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Stateful Serverless Architectures with ksqlDB and AWS Lambda

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What Is Serverless?

While the term "serverless" is not new, its meaning is still not clearly defined across the industry. The term doesn’t mean that you can run an application without a server but that your concerns are focused only on the application itself. You don’t have to worry about deploying and managing the infrastructure required to run it, as this will be handled by your serverless environment.


Serverless architecture has numerous benefits, as it lets you focus on the core application issues and not on the “ceremony” needed for hosting. Here are the top three reasons to move to serverless. Unlike other types of architecture, you don’t need the expertise to manage your servers. Without the hassles of infrastructure management,serverless technologies reduce the barriers to getting your business functionality up and running. You can deploy applications with much more speed and flexibility, because there's no infrastructure construction to weigh you down. With faster deployments also comes ease in scalability. The customary pay-as-you-go billing model of serverless is another significant benefit: You are only billed for the service’s execution time and not for the idle time between function calls.

Maximize Serverless Architecture

Serverless technologies can reduce the overhead of running your own infrastructure. AWS Lambda offers serverless functions that trigger each time a new event is received through Apache Kafka®. We can leverage these functions in combination with ksqlDB to get the best of both worlds: rich stateful joins between materialized tables of records in ksqlDB with horizontally scalable functions that we pay for only while in use via AWS.

Bill has been a software engineer for over 18 years. Currently, he is working at Confluent on the DevX team. Previously, Bill was an engineer on the Kafka Streams team for three-plus years. Before Confluent, he worked on various ingest applications as a U.S. Government contractor using distributed software such as Apache Kafka, Spark, and Hadoop. Bill has also written a book about Kafka Streams titled "Kafka Streams in Action" and is working on a 2nd edition that should be available Spring 2024.

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