What Is Amazon Web Services(AWS): Its Uses and Services

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Last updated on
13th Apr, 2022
30th Aug, 2019
What Is Amazon Web Services(AWS): Its Uses and Services

AWS or the Amazon Web Services is Amazon’s cloud computing platform that offers a mix of packaged software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). In 2006, Amazon launched AWS from its internal infrastructure that was used for handling online retail operations. It was one of the first companies to provide users with computing, throughput, and storage as needed on the basis of pay-as-you-go cloud computing model.

There are several availability zones (AZs) present in regions across the world with data centers. An AZ is a location with multiple physical data centers. A collection of AZs connected by network links with low latency is termed as a region. As an AWS customer, you will be setting up virtual machines and replicating data in different AZs. This helps in building a reliable infrastructure resistant to failure of servers or the data center.

What are AWS uses:
AWS Uses

Currently, AWS is powering much of the infrastructure of the internet. The platform contains everything that you might need for your small, mid-sized or large corporation. Here are a few business advantages of using AWS:

1. Simple Storage Service

Amazon AWS provides S3 or Simple Storage Service that can be used for sharing large files or small files to large audiences online. Depending on the web server type that you are using, you can quickly run out of resources as sharing huge volumes of data online is very expensive. AWS provides cloud storage for your use that offers scalability for file sharing.

2. Simple Email Service

When you want to send emails to thousands of customers, you can’t just use an email service like Outlook or Gmail. Even if somehow you manage to send out the emails, email providers like Yahoo and Gmail will treat them as spam messages. Simple Email Service of Amazon is able to handle such transactional emails at an affordable cost.

3. CloudFront

Web data is transferred from a central server to an edge server’s distributed network which is closer to the location of the end-user. This task is performed by the Content Delivery Network or CDN. This distributes the website traffic loads better, improving the load times and providing a better experience for the end-user. Large CDNs are expensive. Amazon’s CDN service, CloudFront manages to bring everything under a single room and with no limit to its scalability.

4. Website hosting

AWS offers the advantage of not worrying about exceeding the allocated usage of resources. Hosting a website on AWS might not be a one-click installation but its scalability makes it perfect for hosting different websites.

5. File sharing system

Normally, in a large company, one central drive is used by all the computers for storing and sharing files with other members of the team. AWS offers a file-sharing system that is best suited for an organization with employees around the world. Once you set everything up, it works on scale forever. You will never run out of drive space and you will have access to the files from anywhere in the world.

Here are some other advantages of incorporating AWS in your business:

  • It allows the organizations usage of familiar operating systems, architectures, databases, and programming models.
  • There are no long-term commitments or up-front payment. You only pay for what you use which makes it a very cost-effective service.
  • You don’t have to spend a single penny to run and maintain data centers
  • With AWS services, you can enjoy faster deployments.
  • Adding or removing capacity is very easy.
  • You can quickly get access to the cloud with limitless activity.
  • Compared to private servers, the cost of ownership is low.
  • AWS services have hybrid capabilities.
  • It offers centralized management and billing.
  • Deployment of applications in several regions across the world is possible with just a few clicks.

What are AWS Components

1. Data Management and Data Transfer

To run HPC applications in the AWS cloud, you need to move the required data into the cloud. There are several data transport solutions designed to securely transfer huge amounts of data. This overcomes issues like a long time for transfer, high network costs, and security concerns. Also, you can automate the movement of data between the AWS cloud and on-premises storage. There are options for establishing a private connection to the AWS from your premises. This increases bandwidth to provide more throughput, reduces the cost of the network, and provides a consistent network experience.

2. Compute & Networking

There are several compute instances types that can be customized according to your needs. It also handles monitoring your application and adjusting its capacity for maintaining a steady and predictable performance at an affordable cost. Also, setting up application scaling across multiple services for multiple resources takes a few minutes. Enhanced networking options from AWS allow achieving lower inter-instance latency and higher bandwidth. 

3. Storage

When looking for an HPC solution, you need to consider the storage options and cost. There are several flexible blocks, object, and file storage options in AWS services that allow permanent and transient data storage. It allows allocating storage volumes according to the size you need. You can store and access and data type over the cloud without doing a data migration project. Also, with AWS services, you can transfer your workload to the cloud from on-premises.

4. Automation and Orchestration

For using the infrastructure efficiently, you need to automate scheduling submitted jobs and the job submission process. AWS services allow you to run thousands of batch computing jobs through the dynamic provision of the computer resources on the basis of the requirements.

5. Operations and Management

As a system administrator, you are responsible for avoiding cost overruns and monitoring the infrastructure. There are several management and monitoring services that allow you to optimize utilization of resources, monitor the application, get a complete view of operational health, and respond to the performance changes.

6. Visualization

With the AWS services, you can easily visualize the engineering simulations’ results without moving huge amounts of data. Now, you can access the interactive applications remotely over a standard network and deliver application sessions to any workstation.

7. Security and Compliance

For running applications on the cloud, you need to have an understanding of regulatory compliance and security management. There are several quick-launch templates and security related services offered by AWS that helps in protecting data and customer privacy by putting strong safeguards in the AWS infrastructure.

AWS Services
AWS Services

Amazon Web Services offer the following services for various computing purposes:

  • Hosting a web site
  • Social networking
  • Academic computing
  • Sharing media
  • Hosting applications
  • Backup, storage, and disaster recovery
  • Media distribution and content delivery
  • Developing and testing environments
  • Search engines

Want to know about certifications offered by Amazon? We have listed some of the best AWS Certifications in detail for you.

What are AWS Products:

 Here is a list of products from AWS:

1. For computing

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides compute capacity through virtual servers known as instances. These instances are of different sizes and capacities that are customized according to your application and workload, like accelerated-computing or memory-intensive jobs.
  • There is also an auto-scaling tool used for dynamically scaling capacity to maintain performance and health.
  • The EC2 Container Registry and Amazon EC2 Container Service are used for enabling customers to work with images and Docker containers on the AWS platform.
  • AWS Lambda is used for carrying out serverless functions that can run services and applications automatically.
  • There is also AWS Batch that processes jobs and Amazon Lightsail that offers private, virtual servers.

2. For storage

  • The Amazon Simple Storage Service or S3 is used for providing scalable object storage for backup, analytics, and archival. The data and files are stored as S3 objects inside the S3 bucket that can be as large as 5 GB.
  • The Infrequent Access storage tier and Amazon Glacier are services of S3 that can be used as long-term cold storage at an affordable cost.
  • The Amazon Elastic Block Store is used for providing block-level storage to persistent data that is used with EC2 instances.
  • For managed file storage based on cloud, you can use the Amazon Elastic File System.
  • There are several transport devices like AWS Snowmobile and Snowball that can be used for transferring data to the cloud.
  • You can even allow the on-premise apps access to the cloud data through the AWS Storage Gateway.

3. For data management

  • Through its Amazon Relational Database service, AWS is able to provide managed database services. In this, there are options for SQL Server, Oracle, MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Amazon Aurora.
  • It also offers NoSQL databases with the help of Amazon DynamoDB.
  • If you want to use in-memory data caches for your real-time applications, you can try Amazon DynamoDB and ElastiCache.
  • Amazon Redshift is a data warehouse that makes performing business intelligence tasks easy for data analysts.

4. For Migration

  • If you want to migrate data, servers, databases, or entire application on the cloud, AWS offers several tools and services to do so. For monitoring and managing migrations to the cloud from on-premises, you can use the AWS Migration Hub.
  • Once your data or application is in the cloud, the EC2 Systems Manager helps in configuring AWS instances and on-premises servers.
  • For easing the hybrid cloud deployments, Amazon has partnered with different technology vendors. For example, Red Hat Enterprise Linux allows extending the operating system of the Red Hat to the AWS cloud.
  • Similarly, VMware Cloud is responsible for bringing data center technology that is software-defined to the AWS cloud.

5. For Networking

  • To gain administrative control on the virtual network for using an isolated section of the cloud, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) can be used. In a VPC, for extra protection, new resources are automatically provisioned. 
  • With load balancing tools offered by AWS like Network Load Balancer and Application Load Balancer, network traffic can be balanced.
  • Also, you can route end users to the application with the help of Amazon Route 53, a domain name system.
  • Via an AWS Direct Connect, you can establish a connection from the AWS cloud to the on-premises data center.

6. For Development

  • The AWS software development kits (SDKs) and command-line tools are used for deploying and managing services and applications.
  • Tools like Powershell are used for managing cloud services from a Windows environment.
  • For simulating an AWS environment and testing Lambda functions, you can use the AWS Serverless Application Model. 
  • There are different SDKs available for different programming languages and platforms like Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, Node.js, C++, iOS, and Android.
  • The development team creates, manages, and monitors custom APIs through Amazon API Gateway that allows the applications to access functionality and data from back-end services. It is also used for managing thousands of API calls simultaneously.
  • The Amazon Elastic Transcoder is used as a media transcoding service and AWS Step Functions are used for visualizing workflows in applications based on micro-services.
  • To evaluate the performance of such applications, AWS X-Ray is used.
  • For creating continuous delivery and continuous integration pipeline, the development team can use services like AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeStar, and AWS CodeBuild.
  • With the help of AWS CodeCommit, you will be able to store code in Git repositories.  

7. For Management

  • With services like AWS Config and AWS Config rules, managing and tracking of cloud resources configuration are done.
  • When used with AWS Trusted Advisor, the team can avoid expensively and improperly configured cloud resource deployments.
  • There are several tools for automation as well. For example, for automating system and infrastructure configurations, you can use Chef and AWS OpsWorks.
  • For automating the provisioning of infrastructure, you can use the AWS CloudFormation templates. 
  • AWS Personal Health Dashboard and Amazon CloudWatch are used for monitoring resources and health of the application.
  • To retain API calls and user activity for auditing, AWS CloudTrail is used.

8. For Security

  • For Cloud Security, there is a range of services offered by AWS like the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) that allows defining and managing resources for user access.
  • The admin can also use the Amazon Cloud Directory for creating a user directory or connect the Microsoft Active Directory to the cloud resources through AWS Directory Service.
  • There are tools available that can assess the potential risks of security automatically. The AWS environment is analyzed for vulnerabilities that can affect compliance and security using the Amazon Inspector.
  • Amazon Macie is used for protecting sensitive cloud data through machine learning technology.
  • There are also several services and tools that offer encryption, protection against DDoS attacks, filtering harmful traffic, and provisioning Transport Layer and Secure Socket Layer Security certificates.

9. For Big data

  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce is responsible for processing a large amount of data through the Hadoop framework.
  • For processing and analyzing streaming data, you can use Amazon Kinesis.
  • You can handle extraction, transformation, and loading jobs with the help of AWS Glue.
  • The team can perform log analysis and application monitoring through Amazon Elasticsearch Service.
  • You can query the data using Amazon Athena for S3 and then, use Amazon QuickSight for visualizing data.

10. For Artificial Intelligence

  • There are several services available for AI-based applications and AI model development and delivery platforms. The Amazon AI suite of tools has Amazon Polly for text-to-speech translation, Amazon Lex for voice, and Amazon Rekognition for image and facial recognition.
  • Developers can use AWS services for building smart apps that rely on complex algorithms and machine learning technology. For creating and training custom AI models with compute-optimized instances and clusters of GPUs, you can use AWS Deep Learning AMIs.
  • For MXNet and TensorFlow, there are deep learning development frameworks offered by AWS.
  • Also, the Alexa Skills Kit is used for creating voice-based apps for Echo devices. 

11. For Mobile Development

  • For mobile developers, AWS offers Mobile Hub that contains AWS Mobile SDK that can provide libraries and code samples.
  • Amazon Cognito is used for managing user access to mobile apps.
  • For sending push notifications to end-users and analyzing the effect of those communications, Amazon Pinpoint is used.

12. For Messages

  • The messaging service provided by AWS offers core communication for application and the users. For sending, receiving, and storing messages between different components of the distributed applications, a managed message queue is used named Amazon Simple Queue Service. This ensures that all parts of the application are working as intended.
  • The Simple Notification Service (SNS) of Amazon allows a business to send pub-sub messages to end-users or services. This also has a mobile messaging feature used for pushing messages to mobile devices.
  • For sending and receiving mails between the marketers and IT professionals, Amazon Simple Email Service is used.

13. For other services

  • SaaS options are used for business productivity. Amazon enables text-based chats and online calls and video meetings through Amazon Chime service.
  • Amazon WorkDocs are used to store and share service.
  • Amazon WorkMail is a mail service for business purposes with calendaring features.
  • For streaming and desktop application services, Amazon WorkSpaces is used.
  • Amazon AppStream allows streaming of a desktop application to the web browser of the end user from the AWS.
  • For Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, there are several services offered by AWS. For managing IoT devices and ingesting data into storage and database services, AWS IoT service is used.
  • AWS Greengrass is used for bringing AWS compute capabilities to the IoT devices.

Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.