What Is AWS? An Introduction To Amazon Web Services In A Nutshell

・13 min read
What Is AWS? An Introduction To Amazon Web Services In A Nutshell

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is the biggest company in the world, and a part of that empire is Amazon Web Services, or AWS for short - but what is AWS?

The beginning of AWS dates in the early 2000s when in July of 2002 Amazon.com Web Services was launched. 4 years later, in 2006, Amazon S3 cloud storage launched to help developers stop worrying about where they are going to store their app data. AWS has gone on to become the world’s most comprehensive cloud platform, rising as competition to the likes of Microsoft Azure.

AWS is now one of the most significant areas of profit for Amazon as a whole company. It’s also one of the biggest names in the whole of big data right now and it’s not going anywhere.

So, they must be doing something right over there at Amazon. But what exactly do we mean by ‘cloud platform’? Read on to find out everything there’s to know about Amazon Web Services.

What is cloud computing?

If you find yourself wondering ‘what is cloud computing?’ then we really recommend getting to know all about it! It could have a massive impact on the success of your latest project, or the success of your company as a whole.

Cloud computing is effectively just the delivery of computer services through ‘the cloud’, or online. These services can include the likes of intelligence, networking, storage, servers, software and so many more areas.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Img

Cloud computing is a relatively new technology and as such, a lot of people and companies have not managed to recognise its true potential yet. You can get ahead of the curve yourself if you can see what it can do for you, so let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that cloud computing has to offer to your business right now:

  • Cost: instead of having to invest in new technology (or even more expensive, development teams to help you put together new technology), cloud computing users will just pay for the pre-built services they use in a subscription model.
  • Scale: no matter the size of your project, you’ll be able to bring in the right amount of resources as and when you need it, anywhere in the world. On top of this, the AWS storage service can be as big or as small as you want it to be, another example of the excellent scalability that AWS has to offer.
  • Speed: there will be no need for capacity planning anymore, as you’ll be able to bring in those resources within a few clicks of a mouse as most of the cloud computing services are self-service and available on demand. Take Terraform as an example.
  • Performance: AWS is run on a worldwide network of data centers that can get data out to you as quickly as you need it. You will notice a significant reduction in network latency that can have a serious positive impact on the performance you receive.
  • Reliability: cloud computing providers, such as Amazon, are super reliable companies and this reliability will translate into your own usage of the systems as well. You can be confident that content delivery from your own product is going to be at the best level it can be, which is, of course, going to satisfy your customers.
  • Productivity: physical data centers, based on site, tend to require plenty of setup, patching etc. which simply does not need to be done with the likes of AWS.
  • Security: the best cloud providers will ensure that the security they provide are second-to-none. Everything will be secure here.

What is AWS?

If you’ve not come across Amazon Web Services (or AWS) before, let us explain. This is a branch of the almighty Amazon organisation that deals with cloud computing.

AWS is one of the most popular examples of a cloud computing platform, in the United States and worldwide. It has quickly caught up with the likes of Microsoft Azure, and we fail to see how it will not stay at the top of the game for many years to come. In fact, AWS is widely recognised to be the most comprehensive cloud computing platform out there, a huge claim to fame!

Incredibly, the market share of cloud computing platforms that AWS currently represents is at 32,4% according to Investopedia. When we consider all the amazing competition that AWS is up against (we’ll talk about which companies they are a little later on), this is truly an astonishing figure.

The AWS platform contains all of the most important cloud services you could need, so let’s take a look at a few of them.

Key features of AWS

  • Security and reliability: Amazon as a company prides itself in security. After all, you don’t get to the top of the game in the way that they have if you have any chinks in your armour whatsoever. You can be confident in the fact that this security will trickle down to the experience you receive as you use the platform.
  • Scalability and adaptability: AWS is perhaps the most powerful cloud computing platform you can use. Not only does this make things an awful lot faster, but it allows you to scale your usage of the platform to your own needs. Plus, no matter where you are in the world, you will be able to get the maximum potential of AWS.

Img

These are just a couple of many benefits of AWS. They are, however, the two areas that are considered to be the strongest points of the platform.

AWS Top Services

We mentioned a couple of times that AWS is the most comprehensive cloud computing platform out there, and a big part of that claim is the sheer volume of services it has to offer - over 100 of them, no less!

But what are the main services to look out for? Of course, it really depends on what you want from your own project using the platform, but here are some of our favourites. We recommend that you check most of these out regardless of what you are looking to use the platform for!

  • Compute: referred to as Amazon EC2, this is a web service that provides computer capacity within the cloud. It’s secure, reliable and scalable. That’s probably why it’s so popular - potentially the most popular of web services.
  • Storage: enjoy all the best cloud storage, computing storage, database storage you can find from any cloud computing platform, courtesy of AWS. Store data as easily as you like with the AWS storage service.
  • Databases: Amazon RDS supports three open-source cloud computing databases, which means that any developer tools, code or applications you use right now can be configured within AWS. This will save you a lot of time as you transfer to the platform. This is a hugely important part of any infrastructure services, so we are glad to see Amazon nail it on this front.
  • Analytics: imagine being able to see in almost real-time who is interacting with your project and what they are doing? An essential part of the feedback loop, AWS excels with its use of analytics. Its data warehouse is also particularly useful on the analytical side of things.
  • Networking: Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) allows for a set administrator to have control over an isolated section of the cloud. This has the benefit of more flexibility. Networking speed within AWS couldn’t be much quicker, either. It’s some of the fastest in the world and is likely to only get faster as time goes by.
  • Mobile: mobile app development could not be more popular right now, so for a cloud computing platform to excel in mobile development, things are going to look good. And that’s exactly what AWS does. The AWS mobile application service is one of the finest out there - don’t miss out on that one!
  • Developer tools: no matter what your team’s programming language of choice is, they will be able to find a wide range of development tools that will suit all kinds of software projects. AWS gives a huge degree of flexibility, and delivers the finest results that any developers are going to love.
  • Management tools: when you set up AWS for the first time, you will be able to select a number of administrators and other levels of management that will have defined privileges and controls over the project.
  • IoT: have you ever come across the phrase ‘if that, then this?’ Amazon has. The Internet of Things is the future, and it can deliver spectacular results for your users.
  • Security: AWS is one of the most secure platforms online, so you can be confident that any confidential information is going to be protected as well as it possibly can be when you use the service.
  • Enterprise applications: there are a huge amount of enterprise applications within AWS that can be used in over 190 countries at the time of writing. No matter where you are in the world, or what you are trying to do with your next project, AWS has you covered.
  • Machine learning: Amazon itself claims that AWS has the ‘broadest and deepest set of machine learning services’ that one can find. It is currently supporting over 1000 customers with their own machine learning experiences, and this is, of course, likely to rise substantially in the coming months and years. If machine learning is something you are interested in, AWS could be the one to help with that.

Companies Using AWS

Img

By now, we imagine that you are starting to see the benefits of AWS, including what it might be able to do for your company. But, we understand if you feel like you might need a little more convincing. Perhaps one way to do that is to show you some of the companies that are using AWS right now.

This list of companies includes some of the biggest names in the world, so if you were unsure as to whether AWS would work out for you before, we’re pretty sure that you will be when you read this list!

  1. Netflix - Netflix uses AWS for almost everything, from video transcoding, recommendation engines to analytics. It allows them to respond to issues faster and deliver a better user experience.
  2. Disney - the House of Mouse deals with a lot of data: for streaming and running its parks and resorts. AWS allowed Disney to create a universe of information.
  3. Pinterest - Pinterest invested in Amazon Web Services to help them with the growth of users, computing and storage.
  4. McDonald’s - AWS helped this fast-food giant through a digital transformation to become more progressive and profitable.
  5. Epic Games - a great example of the implementation of AWS into Epic Games was Fortnite. AWS allowed to build new data centres, connect players across the globe and create a lightning-fast gaming experience.
  6. Reddit - Reddit uses AWS to host and organise thousands of discussion categories. Amazon services also make room for scaling up cloud usage for the future growth of Reddit users.
  7. Adobe - Adobe products like Photoshop or Illustrator are closely integrated with AWS as it helps them to offer multi-terabyte operating environments for their users.
  8. Airbnb - being in the ned of fast-scaling cloud services, Airbnb went straight to AWS because of its ease of use and flexibility.
  9. Samsung - in 2020, Samsung presented a new communication technology for first responders in emergencies powered by the AWS cloud platform.
    1. Unilever - migration to AWS helped Unilevel to standarise their processes as they are all now stored in the cloud.

Think about it: if these guys are using AWS for their own benefits, there is no reason that you couldn’t!

Top AWS competitors

It’s time to level the playing field. So far, this article has been all about Amazon Web Services, but we haven’t given any time of day to its competitors. We’re not sure if you have come across these companies before, but they may work out better for you than AWS does!

Google Cloud has been going for quite a few years now, and Microsoft Azure did not come too long after. These companies probably can do a great job for you in a similar way to how AWS can. On top of this, there are also Alibaba Cloud and IMB Cloud - both recognised and loved across the cloud computing world.

That being said, AWS established itself as one of the most comprehensive (if not the most comprehensive) cloud computing platforms out there. It goes without saying, therefore, that AWS is only going to get bigger and better, which means that it could be the undisputable champion of cloud computing in a very short space of time!

Summary

By reading this article, you’ve put yourself in the driving seat when it comes to software development and other forms of web projects in the future. Cloud computing is all the rage right now, and it goes without saying that it is only going to get more and more popular.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of companies out there who aren’t using it yet, but this can only be to their own deficit in most cases! Just look at the list of the companies that are using it (check back a couple of sections in this article), and you’ll see the kinds of titans who are using the platform.

AWS, or cloud computing as a whole, could really make all the difference as you move your business forwards. And it’s just a couple of clicks away to get started!

Need some help with implementing AWS, or perhaps another cloud computing platform of your choice? Why not consider outsourcing your work on this front? Here at Selleo, we have a huge team of established web developers with plenty of experience in implementing cloud computing solutions, AWS included.

You can reach out to us today with a quick message, and we’ll get back to you to explain how we can help you get the best out of your next project, with the help of AWS. This can save you money, time and really get the best quality out of your work. We’ll speak to you soon!

Related articles