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In serverless architectures, application logic is often powered by short-lived execution environments. But what does this mean for long-lived connections? After all, many applications today depend on persistent WebSocket or SSE connections in order to exchange data in realtime.
The answer is unsurprising: either the execution limitations must be tolerated, or long-lived connections must be handled by a separate component. We’ll go over these approaches below.
Fanout Cloud handles long-lived connections, such as HTTP streaming and WebSocket connections, on behalf of API backends. For projects that need to push data at scale, this can be a smart architecture. It also happens to be handy with function-as-a-service backends, such as AWS Lambda, which are not designed to handle long-lived connections on their own. By combining Fanout Cloud and Lambda, you can build serverless realtime applications.
Of course, Lambda can integrate with services such as AWS IoT to achieve a similar effect. The difference with Fanout Cloud is that it works at a lower level, giving you access to raw protocol elements. For example, Fanout Cloud enables you to build a Lambda-powered API that supports plain WebSockets, which is not possible with any other service.