Working With Google Cloud Functions

Working With Google Cloud Functions

Cloud Functions do have their drawbacks in this comparison. Firstly, we cannot build APIs with Cloud Functions- in fact, without Firebase, we can't even use vanity URLs. Working With Google Cloud Functions.

The more I explore Google Cloud's endless catalog of cloud services, the more I like Google Cloud. This is why before moving forward, I'd like to be transparent that this blog has become little more than thinly veiled Google propaganda, where I will henceforth bombard you with persuasive and subtle messaging to sell your soul to Google. Let's be honest; they've probably simulated it anyway.

It should be safe to assume that you're familiar with AWS Lambda Functions by now, which have served as the backbone of what we refer to as "serverless." These cloud code snippets have restructured entire technology departments, and are partially to blame for why almost nobody knows enough basic Linux to configure a web server or build anything without a vendor. Google Cloud Functions don't yet serve all the use cases that Lambda functions cover, but for the cases they do cover, they seem to be taking the lead.

Lambdas vs Cloud Functions

First off, let's talk about a big one: price. AWS charges based on Lambda usage, whereas Google Cloud Functions are free. The only exception to this is when you break 2 million invocations/month, at which point you'll be hemorrhaging as ghastly 40 cents per additional million. That's ridiculous. I think we've just discovered Google Cloud's lead generation strategy.

What about in terms of workflow? AWS holds an architecture philosophy of chaining services together, into what inevitably becomes a web of self-contained billable items on your invoice. An excellent illustration of this is a post on common AWS patterns which provides a decent visual of this complexity, while also revealing how much people love this kind of stuff, as though SaaS is the new Legos. To interact with a Lambda function in AWS via HTTP requests, you need to set up an API Gateway in front, which is arguably a feat more convoluted and complicated than coding. Pair this with an inevitable user permission struggle to get the right Lambda roles set up, and you quickly have yourself a nightmare- especially if you're trying to get a single function live. Eventually, you’ll get to write some code or upload a horrendous zip file like some neanderthal (friendly reminder: I am entirely biased).

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