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serverless / Blog / Serverless Cloud / 6 Native AWS Services That Can Build Serverless Platform

6 Native AWS Services That Can Build Serverless Platform

6 Native AWS Services That Can Build Serverless Platform

In our decades-long journey with AWS, we've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of cloud computing. As pioneers in harnessing the potential of AWS and serverless, we understand the intricacies and the vast expanse of possibilities it unfolds. As a titan in the cloud computing realm, AWS has consistently set the gold standard. It's not just about being in the cloud; it's about leveraging cloud-native services on AWS to innovate, scale, and evolve.

The beauty of AWS isn't just in its expansive service offerings but in its commitment to a cloud-native approach. This article delves into the world of native AWS services, spotlighting those quintessential components that can help you build a robust serverless platform. 

Whether you're an established enterprise or a budding startup, understanding these cloud-native services on AWS can chart your trajectory toward unparalleled digital success. Join us as we navigate the AWS cloud-native architecture world and unpack each service's nuances.

AWS Services for Building a Serverless Platform

In the expansive universe of AWS, certain services stand out as cornerstones for building serverless platforms. By truly embracing the cloud-native ethos, AWS offers tools that seamlessly integrate and scale, providing businesses with solutions that can adapt and evolve in real time. In this segment, we'll deep dive into 6 native AWS services, illustrating their key features and showcasing real-world applications.

AWS Lambda

Let us start off with our absolute favorite—AWS Lambda. AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services. It allows developers to run code in response to specific events without the need to provision or manage servers. With Lambda, you can automatically scale applications, integrate seamlessly with other AWS services, and only pay for the compute time consumed during code execution.

An example of using AWS Lambda for data processing.
An example of using AWS Lambda for data processing. Taken from aws.amazon.com/lambda

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Event-driven Execution: AWS Lambda is designed to use events like changes to data in an Amazon S3 bucket or updates in a DynamoDB table to trigger the execution of code.
  • Automatic Scaling: Lambda automatically scales applications by running code in response to each trigger. The code runs in parallel and processes each trigger individually, scaling precisely with the size of the workload.
  • Integrated with AWS Services: Lambda is deeply integrated into the AWS ecosystem, allowing your functions to interact with other AWS services seamlessly.
  • Built-in Fault Tolerance: AWS Lambda maintains computing capacity and infrastructure reliability, including monitoring, logging via Amazon CloudWatch, and automatic retries.
  • Custom Runtime Support: You can bring your runtime and execute any kind of application or backend service.

Use Cases:

Here are some of the AWS Lambda use cases covered before, among them we can single out the following ones:

  • Data Processing: Businesses can use AWS Lambda to process real-time data and generate responsive data for applications, analytics, and other platforms. For instance, it can be used to automatically thumbnail images when uploaded to Amazon S3.
  • Backend for Applications: Lambda can serve as a backend that is invoked by client code. For instance, it can be combined with Amazon API Gateway to create RESTful APIs that are serverless and scalable.
  • Automation Tasks: Routine tasks and scheduled jobs, such as backups or cleaning up old data, can be automated using Lambda in combination with AWS event sources.
  • IoT Backend: For IoT applications, Lambda can be used to validate, store, and process the data and respond to IoT device events.

Pricing:

  • Priced based on the number of requests and the duration of code execution.
  • 1 million requests and 400,000 GB-seconds of computing time per month is free. Beyond that, you’ll have to pay per request and GB-second.

In this article we cover the pricing of AWS Lambda in detail, check it out.

AWS S3 Buckets

The AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service) Bucket is a highly scalable and durable object storage service. It offers easy-to-use management features, data lifecycle policies, and fine-grained access controls.

An example of storage cost optimization with AWS S3.
An example of storage cost optimization with AWS S3. Taken from aws.amazon.com/s3

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Object Storage: At its core, S3 is designed for object storage, allowing you to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time.
  • Durability & Availability: AWS S3 offers 99.999999999% (11 9's) durability over a given year and 99.99% availability. This ensures that data is not just safely stored, but also readily accessible.
  • Versioning: S3 can preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of every object, providing a safeguard against inadvertent deletions or overwrites.
  • Event Configuration: Set up event-driven computing with other AWS native services. For instance, you can trigger Lambda functions in response to object changes.
  • Lifecycle Policies: Automate moving your objects between different storage classes and archive objects in the S3 Glacier storage or delete them altogether.

Use Cases:

  • Static Website Hosting: Companies use S3 to host static websites, delivering content globally with low latency.
  • Data Backup: S3 serves as a reliable backup solution for enterprises, storing vast amounts of data securely.

Pricing:

  • The cost of AWS S3 Buckets is based on storage (how much data you're storing) and data transfer (how much data is going into and out of your buckets).
  • S3 also offers different storage classes, which come with their own pricing, e.g., Standard, Intelligent-Tiering, One Zone-IA, Glacier, and Glacier Deep Archive.

AWS Athena Database

AWS Athena is an interactive query service that allows users to analyze vast datasets in S3 using standard SQL without complex ETL jobs.

Depicting how AWS Athena Database works.
Explaining how AWS Athena works; taken from aws.amazon.com/athena

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Serverless: Athena is serverless, meaning there is no infrastructure to set up or manage, and you pay only for the queries you run.
  • Standard SQL: Execute ad-hoc queries using standard SQL, making it straightforward for anyone familiar with SQL.
  • Integrated with AWS Glue: Athena uses AWS Glue to create, discover, and catalog data stored in S3.
  • Concurrent & Fast: Execute queries in parallel, returning results in seconds, even on large datasets.

Use Cases:

  • Log Analysis: Athena is commonly used to sift through large log files to derive actionable insights.
  • Ad-hoc Data Exploration: Data scientists utilize Athena for spontaneous data discovery and analysis.

Pricing:

  • AWS Athena Database is a serverless query service. Meaning, you pay per query and the amount of data scanned during the query.
  • You will also have to pay extra to save query results to S3.

AWS Aurora Database

A relational database service, Aurora boasts up to five times the performance of MySQL and three times the performance of PostgreSQL, with seamless scalability and security.

Explaining how AWS Aurora works; taken from aws.amazon.com/aurora

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Performance: Aurora offers up to 3 times faster performance than PostgreSQL and up to 5 times faster than MySQL.
  • Scalability: With just a few clicks, you can scale your database's compute capacity up or down.
  • Automatic Backups: Aurora continuously backs up your data to S3, ensuring that your data is safe.
  • Endpoints: Different types of endpoints like reader, writer, and custom endpoints facilitate load balancing and segregated read-write traffic.

Use Cases:

  • Financial Systems: Given its high performance, Aurora powers complex financial systems that require real-time data access.
  • E-commerce Backends: Many e-commerce platforms leverage Aurora for its reliability and fast transaction rates.

Pricing:

  • Pricing is based on database instance hours, storage, backup storage, and data transfer.
  • Aurora can be more cost-effective than traditional relational databases because its serverless option auto-scales with usage.

AWS Amplify

Amplify streamlines the creation and deployment of cloud-powered mobile and web apps, with built-in authentication, APIs, and offline data sync.

Creating cross-platform backend with AWS Amplify.
Creating cross-platform backend with AWS Amplify; taken from aws.amazon.com/amplify

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Development Framework: Provides an open-source framework for developing cloud-connected mobile and web apps.
  • Authentication & User Management: Built-in user authentication services, including single sign-on and multi-factor authentication.
  • API Management: Allows you to configure APIs, whether GraphQL or REST, in minutes.
  • Offline Data Sync: Amplify offers seamless offline data access and synchronizes in real-time when back online.

Use Cases:

  • Rapid App Development: Startups often utilize Amplify to swiftly prototype and roll out MVPs (Minimum Viable Products).
  • Integrated Web Apps: Enterprises deploy intricate web apps, integrating multiple AWS services through Amplify.

Pricing:

  • AWS Amplify consists of different services (like hosting, authentication, APIs). The cost of hosting is based on build & deploy minutes and the amount of storage and data transfer.
  • For other services, you pay for what you use (e.g., API calls).

AWS Step Functions

Step Functions coordinate multiple AWS services into serverless workflows, allowing for the creation of visual workflows to automate processes.

Explaining how AWS Step Functions works.
Explaining how AWS Step Functions works; taken from aws.amazon.com/step-functions

Key Features and Capabilities:

  • Visual Workflows: Lets you visualize and design your workflow, making it intuitive to understand and modify.
  • Error Handling: Built-in error handling, retries, and timeouts help in managing the unexpected.
  • Multiple AWS Service Integration: Step Functions can integrate directly with services like Lambda, ECS, DynamoDB, and more.
  • Auditing & Logging: With AWS CloudTrail, you can log, monitor, and retain workflow execution history events.

Use Cases:

  • Data Processing Pipelines: Many businesses use Step Functions to automate and visualize their data processing tasks.
  • Order Processing in E-commerce: Step Functions help in streamlining order processing, coordinating between services like inventory checks and payment gateways.

Pricing:

  • It’s a pay-per-state-transition model, which means they charge you for every step in your workflow.
  • There is a certain number of state transitions that come for free each month, but after that you pay per transition.

These cloud-native services on AWS are more than mere tools; they are gateways to building scalable, resilient, and efficient serverless platforms. Each carries its unique strengths, empowering businesses to achieve their digital aspirations.

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Best Practices for Building Serverless Platforms on AWS

Going serverless is much like attaining nirvana. It's about shedding the weight of infrastructure management, scaling effortlessly, and paying only for what you use. With cloud-native AWS services, the dream isn't far off. However, achieving serverless success mandates adherence to some best practices. Let's dive into them.

Security First

Much like a bouncer, AWS service help you keep put unwanted intruders. Use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to set precise roles and permissions for every function or service. Ensure principle of least privilege (PoLP). Employ encryption at rest and in transit. Native AWS services, such as AWS S3 and Aurora, offer built-in encryption. Secure your resources by deploying them in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Even in serverless, controlling network paths and flow is essential.

Scalability Considerations

To cover for any scalability issues, design your serverless functions to be stateless. It aids in scaling horizontally by allowing AWS to instantiate as many copies of the function as needed. Services like AWS Lambda will help you anticipate and manage the concurrency of your serverless components. However, mind the AWS service quotas and how they might influence the scalability of your applications. If necessary, request quota adjustments in advance.

Cost Management

Break down your functions to do one thing and do it well. Granularity can help reduce the runtime and, consequently, the cost. Employ AWS native services like CloudWatch to monitor usage. Set up alerts to notify of unusual spikes in activity or cost. And make sure your functions are optimized in terms of execution time, especially in serverless architectures where execution time directly impacts costs.

Embrace the Cloud-Native Mindset

Design applications as a collection of loosely coupled, independently deployable microservices. This suits the serverless model and the cloud-native architecture on AWS perfectly. To top it off, adopt an event-driven approach. AWS offers a multitude of services, from S3 to DynamoDB, that can generate events which, in turn, trigger serverless functions.

Continuous Learning & Iteration

AWS constantly evolves. Keep abreast of the latest enhancements to native AWS services. And set up a feedback loop with your operations, development teams, and AWS. Regularly review and refine your architecture based on feedback and metrics.

In the ever-evolving world of AWS cloud-native services, remembering these best practices will be your beacon. They ensure that while your applications effortlessly scale, remain secure, and cost-effective, they also epitomize the spirit of the serverless and cloud-native paradigm.

Our Expertise as a Serverless Consulting Partner

In the vast cloud-native landscape, we, as a premier serverless consulting partner, have carved our niche by delivering transformative solutions that take advantage of the power of native AWS services. Here are a few success stories showcasing our proficiency in serverless technologies and cloud-native architecture on AWS:

Aggregator Platform Transformation

A founder of an aggregator platform, bridging banks and fintech startups, came to us with a challenge: data migration from MongoDB to Postgres. But diving deeper, we unearthed performance bottlenecks hindering user experience. Our holistic approach involved rethinking the architecture, streamlining Lambda functions, and a seamless data migration. The outcome? A robust platform with enhanced backend performance, ensuring seamless fintech collaboration, thereby catalyzing business growth.

CampaignMeister's Infrastructure Overhaul

CampaignMeister, a leading campaign management tool, entrusted us with the creation of a resilient AWS infrastructure. Key challenges included maintaining multiple environments, ensuring private networking, and zero-downtime deployments. Embracing a cloud-native approach, we utilized AWS CloudFormation, implemented the Blue/Green deployment strategy, and bolstered network security with Amazon VPC. Through our efforts, CampaignMeister achieved a fault-tolerant, secure, and cost-optimized infrastructure.

Elevating Aim Gods' Gaming Experience

Finalmouse's online shooter game, Aim Gods, presented us with a multifaceted task. We had to infuse various features such as matchmaking, real-time chat, Twitch integration, and an admin panel while enhancing security against potential threats. Our serverless journey with AWS GameLift, API Gateway WebSockets, and AWS GuardDuty, among others, culminated in a dynamic gaming experience with reinforced security measures.

In essence, our team thrives on harnessing the cloud-native AWS ecosystem to address complex challenges. Our track record stands testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence in serverless solutions. Whether it's a performance hiccup or a need for a holistic architectural overhaul, we're here to guide businesses to their cloud-native zenith. If you want to hire dedicated AWS developers, the Serverless team is here for you.

Summary

Navigating the realm of serverless platforms can be a complex endeavor, but with the right expertise and tools, businesses can harness its true potential. Throughout this article, we delved into the nuances of native AWS services and their capabilities, showcased real-world use cases, and underscored best practices to build robust serverless platforms. Our experiences as a serverless consulting partner further reinforce the transformative power of cloud-native architecture on AWS.

If your business is looking to venture into the world of serverless, requires guidance in optimizing your existing AWS infrastructure, or wants to hire an AWS architect, our team is at your service. Dive deeper into this realm with us. Reach out, and let's explore the boundless possibilities together.

Faq

What are the advantages of adopting a cloud-native AWS approach for my serverless applications?


Adopting a cloud-native AWS approach ensures scalability, resilience, and flexibility. It allows for rapid deployment, reduced operational overhead, and cost-effective solutions tailored to your serverless applications' needs.

How can AWS native services help in optimizing cost considerations for serverless development?


AWS native services offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, ensuring you only pay for what you use. With serverless development on AWS, there's no need for upfront infrastructure investments, leading to significant cost savings and optimized spending.

In the realm of serverless development, how do native AWS services compare to third-party services?


Native AWS services are deeply integrated with the AWS ecosystem, ensuring enhanced compatibility, support, and security. While third-party services might offer specialized functionalities, AWS native services guarantee seamless integration, continuous updates, and robust performance within the AWS environment.

Are there specific AWS services recommended for businesses just starting their journey into serverless platform development?


Yes, businesses new to serverless often begin with AWS Lambda, AWS S3 Buckets, and AWS API Gateway. These foundational native AWS services offer a gentle introduction while providing powerful capabilities to kickstart serverless development.

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Kyrylo Kozak
Kyrylo Kozak
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