AWS, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Amazon DynamoDB as a Memory Buffer for AWS Lambda

Voiced by Amazon Polly


Optimizing for scalability and efficiency is paramount in the dynamic landscape of serverless computing.

AWS Lambda, a cornerstone of serverless architecture, offers robust solutions for executing code without provisioning or managing servers.

However, AWS Lambda functions have limitations, such as a maximum execution time of 15 minutes. This constraint poses challenges, especially when maintaining session state memory for applications like chatbots. In this context, leveraging Amazon DynamoDB as a memory buffer is a powerful strategy to enhance AWS Lambda’s functionality and scalability.

Understanding the Problem

AWS Lambda is designed for short-lived processes, which is ideal for many real-time applications. However, its inherent limitation of a 15-minute maximum execution time can be a significant hurdle for stateful applications. For instance, consider a chatbot that needs to maintain a session state, storing the history of user interactions to provide contextual responses. If the session state is not preserved beyond AWS Lambda’s execution duration, the chatbot loses the continuity of the conversation, leading to a poor user experience.

The challenge is to find a method to maintain a session state outside the limited lifespan of an AWS Lambda function. This requires a persistent and reliable storage solution seamlessly integrating with AWS Lambda to efficiently store and retrieve session data.

Pioneers in Cloud Consulting & Migration Services

  • Reduced infrastructural costs
  • Accelerated application deployment
Get Started

Alternative Methods

Several alternatives exist for maintaining a session state in a serverless environment. One common approach is to use Amazon S3, a highly scalable object storage service. While Amazon S3 is excellent for storing large volumes of data, it comes with higher latency than other AWS services. This latency can be a drawback for applications requiring quick read and write operations.

Another alternative could be using in-memory data stores like Redis or Memcached. While these options offer extremely low latency, they involve additional infrastructure management, which counteracts the serverless model’s simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Why Amazon DynamoDB?

Amazon DynamoDB presents an optimal solution for maintaining a session state in serverless applications like chatbots. Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. Here are some key advantages of using Amazon DynamoDB over other methods:

Lower Latency

Amazon DynamoDB provides significantly lower latency compared to Amazon S3. Quick access to session data is crucial for delivering real-time responses for a chatbot. Amazon DynamoDB’s ability to handle high-speed read and write operations ensures the chatbot can instantly retrieve and update the session state.

Seamless Integration with Lambda

Amazon DynamoDB integrates seamlessly with AWS Lambda. This integration allows easy data retrieval and storage implementation within AWS Lambda functions. Using Amazon DynamoDB streams, AWS Lambda can automatically trigger functions based on data changes, enabling real-time processing and updates to the session state.

Scalability and Flexibility

Amazon DynamoDB is designed to scale seamlessly with your application. Whether you’re handling a few hundred requests per second or millions, Amazon DynamoDB scales to meet the demand without any manual intervention. This scalability ensures your chatbot can handle varying loads efficiently without degradation.


While in-memory stores like Redis offer low latency, they have higher operational costs and management overheads. Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed service, reduces the need for infrastructure management, making it a cost-effective solution for maintaining a session state.

State Management

Storing intermediate state information in Amazon DynamoDB allows AWS Lambda functions to resume processing from where they left off, enabling fault tolerance and resilience to failures. This ensures continuity in long-running workflows or multi-step processes.

Implementation Best Practices

When implementing Amazon DynamoDB as a memory buffer for AWS Lambda functions, consider the following best practices:

  • Design efficient data models to minimize read and write operations and optimize performance.
  • Implement error handling and retry mechanisms to handle failures and ensure data integrity gracefully.
  • Monitor resource utilization and performance metrics to fine-tune scaling settings and optimize costs.

Architecture diagram

In this scenario, we are building a chatbot using Amazon Bedrock for natural language processing and response generation. The chatbot must maintain a session state for contextual conversations, which requires efficiently storing and retrieving session data. By leveraging Amazon DynamoDB as a memory buffer, you can overcome the limitations of AWS Lambda’s execution time and ensure seamless, stateful interactions.

  • Amazon Bedrock: Provides natural language processing and response generation capabilities.
  • AWS Lambda: Handles the logic for processing user inputs and generating responses.
  • Amazon DynamoDB: Stores session state data to maintain conversation context.
  • Amazon API Gateway: Serves as the entry point for user requests, triggering the AWS Lambda functions.



Leveraging Amazon DynamoDB as a memory buffer for AWS Lambda significantly enhances the functionality and scalability of serverless applications. For use cases like chatbots, where maintaining session state is crucial, Amazon DynamoDB offers a low-latency, scalable, and cost-effective solution. By integrating Amazon DynamoDB with AWS Lambda, developers can overcome the execution time limitations and ensure a seamless, real-time user experience.

In the ever-evolving realm of serverless computing, choosing the right tools to complement AWS Lambda’s capabilities can make a substantial difference in application performance and user satisfaction. Amazon DynamoDB is a robust choice, enabling developers to easily build scalable, responsive, and stateful serverless applications.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon DynamoDB and we will get back to you quickly.

Empowering organizations to become ‘data driven’ enterprises with our Cloud experts.

  • Reduced infrastructure costs
  • Timely data-driven decisions
Get Started

About CloudThat

CloudThat is a leading provider of Cloud Training and Consulting services with a global presence in India, the USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Specializing in AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, VMware, Databricks, and more, the company serves mid-market and enterprise clients, offering comprehensive expertise in Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, AI/ML, and more.

CloudThat is recognized as a top-tier partner with AWS and Microsoft, including the prestigious ‘Think Big’ partner award from AWS and the Microsoft Superstars FY 2023 award in Asia & India. Having trained 650k+ professionals in 500+ cloud certifications and completed 300+ consulting projects globally, CloudThat is an official AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Microsoft Gold Partner, AWS Training PartnerAWS Migration PartnerAWS Data and Analytics PartnerAWS DevOps Competency PartnerAmazon QuickSight Service Delivery PartnerAmazon EKS Service Delivery PartnerAWS Microsoft Workload PartnersAmazon EC2 Service Delivery Partner, and many more.

To get started, go through our Consultancy page and Managed Services PackageCloudThat’s offerings.


1. What is AWS Lambda, and why is it used in serverless computing?

ANS: – AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows you to run code without provisioning or managing servers. It automatically scales applications by running code responding to events, making it ideal for real-time data processing and automation tasks.

2. What are the limitations of AWS Lambda?

ANS: – AWS Lambda has a maximum execution time of 15 minutes per function invocation. This can be a limitation for long-running or stateful applications that require maintaining context or session state beyond the function’s lifespan.

WRITTEN BY Shantanu Singh

Shantanu Singh works as a Research Associate at CloudThat. His expertise lies in Data Analytics. Shantanu's passion for technology has driven him to pursue data science as his career path. Shantanu enjoys reading about new technologies to develop his interpersonal skills and knowledge. He is very keen to learn new technology. His dedication to work and love for technology make him a valuable asset.



    Click to Comment

Get The Most Out Of Us

Our support doesn't end here. We have monthly newsletters, study guides, practice questions, and more to assist you in upgrading your cloud career. Subscribe to get them all!