Why Application Load Balancer's Lambda Integration is Big News

About two weeks ago, AWS re:Invent 2018 concluded. It was a huge week for serverless; AWS announced lots of releases for serverless, and they were all good. Many people are commenting on their excitement about things like Lambda layers, Lambda bring-your-own runtime, DynamoDB on-demand, and DynamoDB transactions. Those are all fantastic announcements, but I think everyone is overlooking the power of another great announcement: the ability to invoke Lambda functions from Application Load Balancer.

Application Load Balancer and Lambda

What Is It?

Put simply, it’s another AWS service (besides API Gateway) that you can use to provide an HTTP/HTTPS endpoint that invokes your Lambda function. API Gateway and Application Load Balancer have different features, pricing models, and nuances, but both can now allow you to make APIs, websites, and any other HTTPS (or, with ALB, HTTP) endpoint that’s backed by Lambda.

Why Does It Matter?

API Gateway is very expensive compared to all the other pieces of your serverless stack. If you have a high-traffic API, but don’t have high enough traffic to qualify for API Gateway’s new tiered pricing (or frankly, even if you do), you need to consider using Application Load Balancer to front-end your Lambda-backed API or site - it could save you thousands of dollars.

Where Do I Learn More?

This week I’ve released three new articles about this awesome new integration between Application Load Balancer and Lambda:

  1. Saving Money By Replacing API Gateway With Application Load Balancer's Lambda Integration

  2. How to Set Up Application Load Balancer With Lambda

  3. API Gateway vs Application Load Balancer—Technical Details

What Else is New?

Like I mentioned at the outset of the issue: a lot happened in the last couple weeks for serverless, and it’s all good. The internet’s full of great resources on all the other announcements. Here’s a couple you can check out:

Conclusion

That’s all for issue number one of Serving of Serverless. Make sure to check out those articles on using Application Load Balancer with your Lambda functions, and do the exercises in the articles to get some hands-on experience with ALB/Lambda.

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