What Is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon's comprehensive cloud computing platform, which includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings. AWS services can give computer power, database storage, and content delivery to a business.
Table of Contents
- What Is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
- How AWS Works
- Databases, Data Management
- Migration, Hybrid Cloud
- Developer Tools
- Management and Monitoring
- Security and Governance
- Big Data Management and Analytics
- Artificial Intelligence
- Mobile Development
- Messages and Notifications
- AR & VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality)
- Internet of Things
- Other Services
- AWS Pricing Models and Competition
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AWS was founded in 2006 as an extension of Amazon.com's internal infrastructure for handling its online retail operations. AWS was one of the first organizations to offer a pay-as-you-go cloud computing model, which expands to meet users' computation, storage, and traffic demands.
For enterprises and software developers, AWS offers a number of tools and solutions that can be used in data centres all over the world. Government agencies, educational institutions, non-profits, and commercial businesses can use AWS services.
The Amazon Web Services platform was established in 2002 with only a few services. AWS was re-imagined in 2003 to make Amazon's compute architecture more standardized, automated, and focused on web services. The idea of selling access to virtual servers as a service platform was part of this re-imagining. The first publicly available AWS service, Amazon SQS, was offered a year later, in 2004.
AWS was introduced in 2006 with three new services: Amazon S3 cloud storage, SQS, and EC2, officially transforming AWS into a suite of online core services. The Elastic Block Store and Amazon CloudFront were released and adopted by AWS in 2009, while S3 and EC2 were launched in Europe.
AWS began offering certification for its services in 2013, and an autoscaling solution was released in 2018.
AWS has added numerous services throughout time to help it become a low-cost, highly available, and scalable infrastructure platform. AWS is currently primarily focused on the cloud, with data centres located in the United States, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Brazil.
How AWS Works
AWS is divided into numerous services, each of which can be customized differently depending on the needs of the user. For an AWS service, users should be able to access configuration choices and individual server mappings.
Amazon Web Services offers services from hundreds of data centres located across the globe in availability zones (AZs). An AZ is a physical location with numerous data centres. A region is a cluster of AZs connected by low-latency network links in close proximity.
For a variety of reasons, such as compliance and closeness to end customers, a company will choose one or more availability zones. An AWS customer, for example, can create virtual machines (VMs) and duplicate data across different AZs to create a highly dependable architecture that is immune to individual server or data centre failures.
Amazon Elastic Computation Cloud (EC2) is a service that delivers compute power through virtual servers called EC2 instances. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service offers hundreds of instance types with varied capacities and sizes, each geared to specific workload types and applications, such as memory-intensive and accelerated-computing activities. AWS also has an Auto Scaling tool that allows you to dynamically increase capacity to keep your instances healthy and performing well.
Storage service (S3) is a scalable object storage service provided by Amazon for data backup, gathering, and analytics. An IT specialist stores data and files as S3 objects, which can be up to 5 gigabytes (GB) in size, to keep them organized. A firm can save money by using S3's Infrequent Access storage tier or Amazon Glacier for long-term cold storage.
Amazon Elastic Block Store provides block-level storage volumes for permanent data storage when using EC2 instances. Amazon Elastic File System is a managed cloud-based file storage service.
A company can also use AWS Snowball and Snowmobile storage transport devices to send data to the cloud, or use AWS Storage Gateway to allow on-premises programs to access cloud data.
Databases, Data Management
The Amazon Relational Database Service provides a relational database management system for AWS users, including options for Oracle, SQL Server, Posture SQL, MySQL, Maria DB, and a proprietary high-performance database called Amazon Aurora. Amazon Dynamo DB is a managed NoSQL database service provided by AWS.
Amazon Elastic ache and Dynamo DB Accelerator can be used as in-memory and real-time data caches for applications by AWS customers. Data analysts may execute business intelligence (BI) jobs more easily with Amazon Redshift's data warehouse.
Migration, Hybrid Cloud
AWS offers a number of tools and services to assist users with migrating applications, databases, servers, and data to its public cloud. The AWS Migration Hub is a centralised management and monitoring platform for on-premises to cloud migrations. Once in the cloud, EC2 Systems Manager aids an IT team in setting on-premises servers and AWS instances.
To make hybrid cloud deployments easier, Amazon has teamed with a number of technology businesses. VMware Cloud on AWS makes VMware's software-defined data centre technologies available on Amazon Web Services. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Amazon EC2 is another arrangement that brings Red Hat's operating system to the AWS cloud.
An Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) allows an administrator to control a virtual network from within the AWS cloud. AWS automatically adds new resources within a VPC for added protection.
Administrators can balance network traffic using the Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service, which includes the Application Load Balancer and Network Load Balancer. Amazon Route 53, a domain name system that directs clients to applications, is also available through AWS.
AWS Direct Connect enables an IT specialist to establish a dedicated connection between an on-premises data centre and the AWS cloud.
To build and manage apps and services, a developer can use AWS command-line tools and software development kits (SDKs). This comprises:
- Amazon's own programming interface, the AWS Command Line Interface.
- A developer can handle cloud services from Windows environments using AWS Tools for Powershell.
- To test Lambda functions, developers can utilize the AWS Serverless Application Model to emulate an AWS environment.
- AWS SDKs are available for Java, PHP, Python, Node.js, Ruby, C++, Android, and iOS, among other platforms and programming languages.
- A development team can use Amazon API Gateway to construct, manage, and monitor custom application program interfaces (APIs) that allow apps to access data and functionality from back-end services. API Gateway handles hundreds of simultaneous API calls.
- AWS also offers Amazon Elastic Transcoder, a packaged media transcoding service, and AWS Step Functions, a tool that visualizes workflows for microservices-based applications.
A development team can also create continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines with services like:
- AWS CodePipeline
- AWS CodeBuild
- AWS CodeDeploy
- AWS CodeStar
A developer can also store code in Git repositories with AWS CodeCommit and evaluate the performance of microservices-based applications with AWS X-Ray.
Management and Monitoring
AWS Config and AWS Config Rules allow administrators to control and track cloud resource configuration. These technologies, coupled with AWS Trusted Advisor, can help an IT team avoid deploying cloud resources that are poorly configured and cost too much.
AWS has a number of automation tools in its arsenal. AWS Cloud Formation templates can be used to automate infrastructure provisioning, while AWS OpsWorks and Chef can be used to automate infrastructure and system configurations.
AWS customers can utilize Amazon Cloud Watch and the AWS Personal Health Dashboard to monitor resource and application health, as well as AWS Cloud Trail to record user activity and API calls for auditing.
Security and Governance
AWS offers a number of cloud security services, including AWS Identity and Access Management, which enables administrators to specify and control user access to resources. An administrator can also utilise Amazon Cloud Directory to construct a user directory, or use the AWS Directory Service to connect cloud services to an existing Microsoft Active Directory. Furthermore, the AWS Organizations service allows a company to create and manage policies across numerous AWS accounts.
Amazon Web Services has also offered tools that evaluate potential security threats automatically. Amazon Inspector scans an AWS system for flaws that could compromise security and compliance. To protect sensitive cloud data, Amazon Macie employs machine learning (ML) technologies.
AWS also contains tools and services that provide software and hardware-based encryption, fight against DDoS assaults, issue SSL and TLS certificates, and filter potentially hazardous traffic to web applications.
The AWS Management Console is a graphical user interface (GUI) for AWS that runs in a browser. The Management Console lets you manage cloud computing resources, cloud storage, and security credentials. All AWS resources are accessible through the AWS Console.
Big Data Management and Analytics
AWS includes a variety of big data analytics and application services. This includes:
- For processing massive amounts of data, Amazon Elastic Map Reduce provides a Hardtop framework.
- Amazon Kinesis offers many processing and analysis capabilities for streaming data.
- AWS Glue, is an extract, transform, and load (ETL) service.
- Amazon Elastic search Service allows a team to use the open-source Elasticsearch tool to do application monitoring, log analysis, and other duties.
- Analysts can query data using Amazon Athena for S3.
- Amazon Quick Sight, a data visualization tool for analysts.
AWS offers a range of AI model development and delivery platforms, as well as packaged AI-based applications. The Amazon AI suite of tools includes:
- Amazon text for voice and text chatbot technology;
- Amazon Polly for text-to-speech translation; and
- Amazon Recognition for image and facial analysis.
- AWS also provides technology for developers to build smart apps that rely on machine learning technology and complex algorithms.
Developers can design and train unique AI models with clusters of graphics processing units (GPUs) or compute-optimized instances using AWS Deep Learning Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). MXNet and TensorFlow deep learning development frameworks are also available on AWS.
The Alexa Voice Services is powered by AWS technology, and developers can utilize the Alexa Skills Kit to create voice-based apps for Echo devices.
The AWS Mobile Hub includes a number of tools and services for mobile app developers, such as the AWS Mobile SDK, which includes code examples and libraries.
A mobile app developer can also utilise Amazon Cognito and Amazon Pinpoint to manage user access to mobile apps and measure the efficiency of such communications.
Messages and Notifications
Users and apps can communicate via AWS messaging services. SQS (Amazon Simple Queue Service) is a managed message queue that sends, stores, and receives messages across components of distributed applications to ensure that they all work together properly.
A business can utilise Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) to send publish/subscribe messages to endpoints like end-users or services. SNS has a mobile messaging capability that allows users to send push messages to their mobile devices. IT workers and marketers can use Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) to send and receive emails.
AR & VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality)
The Amazon Sumerian service provides augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) development tools. Users can construct AR and VR applications with Amazon Sumerian without knowing how to program or produce 3D graphics. The service also enables users to test and publish applications in-browser. Amazon Sumerian can be used in:
- 3D web applications
- E-commerce & sales applications
- Online education
- Training simulations
- Game development
AWS can also be used to create games. For titles like For Honour, large game development companies like Ubisoft will employ AWS services. AWS can help with every stage of a game's development.
AWS, for example, will offer back-end services for developers, as well as analytics and developer tools. Back-end services may be able to assist developers with creating, deploying, or growing their platform, while developer tools should aid developers in making their game. Analytics may aid developers in better understanding their clients and how they interact with the game. AWS servers can also be used to store data or host gaming data.
Internet of Things
AWS also offers a number of services that make the internet of things (IoT) deployments possible. AWS IoT is a back-end platform for managing IoT devices and data input into other AWS storage and database services. AWS Greengrass delivers AWS computational capabilities to IoT devices, while the AWS IoT Button provides hardware for limited IoT capability.
Amazon Web Services has a range of business productivity SaaS options, including:
- The Amazon Chime service allows for cross-device video meetings, calls, and text-based discussions.
- Amazon Work Docs, a file-sharing and storage service.
- Amazon WorkMail, a business-oriented email service with calendaring capabilities.
- Amazon WorkSpaces, a remote desktop-as-a-service platform (DaaS), and Amazon AppStream, a service that allows a developer to stream a desktop application from AWS to an end user's web browser, are two examples of desktop and streaming application services.
AWS Pricing Models and Competition
AWS' cloud services are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, either per hour or per second. Customers who prepay in full or sign up for one or three-year use commitments can also reserve a specific quantity of computing capability at a discounted rate.
If potential clients cannot afford the fees, the AWS Free Tier is another option for them to use AWS services. AWS Free Tier allows users to try out AWS services for free, with access to up to 60 items and the ability to build on the AWS platform. The Free Tier is available in three flavours: always free, 12 months free, and trials.
In the public IaaS market, AWS competes largely with Microsoft Azure, Google, and IBM.
AWS has bought a number of companies over time, strengthening its focus on technologies it wants to embrace further. AWS' recent acquisitions have focused on enterprises that can enhance and improve the cloud vendor's existing offerings, rather than larger, well-established companies. These acquisitions don't add to AWS's capabilities; rather, they improve them. TSO Logic, Sqrrl, and CloudEndure, for example, were bought by AWS. TSO Logic was a cloud migration startup that offered analytics that allowed customers to see the state of their present data centre and plan a cloud migration. Sqrrl is a security firm that gathers data from locations like gateways, servers, and routers and then displays it in a security dashboard. Cloud Endure is a company that focuses on workload migrations to the public cloud, disaster recovery, and backup. These acquisitions shouldn't majorly change AWS; they will position it better. For example, the acquisition of CloudEndure should accelerate the movement of on-premises workloads to the AWS cloud.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
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