Amazon's AWS Lambda is an event-driven computing platform developed by Amazon to automatically fire, or execute code, when a specific event occurs. Lambda executes code only when needed and scales automatically, providing potential cost savings and flexibility for enterprises when it comes to handling some of their data processes and applications.
Amazon debuted AWS Lambda at its re:Invent conference in 2014 as a "serverless" platform for enterprises to run code in the cloud without needing a physical server — and without the need to provision or manage any servers on the enterprise's end.
In terms of application code, AWS Lambda supports Node.js, Java, C# and now Python, so as long as developers write their code in one of these languages, the code can run within the Lambda runtime environment and utilize Lamda resources.
Since Lambda's debut in 2014, other companies have introduced their own Lambda-like platforms, including IBM with its open-source OpenWhisk, Microsoft with Azure Functions, and Google’s Functions.
How Lambda Is Currently Used by Enterprises and by Amazon Itself
Enterprises use AWS Lambda for a wide variety of functions. Netflix for example runs AWS Lamba to help automate the encoding process of media files as well as in monitoring the use of AWS resources by Netflix. The Seattle Times utilizes Lambda to automatically resize images for responsive Web design when the company's news content is viewed on mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop devices.
Lambda also plays a key role internally for Amazon, as the company uses Lambda for its Internet of Things (IoT) cloud to facilitate interoperability between connected devices that share data and work in tandem with other IoT devices. AWS Lambda additionally serves as the compute platform for the company's Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices.
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