AWS Lambda vs Azure Functions vs Google Cloud Functions

Technology
AWS Lambda vs Azure Functions vs Google Cloud Functions

AWS Lambda vs Azure Functions vs Google Cloud Functions

Technology
February 27, 2023
AWS Lambda vs Azure Functions vs Google Cloud Functions

Which serverless platform is the most cost-effective and versatile for event-driven computing?"

Introduction Serverless computing has revolutionized the way applications are built and deployed, providing developers with the ability to focus on code without managing underlying infrastructure. In this article, we will explore the three major serverless platforms - AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions - and highlight their key features and functionality.

AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions are all event-driven computing services offered by major cloud providers that allow you to run code without having to provision and manage servers. Here's a comparison of the three services on different aspects.

Key Features and Functionality

A. AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It offers several essential features:

  1. Explanation and scalability: AWS Lambda allows developers to run code without provisioning or managing servers. It automatically scales based on the incoming request volume, ensuring optimal performance.
  2. Integration with other AWS services: Lambda seamlessly integrates with various AWS services such as Amazon S3, DynamoDB, and API Gateway, enabling developers to build robust and scalable applications.
  3. Supported programming languages and frameworks: Lambda supports a wide range of programming languages including Python, Node.js, Java, and C#. It also provides libraries and frameworks to streamline development.
  4. Pricing model and considerations: AWS Lambda offers a pay-per-use pricing model based on the number of requests and duration of code execution, making it cost-effective for applications with varying workloads.

B. Azure Functions

Azure Functions is Microsoft's serverless computing offering within the Azure cloud platform. It provides the following key features:

  1. Overview and scalability: Azure Functions allows developers to execute code snippets or functions in a serverless environment. It automatically scales based on demand, ensuring efficient resource utilization.
  2. Integration with other Azure services: Azure Functions seamlessly integrates with various Azure services like Azure Storage, Cosmos DB, and Event Grid, enabling developers to build comprehensive solutions.
  3. Supported programming languages and frameworks: Azure Functions supports multiple programming languages such as C#, JavaScript, Python, and TypeScript. It also integrates with popular frameworks like .NET Core and Node.js.
  4. Pricing model and considerations: Azure Functions offers a consumption-based pricing model where you only pay for the resources used during code execution. This model provides cost savings for sporadic or low-traffic workloads.

C. Google Cloud Functions

Google Cloud Functions is Google's serverless computing service that allows developers to build and run applications. It offers the following key features:

  1. Introduction and scalability: Google Cloud Functions enables developers to write and deploy code as functions. It automatically scales based on demand, ensuring optimal performance.
  2. Integration with other Google Cloud services: Cloud Functions seamlessly integrates with various Google Cloud services such as Cloud Storage, Pub/Sub, and Firestore, facilitating the development of comprehensive solutions.
  3. Supported programming languages and frameworks: Cloud Functions supports popular programming languages like Python, Node.js, Go, and Java. It also integrates with frameworks like Express.js and Flask for web development.
  4. Pricing model and considerations: Google Cloud Functions follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where you are billed based on the number of function invocations, execution time, and resource usage. This model provides cost efficiency for applications with unpredictable workloads.

What are Use Cases and Examples of Aws Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions?

AWS Lambda: Real-time file processing

Lambda can be used to process uploaded files, perform transformations, and store results in a database or cloud storage. b. Event-driven data processing: Lambda can process events from various sources like AWS S3, DynamoDB, or IoT devices, allowing real-time data analysis and insights. c. Web application backends: Lambda can serve as the backend for web and mobile applications, executing business logic, and interacting with databases and APIs

Azure Functions: Chatbot development

Azure Functions can be used to build serverless chatbot applications, handling user interactions and integrating with messaging platforms or AI services. b. IoT event processing: Azure Functions can process events generated by IoT devices, allowing real-time monitoring, data analysis, and triggering appropriate actions. c. Serverless webhooks: Azure Functions can serve as webhook endpoints, integrating with external services to handle events and trigger actions in response.

Google Cloud Functions: Serverless data processing

Typical use cases and examples: a. Serverless data processing: Google Cloud Functions can be used to process and transform data in real-time, integrating with services like Pub/Sub for event-driven data processing. b. Mobile and web backends: Cloud Functions can serve as serverless backends for mobile and web applications, handling authentication, database interactions, and business logic. c. Real-time data analysis: Cloud Functions can process streaming data, allowing real-time analysis, monitoring, and triggering alerts or notifications.

Pricing

The cost of using AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions can vary depending on several factors, such as the number of invocations, the duration of each execution, the memory allocation, and the number of executions. Here's a high-level comparison of the pricing models for each service (Assuming Region Asia Pacific)

Pricing Model

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

Price per Request

Free for first 1M requests, then $0.20 per 1M requests

First 2M requests per month are free, then $0.40 per 1M requests

First 1M requests per month are free, then $0.20 per 1M requests

Price per GB- Second

$0.00001667 per GB-second

$0.0000025 per GB-second

$0.000016 per GB-second

Free Tier

1M free requests per month and 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month

2M free requests per month and 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month

1M free requests per month and 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month

We can estimate the expenses by using our actual request patterns for the three service providers in the following situation:

Scenario 1: Request pattern for well-established companies such as Clappia.

Average Lambda Requests: 49.8 M per month

Average Allocated memory: 128MB per Invocation

Average Execution Time: 500ms per Invocation

Cost (in USD)

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

 Azure Functions

Invocations

$9.76

$19.12

$9.80

CPU Utilization

$45.22

$66.92

$43.40

Others

nil

  • RAM (Gib-second) : $9.49
  • Minimum number of instance(in this case 1): $1.92

nil

Total (in USD)

$54.98 / month

$97.45 / month

$53.20 / month

Scenario 2: Some early age Startups ( Hooli, Aviato etc 🙂)

Average Lambda Requests: 2M per month

Average Allocated memory: 128MB  per Invocation

Average Execution Time: 500ms / per Invocation

Cost (in USD)

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

Invocations

$0.20

$0.0

$0.20

CPU Utilization

$0.0

$0.0

$0.0

Others

nil

  • RAM (Gib-second) : $0.0
  • Minimum number of instance(in this case 1): $1.92

nil

Total (in USD)

$0.20 / month

$1.92 / month

$0.20 / month

It is crucial to keep in mind that the costs outlined above are general approximations, and the actual expenses incurred will vary depending on the specific usage patterns of each service. 

Language Support

Language

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

C#

Yes

Yes

Yes

Java

Yes

Yes

Yes

Python

Yes

Yes

Yes

Go

Yes

Yes

Yes

Node.js

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ruby

Yes

No

No

PHP

Yes

No

Yes

PowerShell

Yes

No

Yes

Custom Runtime

Yes

Yes

Yes

Scale

AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions can all automatically scale to meet the demands of incoming requests. However, the exact scale capabilities may vary between services.

Scaling Capability

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

Scaling Type

Automatic

Automatic

Automatic

Scaling Limit

No limit, can request limit increase

2nd gen Cloud Functions have a default limit of 100 for both HTTP and event-driven functions. 1st gen Cloud Functions have a default limit of 3000 for event-driven functions, but there is no default limit for 1st gen HTTP Cloud Functions.

Up to 200 instances per function per region

Scaling Speed

MilliSeconds

Seconds

Seconds

Scaling Granularity

Per function or per account

Per function

Per function

Scaling Policy

Concurrent executions

Request per second

Request per instance

Warm Start

Supported

Supported

Supported

Integrations

Capability

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

API Gateway Integration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Compute Platform

AWS Elastic Container Service, AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service, Amazon EC2,

Google Kubernetes Engine, Compute Engine

Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Container Instances

Messaging Service

Amazon Simple Notification Service, Amazon Simple Queue Service

Cloud Pub/Sub, Firebase Cloud Messaging

Azure Service Bus, Azure Event Hubs

Database Integration

Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB,

Cloud SQL, Cloud Spanner

Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Database

DevOps Integration

AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeCommit

Cloud Build, Cloud Source Repositories

Azure DevOps, Azure Repos

Event Trigger Sources

Lambda can be integrated with over 140 AWS services directly or through the Amazon EventBridge event bus. The commonly utilized event sources for Lambda are:

Cloud Functions (2nd gen) offers support for various triggers, which includes:

HTTP triggers Event triggers, such as: Pub/Sub triggers Cloud Storage triggers Generalized Eventarc triggers Any event type supported by Eventarc, including 90+ event sources via Cloud Audit Logs.

Over 20 sources including Event Grid, Blob Storage, and more

Monitoring and Logging

  • AWS Lambda: AWS Lambda provides CloudWatch for monitoring and logging. CloudWatch allows you to monitor the performance of your functions and view logs for troubleshooting and debugging. You can also set up alarms to notify you of any issues with your functions. 
  • Google Cloud Functions: Google Cloud Functions integrates with StackDriver for monitoring and logging. StackDriver provides a unified view of logs and metrics from your cloud resources, and allows you to set up alerts and dashboards for quick and easy access to key metrics.
  •  Azure Functions: Azure Functions provides Application Insights for monitoring and logging. Application Insights provides real-time monitoring of your functions and allows you to view logs and diagnose issues. You can also set up custom alerts and dashboards to keep track of the health and performance of your functions.

Execution Duration and other Constraints

Service

AWS Lambda

Google Cloud Functions

Azure Functions

Max Execution Duration

900 sec or 15 mins

540 sec or 9 mins

600 sec or 10mins

Max Memory

10GB

8GB

3.5GB

Max Concurrent Executions

1000

1000

Varies by plan

Note: the maximum concurrent executions on AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions are the default limits, which can be increased by contacting the provider's support team.

Conclusion

After comparing the three services, AWS Lambda is the preferred choice for us. The cost of using AWS Lambda is significantly lower than the other two providers, especially for established companies that have high request patterns. Additionally, AWS Lambda supports a wide range of programming languages and has practically no limits on scaling. AWS Lambda also offers extensive integrations with other AWS services, making it a highly versatile service for developers. While Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions also have their unique strengths, AWS Lambda is the most cost-effective and versatile option for event-driven computing.

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