AWS offers a smorgasbord of serverless and container orchestration options, so which one should you pick?

Before we jump in, a shoutout to those who read my previous article, "Serverless does not mean Lambda or FaaS!" πŸ”₯ If you haven't, no worries, we're about to dive into the deep end of AWS's serverless options: AWS Lambda with Step Functions, AWS ECS with Fargate, and AWS EKS with Fargate. Let's get rolling!

AWS Lambda with Step Functions: The Event-Driven Maestro 🎻

Lambda is the OG of AWS serverless computing. It runs your code in response to events like HTTP requests via API Gateway, modifications to objects in S3 buckets, or table updates in DynamoDB.

AWS Step Functions, on the other hand, is the conductor of this serverless orchestra. It coordinates multiple Lambda functions and other AWS services to create complex, state-aware workflows. Imagine you're building a food delivery app πŸ•. Step Functions can receive an order, send it to the kitchen, update you on the cooking status, and notify you when the food is out for delivery, all while keeping track of these state transitions.

// Sample Node.js Lambda Function triggered by Step Functions
exports.handler = async function(event) {
  console.log("Order Received: ", event);
  return {
    statusCode: 200,
    body: "Order processed successfully!"
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Benefits βœ…:

  • Pay only for the computing time you consume.
  • High level of abstraction makes it easy to deploy.
  • Scales automatically based on incoming requests.

Pitfalls ⚠️:

  • High level of vendor lock-in.
  • Limited maximum execution duration (15 minutes, to be precise).

AWS ECS with Fargate: The Container Overlord πŸ“¦

Let's talk about ECS (Elastic Container Service) managed by Fargate. If you're already running containerized microservices, ECS with Fargate can be an easy win. It allows you to forget about managing the underlying EC2 instances.

Benefits βœ…:

  • Very cost-efficient and flexible.
  • Extremely low vendor lock-in.

Pitfalls ⚠️:

  • Limited resource utilization configuration options.
  • You've got to keep an eye on resource utilization.

AWS EKS with Fargate: The Kubernetes King πŸ‘‘

Last but not least, let's discuss EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service). If you're a Kubernetes fan and you've got a more complex architecture, EKS could be your best bet. It offers incredible scalability and zero vendor lock-in. But, it's a bit more complex to set up. Consider it if you're in for the long haul.

Benefits βœ…:

  • Kubernetes compatibility, which means you can easily migrate to another cloud provider.
  • Flexibility and customization options are through the roof.

Pitfalls ⚠️:

  • The minimum fee for just running a cluster can be steep.
  • Not ideal for small startups.

So, Which One's for You? πŸ€”

Choosing the right architecture is like picking the perfect pair of sneakers: it has to fit your needs, your style, and your plans for the future πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ. Lambda is fantastic for quick, event-driven architectures, ECS excels at running containerized microservices, and EKS is perfect for those who want more control and are willing to manage its complexity.

Final Thoughts 🌈

Remember, the best architectural decision you can make is an informed one. Each option has its benefits and pitfalls, so weigh them against your startup's specific needs, especially if you're planning to scale quickly. And as always, there's no one-size-fits-all solutionβ€”except 42, of course! πŸ˜‰

Feel free to share your experiences, questions, or thoughts below. And if you found this blog useful, do give it a like and share it with your fellow devs! πŸ‘‡

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and not the views of my employer. While I strive for accuracy, please practice due diligence before implementing any solutions.


Absolutely, Mr. Rahul! Acknowledging someone's contribution, especially when their content has specifically influenced your own, is a great practice. Here's how you can credit Pooyan Razian:

Special Thanks

Big kudos to Pooyan Razian for his valuable insights which greatly enriched this blog post. The content and ideas from his Medium article "Stop Using AWS Lambda for Everything" served as inspiration for the discussion points raised here. If you're diving into the depths of DevOps and cloud engineering, I highly recommend giving Pooyan a follow on LinkedIn. The man knows his stuff!

Feel free to tweak the wording to match the tone of the rest of your blog. This will provide a clear acknowledgment and also direct your readers to another valuable resource.

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Top comments (2)

melphindev profile image

It looks like you've summarized the benefits and pitfalls pretty well. Impressive!

rahulladumor profile image
Rahul Ladumor

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you found the summary helpful.