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Why you should be using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud platform

Amazon Web Services have become a viable solution for enterprises looking for reliable, scalable, and affordable cloud computing services.

Amazon Web Services illustration showing a cloud and it's many services
Image: Amazon

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a collection of remote computing services (or web services). This collection constitutes as a cloud computing platform.

AWS Cloud is a suite of hosting products used by such services as Dropbox, Reddit, and others. However, Amazon Web Services can be used by many enterprises, such as startups.

AWS is a cloud computing service you can use instead of a private hosting service(or dedicated hosting). Therefore, this comes in handy when starting or developing a business.

Amazon Web Services pros

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As a service, Amazon provides several benefits that make them widely popular.

Free trial

EC2 is not a traditional hosting solution. It is designed to provide servers online and offline the fastest way possible.

You don’t need specific knowledge to run it. Because of that, many IT professionals were suspicious of EC2 and AWS in general.

Their main concern is that you must play around with the platform to figure out how it works.

A one-month free trial period allows you to run a micro instance 24/7. 

The package includes: 

  • S3 storage, 
  • EC2 compute hours, 
  • Elastic Load Balancer time, 
  • and more.

All of the above allows the developer to test Amazon API web services for their software fully.

This works both ways – the coders can improve the software, and Amazon introduces AWS to potential users. That benefits in the long run.

Only necessary payments

Amazon implemented an innovative pricing model for their hosting. Every service is a-la-carte, you only pay for the components you use. 

This is extremely handy for server infrastructure. The site grows, and traffic volume can rise and drop since traffic volume can jump up and down drastically, especially with the site’s growth.

Unlike traditional servers, AWS doesn’t charge you for downtime periods.

Many available services

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Amazon Web provides quite an amount of available features. The most important of them are listed below.

Compute

  • AWS Lambda: This service allows you to run code in the cloud without managing servers. This is very cost-effective because you only pay when using the cloud for computing.
  • Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud): It is a virtual machine in the cloud, which makes it possible to run a cloud server at any time;
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: An automated deployment and provisioning tool.

Networking

  • Amazon VPC: A networking environment in the cloud. It allows you to create a private environment in the cloud that uses the same concept and design as a local area network.
  • Amazon Route 53: This is a highly scalable and affordable cloud DNS (Domain Name System). Route 53 aims at developers and businesses. It is a reliable and cost-effective way to distribute users across Internet applications.

Migration

  • The Database Migration Service (DMS): A migration tool. You can use it to migrate local databases to AWS and from one database to another.
  • The Server Migration Service (SMS): This migration tool transfers from local servers to AWS.
  • Snowball: A tiny piece of software for data migration. Tbs of data can be seamlessly transferred within and outside the AWS environment.

Database

  • Amazon RDS: This tool allows developers to customize and simplify relational database management and scaling easily. Plus – perform it in the cloud as openly as possible.
  • Amazon DynamoDB: This is a fully managed database with high flexibility and speed. It provides high, reliable performance and scalability.

Storage

  • Amazon Glacier: A very low-cost storage service. The storage is secure and fast. You can archive your data for long-term storage.
  • Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service): An object storage that provides infinite storage with a simple interface. Typically used as primary storage for data backup and restore.

High performance and reliability

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AWS has fairly high speed. The Elastic Block Store is nearly as fast as C3 but provides other features. EC2 Compute Unit provides hourly Xeon-class performance.

Unlike most private data centers, this one remains online but reduces its capacity in case of an issue. The Chaos Monkey app successfully tested this feature. 

It randomly shuts down any cloud environment components and then analyzes whether the app is running or has completely stopped.

In the case of AWS, when the database and web server went offline, the database (RDS service) switched to another database using the multi-AZ function.

When the web server went offline, another one was activated using the autoscale function. This shows how efficient Amazon Web Services are.

The strength of AWS’s performance lies in its storage. The EBS distributed nature provides massive I/O operations per second for all of its instances.

Fast deployment

Traditionally, providers need two to four days to prepare a server. Then they need a few more hours to configure and test it. AWS deployment time is reduced to minutes.

By using Amazon Machine Image, it is possible to deploy the machine and prepare it for connection in a very short period.

This feature is handy if the site receives large traffic at certain time intervals. Therefore, it needs demand-based flexibility when launching a new product.

AWS also provides free Cloudformation templates. These let you deploy and shut down multiple environments in one click.

Outstanding security

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You can restrict AWS resources access. Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows you to apply role assignments. This helps determine the actions that a particular role can perform.

Additionally, this results in the likelihood of reducing malpractice. Plus, safety is increased. Also, AWS provides VPC, which can be used to host services in private networks inaccessible from the internet.

Therefore, it can exchange data with the resources in the same network. You can access these private network resources via an Amazon VPN or other open-source service.

Great location

Another major AWS advantage is its availability in over 40 time zones and 25 regions. Moreover, this allows you to access servers from almost any country worldwide.

Multi-region backups

You can create data backup copies in different regions. This is possible due to AWS cloud decentralization. The platform offers AMIs and EBS snapshot modes for file back-ups.

For example, this allows backups to remain intact even if the main operating environment fails. Even more, you can schedule backup time.

Great flexibility

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One of the most critical features of AWS is flexibility. All the available services continuously work and interact with your application. They estimate and process your traffic demand automatically.

APIs variety, coupled with Amazon Machine Image, gives you a fully customizable solution that provides a 100% ready server instance in less than 10 minutes. Instances can be closed quickly when need be.

Conclusion

Now that on-demand services are on the rise, Amazon Web Services have become a viable solution for enterprises looking for reliable, scalable, and affordable cloud computing services.

AWS helps companies manage various services. Its notable advantage is that your business gets access to EC2, which, in turn, provides you with a virtual cluster of computers over the internet.

Thus, hardware resource handling is simulated by server farms located worldwide.

AWS is a great solution not only for startups but also for large and medium-sized enterprises. It is your choice to develop new software or in case of application modernization.

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Editor’s Note: Anastasia Kushnir is a writer at Bamboo Agile, an Estonia-based development company. She prefers writing about the trends in modern technologies and digital solutions for e-Commerce, education, and healthcare. 

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