Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s biggest cloud service provider offering a vast array of computing, storage, and ML/AI services. Since its launch in 2006, AWS is leading in innovation and market presence. Due to its rise (and cloud services in turn), many developers, startups and even big organizations can easily develop, test and deploy applications. In this tutorial, we will take a look at what is AWS and important reasons why we should choose it as our cloud provider.
A Brief History of AWS
In 2003, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black presented a paper describing a vision for Amazon’s retail computing infrastructure. This formed the basis for Amazon Web Services. In 2004, AWS launched SQS (Simple Queue Service). AWS as a business officially launched in 2006 with EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), S3 (Simple Storage Service) and SQS. Initially, AWS targeted developers and small startups. By 2010, all of Amazon.com was moved to AWS. From there are AWS is continuously growing at an astonishing rate.
Now they have 165 different services including 40 which are not available anywhere else. AWS provides multiple cloud services in computing ( EC2, EMR, etc ), storage ( S3, glacier, EBS, etc), databases (MySQL, DynamoDB, etc), networking (API Gateways, VPN) and many other services like Lambda, Content Delivery Network (CDN) to name a few. AWS has global infrastructure which is operated from 21 different locations in the world. So it is easy to see why they are leading cloud providers with heights revenue and biggest market capture.
Let us see what are some reasons which make AWS so popular as a cloud provider.
AWS – 15 reasons why we should you choose it
A leading innovator and executor
Gartner is a leading and well-known analyst in the world. In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) report published in July 2019, AWS was ranked best cloud platform. For the ninth consecutive year, AWS has secured the top-right corner of the Leader’s quadrant.
AWS has a presence all over the world. It is currently present in 21 geographic regions and planning to add 12 more. Each region includes multiple data centers known as an availability zone. There are 66 Availability Zones across all regions. This means AWS has a global infrastructure. You can start your business services in Tokyo, Japan with the click of a button while sitting in London, UK.
You can use this to deliver your content with very low latency. Netflix, one of AWS client, uses this infra to delivery content seamlessly to its global customer base.
Flexible pricing options
AWS has pay as you go model pricing. This means you do not have to make any commitment. You have to pay for those services for the time that you have used them. For example, if you start EC2 instance in AWS you will pay for time for which it was running in the cloud.
This has solved a major problem for startups and developers. Earlier you have to buy expensive hardware with 3,5 or even 10 years of the contract. This was very expensive. It didn’t provide any kind of scalability or flexibility. Now starting a web server is as simple as clicking a few buttons. You can scale it as per your need and even shut it down when you are not using it.
AWS is one of the most secure cloud providers. It provides Identity and Access Management (IAM) service free of cost so that you can secure your AWS resources and restrict its access to lawful users. AWS also provides data encryption at rest as well as in communication. So if you are an individual developer or big organization you can guarantee security for your resources in the cloud.
AWS also engages with independent third-party auditors and certifying bodies to provide customers with considerable information regarding the policies, processes, and controls we establish and operate.
Aws is designed such that developers can easily deploy their applications. This means they can focus more on solving actual business problems and infrastructure is taken care of by AWS. You can use the AWS management console or APIs to host your applications in a few minutes.
With AWS you do not have a limitation of choosing one operating system or one development environment. AWS provides you your own virtual private network. You can use this to deploy your old applications and also develop new ones with newer technology.
You can also easily scale your applications up or down depending on workloads. This has been a major benefit of using AWS which have reduced operating cost significantly.
Storage and Backups
S3 a service provided by AWS is used to store data. S3 guarantees the durability of 99.999999999%. That is 11 9’s of durability over the year. This means your data is very secure.
Another popular data service provider Dropbox uses S3 in its backend. S3 is really cheap as well. You can even reduce your cost if you chose S3 one zone storage class.
Scalability and high-performance
You can easily scale your applications when there is a load on your systems. This can be achieved by autoscaling rules which will scale your system up or down depending on system usage.
This means your system will be always performing at its pick even if there is sudden high demand. Due to its global infrastructure, you can also start your servers at different locations and route traffic to the nearest server.
AWS CodeDeploy (deploys your code to EC2 servers), AWS CodeCommit ( revision control service that hosts Git repositories), and AWS CodePipeline ( service which automates software release process).
These services help individual developers or big teams to store, integrate and deploy their code on cloud infrastructure. This ensures very high deployment speed.
Integration with existing systems
If you have services running on your infrastructure already, you do not need to move them to the cloud. You can develop new services in the cloud and easily integrate them with your old services.
You can also easily import your on-premises virtual machines created to the cloud. This saves efforts to recreate the same infra in a new environment. VM Import/Export enables you to import virtual machines easily from your existing environment to Amazon EC2 instances
AWS currently has 165 fully-featured services. So if you need anything from a webserver to databases, networking, encryption or analytics service you have it here. With AWS, you can deploy desktop or mobile applications with the same ease. You can also manage your logs using Cloudwatch and run analytics on them. You get a global content delivery network.
In short, once you choose AWS, most of your application development needs will be solved easily.
Support and documentation and resources
AWS being a global leader has excellent round the clock support available. For critical applications, you can ask AWS for apid case review and direct routing to senior engineers. AWS also recommends best practices while designing application architecture. This ensures that your application will handle some failures without any intervention.
AWS also has a rich set of documentation available for its services and APIs. So it is very easy for a beginner to learn and master AWS services.
Market reach and revenue
AWS is a market leader since its inception in 2006. It has grown at a rapid pace as well. you can check its growth in 2019 Q1.
AWs also have the biggest market share as well. With such high revenue and market share, AWS is always innovating new technologies. In 2018 alone, AWS released 1957 new features and services.
You can read more about this report here at parkmycloud.com
Job requirements for AWS professionals
AWS has the biggest market share which means many people need AWS architect and developers. AWS is growing in popularity. Many organizations are moving to the cloud. So AWS professionals will have many more opportunities ahead of them.
Best free tier account
When you open an account with AWS, it offers a lot of free services for the first 12 months. These services include EC2, RDS, Redshift, Sagemaker, etc. On top of this, there are few services that are free for a lifetime. You can get all the details of free tier here AWS free tier.
This is by far the best free tier provided by cloud providers. You can use it to learn and understand the AWS environment. This is why in the next part we will see how to create an AWS account and use its free tier.
By now you must have learned how AWS has taken over the market and what makes it a leader in cloud services. If you have decided to go with AWS I have tutorials on many of its services. You can follow them and begin your journey in mastering AWS. See you there.