AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs. AWS Lambda

November 16, 2022


Cloud architecture is essential for efficiently managing systems and applications deployed on the cloud. Developers have multiple cloud services like AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda to choose from for deploying and managing their applications.

While Elastic Beanstalk and Lambda are both part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) ecosystem and offer various deployment options, there are significant differences between them. In this blog post, we'll dive into the differences between AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda, and explore the use cases for each.

What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an orchestration service for deploying web applications. It manages the deployment details like capacity provisioning, load balancing, scaling, and health monitoring. Developers can focus on writing their code without worrying about infrastructure configuration.

Elastic Beanstalk is useful when deploying applications that have the following characteristics:

  1. Need to run on a server.
  2. Support one of the pre-configured platforms, like Node.js or Python.
  3. Provide more control over instance provisioning and infrastructure configuration.

What is AWS Lambda?

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows developers to run code without provisioning infrastructure. Developers can write their code and upload it into a Lambda function. Then the Lambda service runs the code in a container and manages the infrastructure needed to execute the code.

Lambda is useful when deploying applications that have the following characteristics:

  1. Have short, intermittent functions that require quick response times.
  2. Run as event-driven serverless computing functions.
  3. Have unpredictable workloads and need to scale automatically.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs. AWS Lambda

AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda are both popular services that can deploy web applications. However, they differ significantly in how they deploy applications and support serverless computing.

Deployment Model

AWS Elastic Beanstalk deploys applications using the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model by creating virtual machines (VMs) on which web applications run. Elastic Beanstalk provides full infrastructure management that includes deployment, scaling, and monitoring.

AWS Lambda deploys applications using the Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) model by running code within a container. The service is responsible for allocating infrastructure based on the functions' demand; applications managed by AWS Lambda run as serverless with no requirement for explicit management of server capacity.


Elastic Beanstalk and Lambda offer scalable options; however, the differences are how the services scale applications.

Elastic Beanstalk can scale using either instance scaling or auto-scaling based on demand or by configuring rules for adding or removing instances. Elastic Beanstalk can provide insight and metrics, allowing developers to tune and optimize their applications.

Lambda provides event-driven scaling by automatically adding more instances of the function when it detects an increased workload. Lambda is suitable when real-time responsiveness is crucial, and workloads are unpredictable.


AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda offer pricing models based on usage.

Elastic Beanstalk pricing is based on usage of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) resources. It also includes the underlying infrastructure costs, like operating systems and other pre-installed software.

AWS Lambda pricing is based on the usage of compute time and memory, and there is no charge for idle time. AWS Lambda is more cost-effective for small-scale applications, whereas Elastic Beanstalk is more cost-effective for larger-scale ones.


In summary, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda are excellent services to deploy cloud-native applications. The appropriate choice between Elastic Beanstalk and Lambda depends heavily on the specific requirement of the use case. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is better suited for applications that require more control over the environment and come with a variety of pre-installed features that web applications require. AWS Lambda is ideal for highly adaptable, low-latency usage, and rapidly change-able processing workloads without unnecessarily running well-scoped containers.

Explore both services and use their advantages to the fullest.


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