AWS Lambda

Definition of AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It enables users to run their code without provisioning or managing servers, automatically scaling based on the number of requests. Users are charged only for the compute time of their functions, making Lambda a cost-effective solution for on-demand execution of code in response to various events.


The phonetics of the keyword “AWS Lambda” would be:A-W-S Lam-duhHere, “A-W-S” stands for “Amazon Web Services.”

Key Takeaways

  1. AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that allows users to run code without provisioning or managing servers.
  2. Lambda automatically scales applications by running code in response to triggers, such as changes to data in an Amazon S3 bucket or an Amazon DynamoDB table, or custom event sources from other AWS services.
  3. Users only pay for the compute time they use, as Lambda charges based on the duration and number of executions, making it a cost-effective solution for many applications.

Importance of AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a significant technology term because it represents a pioneering serverless computing service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that enables developers to effortlessly run and scale their code with high availability, without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.

By adopting a serverless framework, Lambda allows users to write functions in numerous programming languages, automatically execute them in response to various events and efficiently manage the computing resources required to run their applications.

In turn, developers benefit from the reduced operational complexities, seamless scalability, cost-effectiveness, and faster time to market, all of which optimize development processes and lead to creating more innovative and responsive applications in a dynamic business environment.


AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), designed to simplify and streamline the process of running code in the cloud. The primary purpose of this service is to enable developers to build and deploy applications that can auto-scale and respond to real-time events without the need to manage the underlying infrastructure.

With Lambda, companies can reduce operational overhead, as well as accelerate innovation and agility by allowing developers to focus on writing code and creating feature-rich applications. Lambda comes into play when code needs to be executed in response to a particular event, such as a change in data on an AWS service or an API call from a user.

The service automatically scales the allocated resources based on incoming requests, ensuring optimal performance without manual intervention. Lambda is particularly beneficial for projects requiring instant response times, fluctuating workloads, and a cost-effective pricing model that charges only for the compute time consumed during code execution.

Some common use cases for AWS Lambda include real-time file processing, data transformation, and microservice architectures, enhancing the workflow, efficiency, and overall functionality of these applications.

Examples of AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing platform provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that enables developers to run code and manage applications without provisioning or managing servers. Here are three real-world examples showcasing the use of AWS Lambda:

Thomson Reuters: As a multinational media and information firm, they handle massive volumes of data daily, including financial transactions and historical pricing data. To streamline their data processing workflow without over-provisioning resources, they turned to AWS Lambda. By using Lambda, they now process over 4,000 requests per second, enabling real-time data insight and ensuring they only pay for the compute time they consume.

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority): Responsible for analyzing billions of market events daily to identify any potential fraud or market manipulation, FINRA relies on AWS Lambda to manage this vast data stream. By leveraging Lambda, along with other AWS technologies, FINRA processes and analyzes the data to ensure market fairness and regulatory compliance. This system has allowed the organization to scale its operations according to market demands and efficiently deal with fluctuating workloads.

Zalora: A leading online fashion retailer in Southeast Asia, Zalora frequently updates its product catalog to ensure the latest trends are available to customers. To minimize delays between product updates and their availability on the website, Zalora utilizes AWS Lambda to automate the process. By connecting various microservices within their retail platform, Lambda enables the on-demand processing of product catalog updates, improving website performance and offering a better customer experience.


FAQ – AWS Lambda

1. What is AWS Lambda?

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows you to run your code without provisioning or managing servers. You can run your code in response to various events, such as changes to data in an Amazon S3 bucket or a trigger from an Amazon DynamoDB table, and it automatically scales with the number of incoming requests.

2. How does AWS Lambda work?

With AWS Lambda, you write your code in a language that is supported by the AWS Lambda runtime environment and create a Lambda function. You then set up your Lambda function to be automatically triggered in response to supported events such as HTTP requests, AWS service events, or custom events from your applications or third-party services. When an event occurs, Lambda executes your function and manages the underlying resources required to run it.

3. How do I get started with AWS Lambda?

To get started with AWS Lambda, you can follow these steps:
1. Sign up for an AWS account if you do not already have one.
2. Create a Lambda function in the AWS Management Console by providing your code or choosing a sample from the AWS Blueprint Library.
3. Configure your function’s triggers and required permissions.
4. Test your function in the AWS Management Console.
5. Deploy and monitor your Lambda function using AWS services and tools.

4. What programming languages and runtime environments are supported by AWS Lambda?

AWS Lambda currently supports the following programming languages and runtime environments: Node.js, Python, Java, Go, Ruby, .NET Core, and custom runtimes using the AWS Lambda Runtime API.

5. How much does AWS Lambda cost?

With AWS Lambda, you only pay for the compute time that you consume. There are no upfront fees or long-term commitments. You are billed based on the number of requests for your Lambda functions and the duration your functions run. AWS provides a monthly free tier with 1 million free requests and up to 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month.


Related Technology Terms

  • Serverless Computing
  • Function as a Service (FaaS)
  • AWS Lambda Triggers
  • AWS Lambda Layers
  • AWS Lambda@Edge

Sources for More Information


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