So you hear all this buzz about cloud computing and its benefits. You hear about Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, perhaps Alibaba Cloud and Oracle Cloud. Since this blog is all about AWS, we’ll answer the simple question: AWS – What is it?
What is cloud computing? It’s not just someone elses computer. The cloud is endless possibilities for companies and for you as a engineer. As Wikipedia describes it, “The cloud is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.” Basically, you can get access to a server, a client, a database, a VPN, storage space, anything you can think of in minutes. The virtual machines can be as powerful as you need, the storage can house all your personal backups.
Take a classic typical datacenter. If you wanted to test a new application or system and didn’t have any free compute power, you had to invest in new physical servers. If the application was crap and you decided not to use it, you still had your new servers that was already paid for but now useless. In the cloud, you spin up your environment, test what you wanna test, if you decide to trash it you delete it and only paid for the minutes you had it running.
What is Amazon Web Services – AWS?
Amazon AWS is a comprehensive cloud computing platform that offers a vast array of services to meet the diverse needs of businesses and developers. It provides scalable and reliable infrastructure solutions, allowing users to access computing power, storage, databases, analytics, machine learning, and more through the cloud. AWS operates in multiple geographic regions, providing global coverage and redundancy to ensure high availability.
Common AWS Services
- Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud): Amazon EC2 is a foundational AWS service that offers resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Users can launch virtual machines (instances) with various configurations to meet specific application requirements. EC2 instances are highly customizable and can be used for hosting websites, running applications, and performing data processing tasks.
- Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service): Amazon S3 is a scalable object storage service that enables users to store and retrieve data, such as files, documents, images, and backups, securely in the cloud. It provides high durability and availability, making it ideal for data archiving and serving content to websites and applications.
- Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service): Amazon RDS is a managed relational database service that supports popular database engines like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. It automates database administration tasks, including backups, patch management, and scaling, allowing developers to focus on application development.
- AWS Lambda: AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service that lets users run code without provisioning or managing servers. It automatically scales to handle incoming requests, making it ideal for building event-driven applications, real-time data processing, and microservices.
- Amazon DynamoDB: Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides seamless scalability, high performance, and low-latency data access. It is designed for applications that require fast and predictable performance at any scale.
- Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Service): Amazon SNS is a messaging service that enables the distribution of notifications to a variety of endpoints, including email, SMS, and mobile push notifications. It simplifies the implementation of event-driven communication in applications.
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that streamlines application deployment and management. Developers can easily deploy web applications and microservices using pre-configured environments and automated scaling.
- Amazon SageMaker: Amazon SageMaker is a machine learning platform that simplifies the process of building, training, and deploying machine learning models. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and infrastructure for data scientists and developers.
Additional AWS history
Amazon Web Services was launched in 2004 and is the oldest of all the cloud providers. Basically, Amazon realized that they have these big datacenters with unused capacity and started to offer AWS SQS (Simple Queue Service) for public use. In 2006, it expanded with EC2 and S3, and today they offer hundreds of services. Compared to the other major cloud providers Azure and Google Cloud, AWS is in the lead with about 33% of the market.