The service charges zero base costs to host your code, and instead bills you based on when that code is executed. Other cloud computing services typically bill you for a baseline level of hosting, with tiered capacities for computing power.
#1: MINIMISING the Cost
The principal benefit of the pay-as-you-go model is fairly obvious: because you pay only for exactly what you use, you minimize operating cost. None of the price you pay at the end of the month goes towards any unused minutes of server time, as your cost is solely a function of the time your application used.
A separate attractive AWS benefit shows itself in how they calculate the server time you used. The billing policy rounds up server time to the nearest 100 milliseconds, a far cry away from other cloud providers that round up to the nearest hour.
Multiple business owners have reported massive savings after going serverless. Company X Inc., for instance, cut their monthly bill from $30,000 to $4,000 the very same month they moved to Lambda. But don’t fall prey to the myth that Lambda is only for the big movers. Small business owner Avner Sorek went from $44.95/month to $6.12/month, which works out to an 85%+ reduction in cost!
#2: Automatic Scalability
Let’s say that for some reason, your application suddenly goes viral. It might be a tweet from a celebrity or an unplanned appearance on television. You never know what’s going to happen, but if it does, your application could be overloaded with server requests.
Although that’s a nice problem to have, it’s still very much a problem. Upgrading your capacity to service users simply isn’t an agile process when you’re using traditional cloud services.
With AWS Lambda serverless, however, the application scales automatically. It doesn’t matter if you need 3 requests one minute and 2,000 the next; the very nature of serverless accommodates any sudden spike in usage. And the best part? You don’t even have to step in and make it happen — it just does.
#3: Killer Use Cases
The benefits of AWS cloud serve a variety of use cases extremely well.
Daily Tasks — a quick ‘n dirty Python library can be employed here to accomplish basic daily functions, such as report generation or automated backups.
Notifications — any type of notifications, but particularly real-time, will find a use case with serverless Lambda. Once you create an SNS, you can set triggers that fire under certain policies. As an added plus, building out integrations to Slack or another messaging service is as simple as using supplied Lambda functions.
Process S3 objects — if your application is image-heavy, serverless was built for you. Functions like thumbnail generation are right up Lambda’s alley. And again, because of the automated scalability, the number of images will only positively impact how cost-effective this function will be. Resizing images, delivering various types of image formats, etc. are all possible.
Chatbots — automated chatbots make for an excellent Lambda use case. Set your code up in a way that it triggers when users make inputs to the bot. You’ll only pay for every time the bot is used.
#4: Quicker Iterative Development
Given that your engineers will be able to ship code directly from the vendor console, the need for continuous delivery tools is rendered obsolete. The net result? Your developers have more time to spend on improving the product. When new features are ready to be shipped, they can be done so in a much more timely manner.
#5: Less Operational Management
The net result of automatic scalability is less time spent on maintaining the service. Again, this frees up your technical staff for more product innovation and development.
In addition, once the security of the platform has been locked down, several continuous delivery integrations may become no longer necessary, as discussed above. So if you have someone now to serve as administrator for those systems, you may no longer require that role, saving personnel costs.
#6: Consolidate Functionality
The majority of modern businesses pair their marketing strategy with some kind of mass-mailing schedule. AWS Lambda allows you to integrate your application server needs with mass-mailing services such as SES. Thus, you can consolidate more of the functionality your team requires to operate under one house.
This not only reduces administrative costs but also makes your team’s workflow more streamlined and efficient. The productivity gains themselves make the case for Lambda.
#7: Industry-Leading Customer Service
Amazon as a whole company boasts an unfaultable reputation for quality customer service. The support for their Lambda service is no different. One of the most popular review services, Trust Radius, rates the support at 8.7 out of 10. G2 Crowd, the foremost peer-to-peer review website, also ranks AWS Lambda #1 in its industry.
If you need even more social proof, the ForeSee research firm has for the past nine consecutive years ranked Amazon #1 for customer service in the verticals they serve. This historic feat has never been matched by another company. It doesn’t look like the record will be broken by anyone other than Amazon anytime soon — this is easily one of the principal Amazon AWS benefits.