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Best AWS Lambda Use Cases From Video Processing To Predictive Page Rendering


Since being launched in 2014, AWS Lambda service has spread fast amongst developers and cloud architects, for it is easy to use and there is a significant cost benefit (pay-per-use basis). AWS Lambda is an Amazon Web Services serverless deployment platform that you can use in the AWS cloud environment with basically no overhead. It will save you much time and resources using Lambda for performing code tasks for websites, applications, and services running on AWS. AWS Lambda is an event-driven computing cloud with many uses. Here we will present you with some of the best AWS Lambda use cases.

1. Swift Document Conversion

For those who are providing documents to users, there is always a problem because there is no standard document format that will satisfy desires of all users. Some of them would want it in HTML format while others will like to download it as a PDF file or even in some more specialized document format.

You can, of course, make and store copies of all document formats that are most likely to be requested by a user. However, soon you will find out that this takes a substantial amount of storage capacity which you can extend for a considerable cost or you can save your resources by using AWS Lambda. AWS Lambda can swiftly retrieve the required document, format and convert it, and finally serve it back to the user for a download or a display in a page.

2. Processing Video

This case is useful for those of you who have stored video files on an S3 bucket. For now, you have an instance that polls the bucket on a regular basis. It sits until there is a new file uploaded, then it downloads the file, manipulates it in some way, and then drives it back to your origin server.

The problem is you have an instance that’s sitting idle for a good part of the day basically doing nothing since there is no new video being uploaded, which costs you money and your computer resources that are being used 24/7 for no good reason.

Using Lambda, in this case, allows you to upload your script (Java, JavaScript, Python, etc.) and design code to provoke an event when a new file is uploaded to the bucket, which will lead to file being processed and pushed back to your origin server. And that’s how easily Lambda can save your resources.

3. Operating Serverless Websites

This might be the best way to take advantage of the pricing model of Lambda and S3 hosted static websites.

Think about hosting the web frontend on S3, and accelerating content transmission with CloudFront caching. The web frontend can send requests to Lambda functions using the API Gateway HTTPS endpoints. Lambda can handle the application logic and persist data to a fully managed database service (RDS for relational, or DynamoDB for a non-relational database).

Your Lambda functions and databases can be hosted within a VPC to separate them from other networks. As for Lambda, S3 and API Gateway, you get charged after the traffic incurred, and the only fixed expense will be running the database service.

4. Security Alerts

Do you need to be aware of any security breaches in your cloud infrastructure, is it imperative to your overall cloud strategy to monitor your logs and to keep an audit trail? Lambda could help you a lot in this situation.

You can write a Lambda function to send you an alert on a specific event from your Cloudwatch/CloudTrail AWS activity logs to your designated on-call staff, via email, or you could even write a code which will trigger the AWS Lambda to call you on your phone.

5. Automated File Synchronization

If you have a repository that needs to be regularly synchronized to a number of locations several times a day you might find AWS Lambda very useful. Many people don’t use a dedicated instance for things like this. Often they go and double, or even triple up on another instance and just assign this task to it. Depending on a security policy or contention for resources at specific periods during the day this will prove not to be the best option.

Instead of keeping an instance up and running all day long, chewing away at your budget every month, you can use a Lambda function that will be triggered by a scheduled event, run your synchronization job, and then just go away until the next cycle that it needs to run.

6. Predictive Page Rendering

Are you using predictive page rendering to ready web pages for display based on the probability that the user will select them? You can use a Lambda-based application to retrieve documents and multimedia files, which might be used by the next page requested, and to conduct the beginning stages of rendering them for display.

If multimedia data is being served by an outside source, the AWS Lambda application can even check for its availability, and attempt to use alternate sources if they are not available.


In the end, AWS Lambda should be one of your prime go-to resources for approaching repetitive or time-exhausting tasks, along with the other heavy-lifting jobs of the data-processing world. It frees your prime online services to target on crucial frontend tasks, such as responding promptly to user requests, and it allows you to offload a lot of processes that would otherwise significantly decelerate your system.

AWS Lambda would provide you with even more granular control over the services you wish to deliver to your customers, with a presumption that they can be split out into certain tasks that can be run as functions inside Lambda. It would be well worth your while to master the capabilities of this service, as it can immensely reduce the expenditure of your cloud operations while allowing you to scale your applications to much higher levels formerly not possible and to evaluate how this fits into your overall strategy to provide value to your customers.

In combination with AWS Lambda, you should use some monitoring and error tracking tools like Dashbird to even more secure your data and to improve the overall stability of your system.

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Our history and present are deeply rooted in building large-scale cloud applications on state-of-the-art technology. Dashbird was born out of our own need for an enhanced serverless debugging and monitoring tool, and we take pride in being developers.

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Gus Gordon

Dashbird helped us refine the size of our Lambdas, resulting in significantly reduced costs. We have Dashbird alert us in seconds via email when any of our functions behaves abnormally. Their app immediately makes the cause and severity of errors obvious.

Gus Gordon

Dashbird helped us refine the size of our Lambdas, resulting in significantly reduced costs. We have Dashbird alert us in seconds via email when any of our functions behaves abnormally. Their app immediately makes the cause and severity of errors obvious.

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