What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
2017 May 06 By Wayne Covell 0 comment

AWS is a cloud computing platform by Amazon.com. It enables users to build computing infrastructure, using their services. Some products include RDS (Database), EC2 (Virtual Computers), S3 (Cloud storage) and more.

Why Use AWS?

The big advantage of using AWS is that a person can relatively easily and cheaply set up enough infrastructure to run web sites and applications without a huge investment.

Additionaly, a user can turn on and off services when they desire, or even set schedules for more compute power in peak times. This can be a fanatasic saving on energy, both helping the user save money, and protecting the environment.

What can I use AWS for?

Well here at Belton Intel, we use AWS for our database, holding your personal data securely. We use their cloud compute services to host the BISpoke Workflow System, and we store data in their various storage systems.

AirBnB use similar services to host their cloud applications, relying on the high durability and reliability of AWS services.

Private users can set up small personal websites much cheaper than using a company, given the requisite knowledge, or even create email accounts, private VPNs for browsing securely and so much more.

Products

AWS has a huge and growing number of products, but here are a few of their main ones:

Databases

Within databases, a user can choose to use a traditional Relational Database system such as RDS or Aura. Alternatively, there are NoSQL options like DynamoDB or Redshift.

These are fast and easy to set up, and can be managed using software like MySQL Workbench. If you’re looking to use PhpMyAdmin, as many web developers do, you’ll have to set up some cloud compute and install it yourself.

Cloud Compute

So you want your own server to run your application? AWS has many options such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Lightsail. These are great for easy self-management of your servers. You can get root access and install whatever you like, configure it to your specification and tear an instance down at your behest.

If you want Amazon to do a bit more of the management for you, you can choose ECS or Lambda, where you just provide the code or a docker container and let amazon deal with clusters, deployment and in the case of Lambda, even provisioning and scale of the server

One of Amazon's AWS Data Centres
One of Amazon’s AWS Data Centres

Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is an easy to use storage system for storing practically anything. It supplements other AWS products well, for example database backups can be put on S3, or storage for cloud applications.

Alternativly, you can just use it for storing your personal files, be it music, pictures or other stuff.

For many though, there are items that need to be stored, but are unlikely to be accessed very often, if at all. In these cases, an archive solution is better value for money, giving you more storage for your money, albeit with slower access times. Such solutions include Glacier and EFS.