AWS has extended the timeout limit for Lambda functions from 5 to 15 minutes, immediately setting developers the task of deciding what they’ll do with that glorious additional 900 seconds.
The web giant slipped out of the snooze button extension earlier this week, amongst a blizzard of other updates, saying it will make it “easier than ever to perform big data analysis, bulk data transformation, batch event processing, and statistical computations using longer running functions.”
It added, “When the specified timeout is reached, AWS Lambda terminates execution of your Lambda function. As a best practice, you should set the timeout value based on your expected execution time to prevent your function from running longer than intended.”
Right now as far as we can work out, Azure Functions has a ten minute time out. Its fair to assume that timeouts will become yet another leg in the major web players’ ongoing arms race.
The news sparked more than 15 minutes of joy amongst developers, who began speculating what they would do with their extra 10 minutes of execution time. As well the tasks AWS itself highlights, users seemed set to it to their audio, video and image processing task.
Others speculated that more goodies were to come at the giant’s upcoming reinvent conference, which progressively erode reasons NOT to go serverless.
“AWS Lambda enables functions that can run up to 15 minutes” – one by one the barriers to #serverless use cases and adoption get chipped away. And re:invent is still weeks away – must be plenty more announcements to come! https://t.co/24KdsMhlWD
— James Wiltshire (@jameswiltshire) October 11, 2018
However, the news didn’t please some purists, who felt that allowing developers longer to run their tasks, kind of undermined the whole point of serverless.
15 minutes seems excessive. Could be useful for heavy data tasks but I feel those should be broken up into smaller ones… AWS Lambda enables functions that can run up to 15 minutes https://t.co/STedOrnyx3 #CloudComputing #Serverless #microservices
— Andrew Curioso (@AndrewCurioso) October 11, 2018
As well as the timeout extension, AWS also added a new Applications menu to the Lambda console, which it said would allow developers to take “application level actions such as viewing all resources that together make up your application, and monitoring performance, errors, and traffic metrics for the application.”
Application templates and a list of all the resources in an application can be viewed from the Overview tab, while a beta Monitoring tab features Amazon CloudWatch metrics for the Lambda functions in an application.