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Amazon launches Lambda, an event-driven compute service

Joab Jackson | Nov. 14, 2014
Continuing to roll out new compute services at an impressive clip, Amazon Web Services has introduced a way for programmers to trigger operations in their AWS deployments without running a full virtual machine, potentially reducing maintenance work and cost.

Lambda seemed to excite the developer-heavy crowd at Re:Invent; the company held an explanatory technical session immediately after the keynote that packed a large meeting room.

Still, not all attendees were sold on the service immediately. Sean Du, a software architect for a financial services company that uses AWS, was concerned the service could potentially lock customers into AWS, because it incorporates higher-level business logic, rather than the generic infrastructure services that can be found elsewhere.

Lambda will also need debugging and testing tools, especially as the scripts people write may grow more complex, Du added.

AWS Lambda pricing will be based on the amount of compute time used to run the script, in increments of 100 milliseconds. The company is offering a preview of the service and expects to offer the full commercial version in 2015.

Lambda was one of a number of new services the company introduced at the Re:Invent conference. Vogels also detailed how AWS will start supporting Docker containers, a virtualization technology that provides a way to package applications so they can be easily deployed and moved around.

On Wednesday, the company introduced a new high-performance database service modeled on MySQL, called Aurora, and previewed a set of management tools for managing the development of new applications.

 

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