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Serverless computing allows you to build and run applications and services without thinking about servers. With serverless computing, your application still runs on servers, but all the server management is done by AWS. At the core of serverless computing is AWS Lambda, which lets you run your code without provisioning or managing servers. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service, and it takes care of everything required to run and scale your code with high availability.

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AWS Lambda automatically runs your code without requiring you to provision or manage servers. Just write the code and upload it to Lambda.

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AWS Lambda automatically scales your application by running code in response to each trigger. Your code runs in parallel and processes each trigger individually, scaling precisely with the size of the workload.

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With AWS Lambda, you are charged for every 100ms your code executes and the number of times your code is triggered. You don't pay anything when your code isn't running.

Serverless computing lets you build scalable and cost-effective applications that scale up or down automatically without the need for provisioning, scaling, and managing servers. You use AWS Lambda to run your application’s code and Lambda triggers your code in response to events, such as HTTP requests or changes to data in an Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon DynamoDB table. You are charged for the duration it takes for your code to execute and the number of times your code is triggered. Since Lambda scales precisely with the size of your workload, you never pay for idle compute.

AWS also provides a set of fully managed services that you can use with Lambda to build serverless applications. These services let you add database and storage tiers for your application or manage connections and messages from mobile and IoT devices. You can use these services together with Lambda to build applications that don’t require provisioning and maintaining servers or administering databases. You also no longer need to worry about application fault tolerance and availability. Instead, AWS provides all of these capabilities for you, allowing you to focus on product innovation and get faster time-to-market.

Delivering a serverless application at scale demands a platform with a broad set of capabilities. Here’s how AWS supports enterprise-grade applications built using serverless computing:

Cloud Logic Layer

Power your business logic with AWS Lambda, which can act as the control plane and logic layer for all your interconnected infrastructure resources and web APIs.  

Orchestration and State Management

Coordinate and manage the state of each distributed component or microservice of your serverless application using AWS Step Functions.

Responsive Data Sources

Choose from a broad set of data sources and providers that you can use to process data or trigger events in real-time. See our documentation for a list of responsive data sources.

Application Modeling Framework

Use the open source AWS Serverless Application Model to model and deploy your serverless applications and services. Continuously deliver your serverless applications using application lifecycle management tools such as AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild.

Developer Ecosystem

Leverage an ecosystem of third-party tools and open source projects that streamline the building, testing, and deployment of code from development to production. See our Ecosystems page for more information on developer tools.

Integrations Library

Get started quickly with our collection of reusable templates or blueprints that make it easy for you to use integrations with popular third-party services (e.g., Slack, Algorithmia, Twilio, Loggly, Splunk, Sumo Logic, etc).

Security and Access Control

Enforce compliance and secure your entire IT environment with logging, change tracking, access controls, and encryption. Securely control access to your AWS resources with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Use Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to create private virtual networks which only you can access.

Reliability and Performance

AWS provides highly available, scalable, low-cost services that deliver performance for enterprise scale. AWS Lambda reliably executes your business logic with built-in features such as dead letter queues and automatic retries. See our customer stories to learn how companies are using AWS to run their applications.

Global Scale and Reach

Take your application and services global in minutes using our global reach. AWS Lambda is available in multiple AWS regions and in all AWS edge locations via Lambda@Edge. You can also run Lambda functions on local, connected devices with AWS Greengrass.

AWS provides you with a set of fully managed services that can be used to build highly scalable serverless applications and services. You can build everything from mobile backends to streaming data processors using serverless computing.

Compute

AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume - there is no charge when your code is not running. Just upload your code and Lambda takes care of everything required to run and scale your code with high availability.

Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), provides developers and IT teams with secure, durable, highly-scalable object storage. Amazon S3 is easy to use, with a simple web service interface to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web.

Databases

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast and flexible NoSQL database service for all applications that need consistent, single-digit millisecond latency at any scale. It is a fully managed cloud database and supports both document and key-value store models.

API Proxy

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. Amazon API Gateway allows you to process hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls and handles traffic management, authorization and access control, monitoring, and API version management.

Analytics

Amazon Kinesis is a platform for streaming data on AWS, offering powerful services to make it easy to load and analyze streaming data, and also providing the ability for you to build custom streaming data applications for specialized needs.

Messaging & Queues

Amazon SNS is a fast, flexible, fully managed pub-sub messaging service. Use it as a cloud-based mobile app notification service to send push notifications, email, and SMS messages; or as an enterprise-messaging infrastructure. Amazon SQS is a fast, reliable, scalable, fully managed message queuing service. SQS makes it simple and cost-effective to decouple the components of a cloud application.

Orchestration & State Management

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. Step Functions is a reliable way to coordinate components and step through the functions of your application.

Diagnostics

AWS X-Ray helps developers analyze and debug production, distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architecture. With X-Ray, you can understand how your application and its underlying services are performing to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and errors.

Build virtually any type of application or backend service using a serverless architecture.
Below are a couple of use cases:
 

You can build serverless web applications and backends using AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon S3, and Amazon DynamoDB to handle web, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), and chatbot requests.

Example: Web Application Reference Architecture: Diagram | Sample Code

Lambda_WebApplications

Example: Mobile Backend Reference Architecture: Diagram | Sample Code

Lambda_MobileBackends
Lambda_Bustle

Bustle runs a serverless backend for its Bustle iOS app and websites using AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway. Serverless architectures allow Bustle to never have to deal with infrastructure management, so every engineer can focus on building out new features and innovating. Read the case study »

You can build a variety of real-time data processing systems using AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, and Amazon DynamoDB.

Example: Data Processing Reference Architecture:  Diagram | Sample Code

Lambda_FileProcessing
Lambda_SeattleTimes

The Seattle Times uses AWS Lambda to resize images for viewing on different devices such as desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Read the case study »


Example: Real-Time Streaming Data Reference Architecture: Diagram | Sample Code 

Lambda_StreamProcessing
serverless-benchling

Benchling uses a serverless architecture to process genomics data at scale, reducing processing times by 90%. This allows scientists using their platform to spend more of their time focusing on their research. Read the case study »