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10 Azure Functions Alternatives: Top Serverless Computing Platforms

Note: Pricing and product information are correct as of April 26, 2024, and subject to change

Serverless computing has changed the way businesses develop and deploy applications, helping developers focus on writing code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Serverless platforms allow companies to build scalable, event-driven applications that automatically scale based on demand, reducing operational costs and increasing agility. These platforms provide a fully managed environment where developers can write and execute code in response to events or HTTP requests, while the provider dynamically allocates resources and manages the execution runtime, making it easier to build and scale applications.

While Azure Functions is a popular choice for serverless computing, exploring alternatives can help your business find the best fit for your specific needs. Different platforms offer unique features, integrations, and pricing models that may better align with your company’s existing infrastructure, development preferences, and budget constraints. From DigitalOcean Functions to open-source options like OpenFaaS, this article explores Azure Functions alternatives to help you make the best decision for your serverless strategy.

DigitalOcean Functions is a serverless computing platform that allows you to run code on-demand without managing servers or infrastructure. It integrates with DigitalOcean’s App Platform and Managed Databases, enabling you to build scalable applications by executing functions in response to events or HTTP requests.

With features like automatic scaling, pay-per-execution pricing, support for popular programming languages, and a developer-friendly experience, DigitalOcean Functions simplifies serverless development.

Build serverless apps with ease on DigitalOcean Functions

How to choose the right serverless solution for your business

Selecting the right serverless platform will help your business maximize the benefits of serverless computing. Consider the following key factors when evaluating your options:

  • Language and runtime support. Ensure the serverless platform supports your preferred programming languages and runtimes, such as Node.js, Python, Go, or Java, to allow your developers to work with familiar tools and minimize the learning curve. Look for platforms that provide a wide range of runtime options and keep their execution environments up-to-date with the latest language versions and security patches.

  • Integration with existing infrastructure and services. Choose a serverless solution that seamlessly integrates with your current cloud infrastructure, such as storage services, databases, and API gateways. This will enable you to build applications that use your existing resources and avoid the need for complex workarounds or cloud migrations.

  • Scalability and performance. Opt for a serverless platform that automatically scales your functions based on incoming requests or events, ensuring optimal performance during peak loads. Look into the platform’s ability to handle concurrent executions, its cold start times, and any limitations on function execution duration or memory usage.

  • Monitoring, logging, and debugging capabilities. Select a serverless solution that provides robust monitoring, logging, and debugging tools to help you identify and resolve issues quickly. Look for features like real-time metrics, centralized logging, distributed tracing, and the ability to locally test and debug functions before deploying to production.

  • Pricing model and cost optimization. Evaluate the pricing model of the serverless platform to ensure it aligns with your budget and usage patterns. Consider factors such as the free tier, per-request charges, memory allocation costs, and data transfer fees. Look for platforms that offer granular billing and cost optimization features, such as the ability to set usage limits or automatically scale down idle resources.

FaaS (Functions-as-a-Service) Azure Functions Alternatives for 2024

While Azure Functions is a popular choice for serverless computing, exploring alternative platforms can help you find the best fit for your specific needs. Here are a range of alternatives to Azure Functions, each offering unique features, integrations, and pricing models:

1. DigitalOcean Functions

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DigitalOcean Functions is a serverless computing platform that allows developers to focus on writing code without managing servers. It offers a unified experience for serverfull and serverless applications, enabling easy extension of existing apps with serverless functionalities. The platform supports Node.js, Python, Go, and PHP runtimes and integrates seamlessly with DigitalOcean’s App Platform and Managed Databases, ensuring secure connections through features like trusted sources. Functions can be triggered by web events and automatically scale based on demand.

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The developer experience is improved by the Functions developer console, allowing local development, live previews, and easy deployment via GitHub or GitLab.

DigitalOcean Functions Pricing:

  • DigitalOcean Functions offers 90,000 GiB-seconds of compute for free per month per account. Additional usage beyond the free allowance is charged at $0.0000185 per GiB-second, with a minimum runtime of 100 ms per function invocation.

2. AWS Lambda

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AWS Lambda is a fully managed serverless compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying resources. It supports a variety of programming languages, including Java, Go, PowerShell, Node.js, C#, Python, and Ruby. Lambda also integrates with other AWS services and can be used to extend other services with custom logic or build custom backend services. AWS Lambda is primarily focused on the AWS ecosystem, which may limit its appeal to developers and businesses who prefer a more platform-agnostic approach or need to integrate with non-AWS services.

AWS Lambda Pricing:

  • Lambda offers a free tier that includes 1 million free requests per month and 400,000 GB-seconds of compute time per month. Beyond the free tier, customers pay based on the number of requests and the execution duration, rounded up to the nearest 1 ms. Lambda also offers tiered pricing, with lower prices for higher usage, and supports Compute Savings Plans.

3. Google Cloud Functions

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Google Cloud Functions is a scalable, pay-as-you-go FaaS platform that simplifies the developer experience by abstracting infrastructure management. It supports multiple languages and integrates with Google Cloud, Firebase, and third-party services through events. Cloud Functions automatically scales based on workload and offers features like end-to-end development, integrated monitoring with Cloud Trace, and local development support using open-source frameworks to avoid lock-in. The platform enables various use cases, such as serverless back-ends, real-time data processing, and conversational experiences.

Google Cloud Functions Pricing:

  • Google Cloud Functions pricing is based on the number of invocations, the compute time used, and the resources provisioned for each function. It includes a perpetual free tier offering 2 million free invocations per month, but additional charges apply for compute time and outbound network requests. Pricing also varies for Cloud Build and storage services used in conjunction with Cloud Functions

4. Google App Engine

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While Google Cloud Functions is a serverless platform for running individual functions, Google App Engine is a fully managed platform for building and deploying entire applications. Although App Engine is not strictly serverless, it can be used to build and run applications with minimal server management, making it a viable option for companies and developers looking to incorporate serverless principles into their application architecture. App Engine allows developers to build and deploy applications using popular programming languages such as Node.js, Java, Ruby, C#, Go, Python, and PHP. It provides a range of developer tools and manages infrastructure concerns, enabling developers to focus on writing code.

App Engine offers application diagnostics through integration with Cloud Monitoring, Cloud Logging, and Error Reporting. It also supports application versioning, making it easy to host different versions of an app and create development, test, staging, and production environments. Security features include an App Engine firewall and managed SSL/TLS certificates at no additional cost.

Google App Engine Pricing:

  • Google App Engine pricing differs for apps in the standard environment and the flexible environment. The standard environment has a free tier and usage beyond that incurs charges based on instance hours, while the flexible environment charges for virtual machine resources on a per-second basis with a 1-minute minimum.

5. Oracle Cloud Functions

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Functions is a serverless compute service that allows developers to create, run, and scale applications without managing infrastructure. It supports multiple programming languages, including Python, Go, Java, Node, and C#, and offers native integrations with other OCI services and SaaS applications. Functions helps to provide predictable low latencies through Provisioned Concurrency and a catalog of pre-built functions. The platform is built on open standards like the Fn Project, Docker, and CloudEvents, enabling portability.

Oracle Cloud Functions Pricing:

  • Oracle Cloud Functions offers a free tier of 2 million function invocations and 400,000 gigabyte memory-seconds of execution time per month. Beyond the free tier, function invocations are priced at $0.0000002 per invocation and execution time is priced at $0.00001417 per gigabyte memory-second.

6. Cloudflare Workers

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Cloudflare Workers is a serverless execution environment that allows developers to create and augment applications without managing infrastructure. It runs on Cloudflare’s global network, offering strong performance and reliability. Workers integrates with various Cloudflare services, such as R2 for storage, KV for key-value data, and Durable Objects for coordination. The platform provides a command-line interface called Wrangler for creating, testing, and deploying projects, as well as a browser-based Playground for instant previews.

Cloudflare Workers Pricing:

  • Users have access to a Workers Free plan with limited usage of Workers, Pages Functions, and Workers KV.

  • The Workers Paid plan starts at a minimum charge of $5 USD per month and includes increased initial usage allotments. For the Workers Paid plan’s Standard usage model, it includes 10 million requests per month with no additional charge, and $0.30 per additional million requests. It also includes 30 million CPU milliseconds per month, with additional CPU milliseconds charged at $0.02 per million.

Open Source Azure Functions Alternatives

Proprietary FaaS platforms like Azure Functions provide tighter integration with their respective ecosystems and offer additional managed services and features specific to their platforms.

But open-source serverless frameworks are another alternative. These frameworks may require more setup and configuration compared to managed FaaS offerings like, which prioritize simplicity and ease of use by abstracting away infrastructure management and providing a streamlined developer experience within their platform. However, open-source serverless frameworks offer flexibility and portability across cloud providers.

Here are a few open-source options to consider:

7. Serverless Framework

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The Serverless Framework is a popular open-source tool that simplifies the development and deployment of serverless applications on various cloud platforms, including AWS Lambda. It allows developers to define their applications using a simple YAML syntax, specifying functions and their triggers. The framework supports extending functionality through a vast collection of plugins. Serverless Framework also offers built-in debugging tools, such as metrics, alerts, and the ability to query and inspect requests. It facilitates collaboration by providing a centralized view of all serverless applications, secure sharing of secrets and outputs, and the ability to share Lambda function tests.

Serverless Framework Pricing:

  • In 2024, the Serverless Framework CLI is free for most users, but organizations with over $2M in annual revenue must buy a subscription to use Serverless Framework V.4+.

  • Serverless Framework offers a subscription-based pricing model with monthly Credit Bundles, where each Credit can be redeemed for a Service Instance, 50,000 Traces, or 4 million Metrics, with discounts available for small businesses and annual or multi-year subscriptions.

8. OpenFaaS

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OpenFaaS is a serverless platform that simplifies deploying functions and existing code to Kubernetes. It supports various languages, including Go, Python, Node.js, PHP, and allows users to bring their own Docker images. OpenFaaS integrates with Kafka, PostgreSQL, and AWS services, and offers fine-tuned autoscaling based on requests per second, CPU usage, or capacity. The platform provides a dashboard with Grafana metrics, a REST API for easy management, and emphasizes simplicity and portability. OpenFaaS has an active community and offers features like function chaining, asynchronous invocations, and scale-to-zero for efficient resource utilization.

OpenFaaS Pricing:

  • Pricing includes a Community Edition (CE)—for personal-use, hobbyists and experimentation—is free but limited to 60 days of commercial use, 15 functions, and basic autoscaling.

  • The Standard plan starts at $1,000 per month and includes advanced autoscaling, event integrations, and enterprise support.

9. Apache OpenWhisk

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Apache OpenWhisk is an open-source, distributed serverless platform that executes functions in response to events at any scale. It supports various programming languages, including Go, Java, Node.js, Python, and Swift, and allows custom Docker runtimes. OpenWhisk integrates with popular services like Kafka, Cloudant, and GitHub through packages. It scales action instances to meet demand and offers optimal utilization. The platform provides a CLI and supports function chaining and composition. As an open-source project, OpenWhisk has a vibrant community and can be deployed on Kubernetes, OpenShift, and other container frameworks. However, being self-hosted, it may require more setup and maintenance compared to managed alternatives.

Apache OpenWhisk Pricing:

  • As an open-source project, the core platform itself is free to use. However, users may incur costs related to the infrastructure and resources required to run and maintain an OpenWhisk deployment, such as server costs, storage, and data transfer fees.

10. Knative

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Knative is an open-source, Kubernetes-based platform for building, deploying, and managing serverless applications. It supports any programming language and allows developers to focus on writing code without worrying about infrastructure. Knative offers automatic scaling, including scale-to-zero, and enables progressive rollouts for smoother deployments. The platform integrates well with event sources, allowing developers to build event-driven applications. As an open-source project, Knative has a strong community and ecosystem. However, being built on Kubernetes, it may have a steeper learning curve compared to managed serverless offerings.

Knative Pricing:

  • Pricing depends on the underlying infrastructure costs, as Knative itself is free to use.

Explore DigitalOcean Functions for Your Serverless Needs

Companies need robust and scalable solutions that help improve operational efficiency without the overhead of managing infrastructure. DigitalOcean Functions is exactly that. Our serverless computing solution allows developers and businesses to focus on code rather than infrastructure management, scaling automatically and on-demand.

Here’s what you get with DigitalOcean:

  • On-demand execution and automatic scaling. Deploy functions that execute based on specific web events, scaling up or down automatically, helping to ensure you only pay for the resources you use.

  • Seamless integration. Easily integrates with Managed Databases and other DigitalOcean products enhancing the developer experience and application performance without the need for extensive configuration.

  • Comprehensive language support. Out-of-the-box support for popular programming languages such as Node.js, Python, Go, and PHP, which simplifies development processes and accelerates deployment.

  • Transparent pricing. DigitalOcean provides clear, predictable pricing models that help businesses plan and control costs effectively, with no surprises.

  • Exceptional customer service. Known for its user-friendly approach, DigitalOcean offers comprehensive support resources, including detailed documentation, community forums, and 24/7 customer support.

  • Commitment to security and transparency. DigitalOcean helps ensure a secure hosting environment with robust security measures and transparent practices that build trust and reliability.

Start building more efficiently with DigitalOcean Functions today and experience the ease of serverless computing firsthand. Sign up now and get started.

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