Since its launch in 2006, Amazon Web Services has made a massive impact on how cloud computing works. With yearly innovations, it may seem difficult to keep track of exactly what AWS can do. This post aims to shed some light on the inherent usefulness of AWS.
Firstly, if you are new to cloud computing, you may want to read our article for an introduction to this pervasive and cost-saving technology. As a summary, cloud computing uses a group of servers and networks to provide clients with services such as data storage, additional processing power, and others. The cloud is scalable—any individual or business can rent these resources and only pay for what they consume.
Amazon Web Services Building Blocks
AWS is a prime example of cloud service providers. Based on 11 regions around the world, it caters to a wide array of businesses needs. Some of the most commonly-used services are:
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a service that provides you with as many virtual computers as you need to run your applications.
- Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), which works a virtual hard drive and is best used for anything that requires block-level storage, such as a database.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), a highly-durable, highly-available web storage system that is best used as a primary data storage.
- Amazon VPC, a service that lets you isolate and control a portion of AWS, which you can then connect with another network using VPN.
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), a database service that supports MySQL, SQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL while automating common tasks such as backing up your data.
AWS has more to offer in terms of platform services, application services, and tools. A more substantial description can be found in our article, “What is AWS?”.
How do clients use AWS?
AWS sees the most use in 4 principal areas:
- Consumer applications
- High-performance computing, batch data processing and large scale analytics
- Storage backup and Disaster Recovery
- Enterprise and Vertical applications
Ad campaigns are a great example of how AWS resources can be used to augment one’s resources. Ad agency ATTIK once ran a campaign for Scion that featured an online reality series. Should the series become a hit, ATTIK needed to be ready for a sudden surge in viewership. ATTIK turned to AWS for the following services:
- Amazon EC2 to act as their web server;
- Amazon S3 to store static assets, and;
- Amazon CloudFront to handle video streaming.
In the end, the campaign was able to stream terabytes of data to 500,000 viewers. Once the campaign wound down, ATTIK also scaled down their cloud usage, without having to pay any lingering infrastructure costs.
Security, Economics and Support
As security is always a main concern for clients, AWS has achieved various certifications and accreditations, chiefly SAS 70 Type II, PCI DSS, ISO 270001, and FISMA Low. White papers are currently available for HIPAA, Security, and Risk and Compliance for anyone to view details on AWS’s physical and data security measures.
Finally, AWS offers levels of after-sales support, depending on the customer’s cost point. Higher levels have access to a technical account manager, one-on-one phone support, and management business reviews for additional high-level guidance.
For a more detailed explanation of the above topics and some next steps for interested parties, just click on the video link below for Jeff Barr’s in-depth webinar.
[video_player type=”youtube” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″ border_size=”3″ border_color=”#1298e2″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1DYUpDbW9HSVcyNA==[/video_player]