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Guide | March 04, 2021

Take A Deep Dive into AWS & How It Benefits Your Business

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading cloud service provider that offers multiple on-demand services to help businesses scale and grow. Despite such a reputation, mixed opinions about AWS and cloud computing services are still rising along with its popularity. Let’s all sit down and find out how AWS backs your business. And if it’s what your company is actually looking for at the moment.

1. Introduction to AWS

The idea all started in early 2000 when Amazon was no longer just an eCommerce bookseller. They had expanded the business by providing web infrastructure building service for their large retail partners. However, one problem kept increasing as they had to spend too much time setting up the same old infrastructure when delivering every new project. Furthermore, Amazon also started to hear the same things from its partners since they were also confronting the obstacles of managing their system. And they realized that building an adequate infrastructure was the critical point when making any large-scale internet company successful globally.

Amazon started to separate the data layer to create a more efficient way to communicate via hardened API. It was reported that its clients using the new API had experienced a 30% increase in web conversion rates. Witnessing the outstanding success of the new service, Amazon was convinced about setting up a brand new business. Then in March of 2006, AWS was launched.

Till now, the company has been extending its services to 6 general offerings, including Application Hosting (Use reliable, on-demand infrastructure to power your applications, from hosted internal applications to SaaS offerings), Websites (Satisfy your dynamic web hosting needs with AWS’s scalable infrastructure platform), Backup and Storage (Store data and build dependable backup solutions using AWS’s inexpensive data storage services), Enterprise IT (Host internal- or external-facing IT applications in AWS’s secure environments), Content Delivery (Quickly and easily distribute content to end-users worldwide, with low costs and high data transfer speeds), Databases (Take advantage of a variety of scalable database solutions, from hosted enterprise database software or non-relational database solutions). As of October 2020, AWS has owned 32% of the global cloud computing market.

2. What can you get out of AWS?

AWS is clearly targeting SMEs, enterprises, and developers instead of individual users looking for a simple data storing solution. Therefore, all features and characteristics of the AWS system are going to be much more complex to offer highly customized cloud solutions for enterprises.

See also: Explore Cloud Computing & How It Can Grow Your Business

a. The vast range of cloud computing solutions

At the end of 2020, AWS now offers six main groups of services mentioned above. Yet, its highly complex system structure to serve huge enterprises has required the system to include thousands of specified features. It is no joke to say that you could possibly find any cloud solutions with AWS. And indeed, it has more options than any other provider in the market.

For Database Management: 

  • Amazon Aurora: It is one of the fastest-growing relational databases of AWS and is a part of Amazon Relational Database Service. Aurora delivers both consistencies of a high-end database with the flexibility and cost-efficiency of an open-source database. The engine is compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL. It is claimed that the Aurora PostgreSQL and MySQL databases of Amazon are respectively three and five times faster than general PostgreSQL databases. This means that MySQL and PostgreSQL users can quickly shift to Aurora without changing their codes.
  • AWS Snowmobile: It is a data transfer service that is specifically designed to move large volumes of data to AWS. An AWS Snowmobile is a 45-foot long shipping container hauled by a semi-trailer truck carrying up to 100 petabytes of data. The service helps transfer a massive amount of data between locations much more secure, affordable, and faster.

For Data Processing:

  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR): It is an AWS tool for big data processing and analysis. Amazon EMR offers the expandable low-configuration service as a more comfortable alternative to running in-house cluster computing. Amazon EMR is used for data analysis in log analysis, web indexing, data warehousing, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, bioinformatics, and more. 
  • Redshift: Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale cloud-based data warehouse service. It allows businesses to store and analyze large-scale data sets and perform large database migrations. Amazon Redshift is based on PostgreSQL, and is a column-oriented database management system, enabling fast querying and efficient performance.

For IoT synchronization: Once you have gotten your head around a tractor-trailer full of data, you can go back to the small data sets and carry out further transformation through AWS Internet of Things (IoT) services. They provide a full set of offerings enabling your IoT system to operate smoothly on a large scale, pretty much anywhere.

  • Software Devices to connect your devices and operate them at the edge

- FreeRTOS is an operating system for microcontrollers that makes small, low-power edge devices easy to program, deploy, secure, connect, and manage.

- AWS IoT Greengrass is software that lets you run local compute, messaging, data caching, sync, and machine learning inference capabilities on connected devices in a secure way.

  • Connectivity & Control Services to secure and manage your devices from the cloud

- AWS IoT Core lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.

- AWS IoT Device Defender continuously monitors and audits your IoT configurations to ensure that they aren’t deviating from security best practices.

- AWS IoT Device Management makes it easy to securely register, organize, monitor, and remotely manage IoT devices at scale.

- AWS IoT Analytics makes it easy to run sophisticated analytics on massive volumes of IoT data.

- AWS IoT SiteWise makes it easy to collect, organize and analyze industrial data at scale.

- AWS IoT Things Graph makes it easy to connect different devices and cloud services to build IoT applications.

- AWS IoT Events makes it easy to detect and respond to events from large numbers of IoT sensors and applications.

These are just a few in hundreds of AWS solutions and products, yet AWS even set up its own Marketplace where a vast pool of software that runs on AWS can be found. Other software developers can put up their solutions on their e-stores and sell them directly to AWS customers. The market now offers over 11,000 cloud products creating a diversity of options to AWS clients worldwide and faster to advance the use of cloud computing through many other developers.

It was noticeable that there is nothing you can’t do on a cloud that can’t be done on AWS. If you ever get to the point where AWS can’t handle your most complicated jobs, then you have reached a place in which you need to set up your own private cloud.

b. Stability

Cloud is born for the purpose of data resources available anytime and anywhere. To serve such a goal on a global scale, AWS has been strengthening its infrastructure, powerful tools, and service policy. 

Claiming the most robust cloud provider, AWS goes on building its network infrastructure stronger and bigger than ever before. It is recorded that AWS now serves millions of customers in 245 countries/territories and owns the largest ecosystem of 77 availability zones in 24 launched regions with +220 points of presence. The provider has announced plans for 18 more availability zones and six more regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland.

Moreover, AWS guarantees its availability for every client at a 99.99% rate. This has been published under an uptime service-level agreement (SLA). If your system experiences uptime of less than 99.99%, you will get compensation on a sliding scale from 10% to 100%, depending on the exact amount of downtime. A survey by Zeus Kerravala, a cloud computing expert, showed that AWS only registered 338 hours of downtime, which was three times less than the other provider’s highest figures.

One of the most prominent features supported by AWS is Auto Scaling. It monitors your applications to make sure that they are operating at your desired performance level. When demand spikes, AWS Auto Scaling automatically increases the capacity of constrained resources so your business can maintain a high quality of service. It even offers various backup methods, including AMIs and EBS snapshots. So if your primary production environment is taken offline due to a natural or human-made disaster, the data will be backed up automatically.

See also: 10 Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Cloud Provider

c. Performance

We all know that system performance strongly affects customer satisfaction and business income. Therefore, AWS indeed invested its resources in ensuring that its clients’ system runs smoothly. They even made an SLA guarantee their service quality. But should it be enough to prove the cloud performance in reality? 

Websiteplanet has put AWS’s quality to the test by examining a website hosted on AWS EC2. The result was phenomenal as their performance showed consistent stability on a vast scale across the world. “Even the worst-faring locations still come in around 300 milliseconds for connection time and 400 for the first byte, with the best hovering around 20 milliseconds.”

Another test performed by PCMag also gave positive results. They used Geekbench 4, a cross-platform benchmarking app designed to treat all platforms the same regardless of the operating system. The examination recorded a mark of 3021 for a single core performance and 2862 for multi-core performance. The site also stated that this result is quite similar to other virtual servers with similar configurations.

d. Support

Amazon is famous for its customer service, and AWS is no exception. It provides four support plans, including Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise. The Basic package is free for all AWS users, including 24/7 access to customer service, documentation, whitepapers, and support forums. Meanwhile, the other three offer pay-by-the-month pricing and no long-term contracts.

The Developer Support plan will provide access to the following features:

  • Best practice guidance
  • Building-block architecture support with guidance on how to use AWS products, features, and services together
  • Support an unlimited number of cases that can be opened by one primary contact, which is the AWS account root user

Business and Enterprise Support plan share the same features below:

  • Use-case Guidance
  • AWS Trusted Advisor – AWS Support’s feature that inspects customer environments and identifies opportunities to improve system performance
  • The AWS support API to interact with Support Center and Trusted Advisor
  • Third-party software support – Help with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
  • Support an unlimited number of AWS Identify and Access Management (IAM) users who can open technical support cases

Finally, the Enterprise Support plan provides access to these features:

  • Application architecture guidance
  • Infrastructure event management
  • Technical account management - Work with a technical account manager for your specific use cases and applications
  • White-glove case routing
  • Management business reviews

Prices start from $29/month + 3% of AWS usage and scale upwards of $1200/month based on a percentage of monthly AWS usage, which declines the more you spend. Higher-level plans are also customizable, allowing you to pick and choose the products and services for which you desire premium support. 

Any businesses that aim for scalability and growth shall need their own cloud computing system since digitizing is no longer an option in the age of digital transformation.

Contact us now to drive digital transformation forward faster with a secure AWS cloud computing strategy tailored to your business needs.

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