What is Amazon Web Services? Is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. In aggregate, these cloud computing web services provide a set of primitive abstract technical infrastructure and distributed computing building blocks and tools.
What does it offer? Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global cloud-based products including compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications. These services help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale. AWS is trusted by the largest enterprises and the hottest start-ups to power a wide variety of workloads including: web and mobile applications, game development, data processing and warehousing, storage, archive, and many others.
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) allows users to rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer applications. EC2 encourages scalable deployment of applications by providing a web service through which a user can boot an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to configure a virtual machine, which Amazon calls an “instance”, containing any software desired. A user can create, launch, and terminate server-instances as needed, paying by the second for active servers – hence the term “elastic”. EC2 provides users with control over the geographical location of instances that allows for latency optimization and high levels of redundancy.
- Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service provides object storage through a web service interface. Amazon S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure that Amazon.com uses to run its global e-commerce network. Amazon S3 can be employed to store any type of object which allows for uses like storage for Internet applications, backup and recovery, disaster recovery, data archives, data lakes for analytics, and hybrid cloud storage.
- Reliability: Amazon has been at the forefront of the cloud computing industry for more than a decade. As a result, the functionality of the platform and the technology behind it have been finely tuned by leading experts in the field and have evolved to meet the needs of enterprises of all sizes. Hosting a website or application on AWS is the easiest way to ensure it remains stable and available to users all over the world. Amazon makes its AWS Console available to all users, even those using the free tier, which provides visibility into every piece of hardware and software. AWS also provides performance monitoring and a wide range of alerting options so you can spot problems quickly and implement fixes.
- Convenience: AWS is designed to be easy to use for people in all roles, from IT directors to system administrators. Deploying a web application can be done in minutes with services like Elastic Beanstalk, without any need to configure a server or write additional code. When it comes to migration, Amazon offers a wide range of options – whether you are moving from local hardware or switching from a competitor like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. AWS embraces open source standards and supports integration with various platforms.
- Security: Storing data and applications in the cloud does not have to be a security risk. With AWS, all infrastructure is run from secure facilities and data centers. AWS users can configure custom firewalls and access rules, meaning restrictions can be put into place to support any organizational need, even government data services. Amazon also offers a feature called Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) that gives users the power to architect their own private network within the AWS platform. A VPC can contain any number of subnets and be used across web hosts, mobile applications and database environments.
- Global Reach: Amazon hosts their data centers across the world, allowing users to choose where they want their data and applications to live. By offering more than 30 availability zones, AWS lets you run your technology right where your users are accessing it, resulting in a measurable performance boost. AWS also has many replication services so you can host your organization’s technology in one location or continent and duplicate it in a different availability zone. With this solution, your team can recover quickly from a disaster and avoid downtime.
- Proprietary Services: By choosing AWS as your primary cloud computing provider, you gain access to a long list of services available at a lower cost than competitors. For instance, Amazon Linux is a pre-configured server package available for web applications and other resources. It offers tight integration with the rest of the AWS platform through built-in API tools and scripts. All cloud providers support popular database solutions like MySQL and Oracle, but with AWS you can also choose to use a low-cost option called Amazon Aurora. Aurora is a distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing system compatible with relational database schemas found in MySQL and PostgreSQL and is designed for high performance cloud applications.
- Robust Billing Control: With cloud computing, users pay only for the services and resources they use. However, with automated scaling options, usage can spike in a hurry and result in unexpected costs. AWS offers a comprehensive billing dashboard where users can monitor spending trends and set up alerts when certain thresholds are met. Amazon also regularly lowers the cost of existing services and will roll out the savings to active users without any change required.