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TOP-5 Lambda Optimization Strategies that Work

Companies in 2021 aim to make their business process as effective as possible. That’s why you will find companies using pay-as-you-models. If your organization is using AWS, then Lambda computes service provides an excellent way to automate servers.

AWS Lambda is one of the AWS serverless computing services. The service lets you run your code without the need to manage the server. Technically, teams can run code on compute infrastructure without the need to administrate the compute resources.

Lambda Optimization Strategies that Work

The key to using Lambda is to organize your code in the Lambda function. However, it is critical to optimize AWS Lambda cost.

That’s why we will go through the TOP-5 Lambda optimization strategies that work. Let’s get started.

  1. The Need for AWS Lambda Cost Optimization
  2. Lambda Optimization Strategies that Work
  3. TOP-5 Lambda Optimization Strategies

The Need for AWS Lambda Cost Optimization

Cloud computing is promising as it reduces costs for companies. However, just like any other resource, it needs to be managed. This way, organizations can save as much money as possible and help them cope with their budgets and constraints. AWS is a great place to start. With Lambda, companies can not only automate their solutions but also do it in an efficient way.

To visualize and understand AWS Lambda cost, you need to check out the Dashbird AWS Lambda cost tracking function. It shows real-time access to statistics.

Lambda Optimization Strategies that Work

Starting Lambda optimization early is crucial to lowering the cost associated with it. As a developer team, it is easy to get overwhelmed with different optimizations strategies.

Before we get started, there are some very basic optimization strategies that you should implement. These basic implementations include the following:

  • Ensure that you separate core logic and Lambda handler. By doing so, you ensure that the whole code doesn’t get executed unnecessarily.
exports.myHandler = function(event, context, callback) {
    var joy =;
    var sum = event.sum;
    var result = NewLambdaFunction (joy, sum);
    callback(null, result);

function NewLambdaFunction (foo, bar) {
    // NewLambdaFunction logic goes here


  • Maintain persistent connections using keep-alive directive
  • Use the execution environment to your advantage. It will help you improve function performance
  • Pass environmental variables to your function
  • Ensure that only runtime necessities are deployed to minimize deployment package size
  • Do not use recursive code in Lambda function(more on this later)
  • Dependency complexity needs to be minimized
  • Do proper performance testing to find optimum results

TOP-5 Lambda Optimization Strategies

1. Minimize Lambda Usage

Using Lambda function only when it is truly needed. In simple terms, do not use Lambda for a simple workflow or task. As a developer, your main objective is to identify aspects of the app which can be implemented without Lambda. Finding an alternative is always better as it will probably save you precious Lambda cycles!

One such example is using an API to push data. You can use Lambda to do everything, but that would only add extra cost to the overall process. Most API Gateway offers their own template

language to do computations or handle data transfers.

2. Cache Lambda Responses

Caching Lambda response can also help you save crucial server cycles. To optimize Lambda, you can start caching responses and only update them when there is a change. Basically, you do not call the function until when it is needed. So, you can implement a cache mechanism that works to improve Lambda efficiency.

To approach caching, you can utilize Lambda@Edge functions or AppSync. Lambda@Edge does cost more than the regular Lambda function, but they are also called less frequently: basically compared to thousands of calls per second for regular Lambda function compared to only one or two calls every few minutes for Lambda@Edge function.

Caching also removes the need to pay for Lamda at all. It also improves response time as no extra time is wasted fetching new responses. Lastly, it also improves the user experience.

3. Make Use Of Small Lambda Functions

Lambda functions are there for a purpose. You should use it to optimize specific use cases. More specifically, small Lambda functions are great for optimization purposes. So, if you need to satisfy multiple use-cases, create different Lambda functions for each one of them, rather than creating one Lambda function.

So, how does it save you money? Lambda function size adds to the cost. During runtime, the function starts downloading. The bigger the size, the more it waits before executing — costing you more.

4. Do Not Call Lambda from Lambda

Recursion is one of the useful programming concepts. However, it is not always useful. In the case of Lambda, never use recursion. In simple words, do not call Lambda from Lambda. The key reason is that you need to pay twice for calling both the functions — which is not desirable in any circumstances.

To solve calling multiple Lambda functions, you need to use the synchronous API Gateway and call it early.

5. Work with Ideal Memory Configuration

AWS configuration can be tricky as well. Once you have made sure that your Lambda function is small and works on a single use-case, it is time to configure AWS to reduce cost.

To get started:

  1. Choose the right size, including memory, CPU, and other key capacities.
  2. Start from an estimated guess and do not over-provision.
  3. Once you get your service running, check if you need to increase capacity or not.

The key here is to adapt as per your business requirement.

AWS gives you the flexibility to change the configuration as per your need.


Lambda optimization lets you decrease the cost associated with it. We discussed the Top 5 Lambda optimization strategies along with some basic optimization. Apart from these, it is also necessary to do observability. This will ensure less risk and give you more options to optimize Lambda further.

Some other tools and services let you optimize Lambda. One such tool is Dashbird which gives you a cost explorer so that you can identify the aspects that can be optimized. Internally, you can also assign an engineer just to optimize cost. The salary of the engineer will surely justify the savings done at a large scale.


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