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An Introduction to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

New in the era of Cloud Computing? Let’s have a quick Introduction to Cloud Computing!

AWS is the name in the cloud market, that doesn’t need any introduction. It has gained a pace for providing a broad range of cloud computing services. So, the question is – What is AWS? Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the fastest-growing cloud technology provided by Amazon. AWS provides on-demand cloud computing services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

With the increasing importance of AWS cloud, AWS online courses & certifications are becoming more popular. If you are one who is aspiring to build a successful career in AWS, you can choose to go for the AWS certification exam like; If you are beginner in cloud AWS cloud practitioner practice exam and AWS Data Science Certification which demonstrates and validates your knowledge on the overall understanding of AWS Cloud Platform, irrespective of any particular technical role.

Introduction to Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services are IT infrastructure services first offered by Amazon in 2006 but nowadays these services are known as Cloud computing services. Initially, Amazon built a private scalable infrastructure and network for themselves. They found that they have done a great job and can resell these services to the whole world.

Now, Amazon is known to provide a scalable, low-cost, highly reliable infrastructure platform in the cloud. So, as an individual or organization, you can get the advantage of the experience and expertise of Amazon by using its web services. You can also get the benefits of the subscription plans offered by Amazon. Just like any other provider of cloud computing services, Amazon offers the benefits such as scalability, flexibility, security, elasticity, and cost-effectiveness.

The most important factor of differentiation is the experience of Amazon. The Amazon Web Services have achieved a great success in the arena of web services and cloud computing. Till now, Amazon has served many of the organizations and individuals over the globe. This approach of Amazon has been proved as dependable. Amazon is a large organization with a proven track record. It stays abeam and thus keeps on offering the latest and updated services and resources.

Services Under AWS Umbrella

AWS provides a number of services and each service is categorized under domains such as compute, storage, database, migration, messaging, managing tools, network and content delivery, security, identity, and compliance. Widely used domains and their services are:

Compute

Compute domain includes the services related to computing workloads. Services under compute domain are EC2 ( Elastic Compute Cloud), Lambda, Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon LightSail, Elastic Container Registry, Elastic Container Service, EC2 Autoscaling, AWS Batch, AWS Fargate, AWS Serverless Application Repository etc.

Storage

Storage domain comprises of services related to data storage. The services under this domain are S3( Simple Storage Service), Elastic Block Store, Amazon Glacier, AWS Snowball, Elastic File System, AWS Storage Gateway etc.

Database

Database domain is used for database related workload and services under database domain are Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon RedShift, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Neptune etc.

Migration

Migration domain includes the services which are used to transfer data to or from AWS framework. These services are AWS Database Migration Service, AWs Migration Hub, AWS Server Migration Service, AWS Snowball etc.

Messaging

The Messaging domain includes the services which are used for notifying, queuing or emailing messages. Services under this domain are Amazon SQS, Amazon SNS, Amazon SES, Amazon Pinpoint etc.

Management Tools

Services that lie under Management Tools domain are used to manage other services in AWS and these are AWS CloudWatch, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, AWS Configuration, AWS OpsWorks etc.

Network and Content Delivery

In Networking and Content Delivery domain, Networking is used for isolating network framework and content delivery is used to deliver content faster. It includes Amazon Route 53, AWS CloudFront services, AWS Direct Connect etc. You need to understand Route 53 pricing to learn more.

Security, Identity, and Compliance

Services under Security, Identity, and Compliance domain are used to manage to authenticate and provide security to AWS resources and these are AWS IAM, AWS KMS Key Management Service (Amazon KMS), AWS Shield, AWS Cloud Directory, AWS Cognito, AWS Guard Duty etc.

AWS Services List

Let’s have a quick look at the various AWS domains and the services offered within each domain.

Sr. No. Domain Name Services
1 Compute EC2( Elastic Compute Cloud), Lambda, Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon LightSail, Elastic Container Registry, Elastic Container Service, EC2 Autoscaling, AWS Batch, AWS Fargate, AWS Serverless Application Repository etc
2 Storage S3( Simple Storage Service), Elastic Block Store, Amazon Glacier, AWS Snowball, Elastic File System, AWS Storage Gateway
3 Database Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon RedShift, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Neptune etc
4 Migration AWS Database Migration Service, AWs Migration Hub, AWS Server Migration Service, AWS Snowball
5 Messaging Amazon SQS, Amazon SNS, Amazon SES, Amazon Pinpoint etc
6 Management Tools AWS CloudWatch, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, AWS Config, AWS OpsWorks etc
7 Network and Content Delivery Amazon Route 53, AWS CloudFront services, AWS Direct Connect
8 Security & Identity Compliance Amazon Route 53, AWS CloudFront services, AWS Direct Connect etc

Features of Amazon Web Services (AWS)

It is not without any reason that Amazon Web Services are leading the cloud market. Amazon Web Services are in the cloud market for more than 12 years. These are the features of Amazon Web Services (AWS) that makes it the leader of the cloud market. Let’s have a look at these important features of Amazon Web Services:

1. Easy to Use

Amazon Web Services are modeled to permit application providers, vendors, and ISVs to host applications securely and quickly. You can access Amazon Web Services’ application hosting platform by using Well- Documented Web Services APIs or AWS Management Console. With it, you can get new resources at once. While using AWS, you are not restricted to a set of a computing resource, storage or bandwidth.

2. Elasticity and Agility

Amazon Web Services allow you to innovate and experiment quickly because of its global cloud framework. You are able to add or remove resources in accordance with customer requirements. In IT organizations, elasticity is equated with infrastructure and it provides a contingency to save in the cloud and achieve better ROI.

Amazon Web Services

3. Highly Reliable

Amazon is popular for its reliability. Amazon Web Services provide a global infrastructure with 42 available zones in 16 geographic regions. According to Service Level Agreement (SLA), it is promised that Amazon will provide 99.95 % availability of services for every region. Also, AWS adduce a number of services ensuring reliability such as CloudFormation Configuration templates, and CloudWatch resource and application monitoring.

4. Scalable and High Performance

With the use of AWS tools, Elastic Load Balancing, and Auto Scaling, you can adjust your application scale to up or down as per the need. With AWS platform, you are provided full access to computing and storage resources whenever needed.

5. Secure

Security is the most important feature of AWS. The main advantage of Amazon Web Services is that uses an end-to-end concept to secure the infrastructure, including operational, physical and software measures. AWS ensures the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of the data. AWS becomes so special in security aspects because of some best practices. These are

  • AWS Service- Specific Security
  • AWS Account Security Features
  • AWS Global Infrastructure Security
  • AWS Shared Responsibility Model

For the better help of customers & users, AWS also provides many valuable and career oriented professional level of AWS Security Certification related to above aspects.

6. Flexible

Amazon Web Services validate you to choose the programming language, operating system, database, web application, resources, and other required services. Amazon Web Services offers a virtual environment to arrange and load the services and software for the requirements of your application. This alleviates the expatriation procedure for the current applications.

7. Cost-Effectiveness

Amazon Web Services are very inexpensive. You need to make payment only for the database, compute power, storage, and the resources you consume with no advanced allegiances or long-term contracts. Amazon provides the benefits of cost reduction to customers in the form of lower prices as it has the ability to build and managing global infrastructure at scale.

8. Performance

Amazon Web Services are well-known for the reliability and speed, and these features make it superior to the private global data centers. All the AWS services are doing great on the performance parameter. But a comparison of the all the services shows that storage services are doing most significant in terms of performance.

Amazon is the most advanced provider of cloud services in the market. Amazon is a scalable organization with more than 10 years of cloud experience. If you are looking for a cloud service provider, Amazon is a good choice from the currently available ones in the market.

AWS Certifications

AWS (Amazon Web Services) currently offers 9 certifications: 1 foundational certification, 3 associate-level certifications, 2 professional-level certifications, and 3 AWS specialty certifications.

List of 10 Best AWS Services

Before we start the discussion on most popular AWS services, it would be reasonable to go through some stats about them. It is interesting to note that AWS provides more than 70 services and the prices of the services have decreased considerably since the launch of AWS! The notable clients of AWS include Netflix, Reddit, NSA, and Expedia, which clearly show the demand for AWS services.

Another noticeable factor that can be associated with the services of AWS is the addition of new features and services. Interestingly, AWS showed a 40% increase in new AWS features and services with the addition of 722 new services and features in one year. That seems to be quite a staggering growth, doesn’t it? Now, we shall move towards finding the top AWS services in demand!

The services provided by AWS are classified into several domains, and they include compute, database, messaging, migration, storage, management tools, network, and content delivery and security and identity compliance domains. However, it can be quite difficult to find out exactly which of these services are used widely. So, in this article, we’ll explore the top AWS services in 2019 to find out which of them have been popular this year.

1. AWS EC2

Amazon EC2 is one of the fastest-growing AWS services, which showed a radical growth of almost 80% in the period between 2017 and 2018. This service from AWS helps you dispose of the worries of deploying costly physical servers. Amazon EC2 can be used for creating virtual machines and other server management features such as storage, ports, and security.

Depending on the type of server system, you can leverage one of the most used AWS services, i.e., Amazon EC2, to create servers within no time. The prominent advantage noted, in this case, is the flexibility for focusing on core business functionalities and projects. Since you will not have to deal with the maintenance of your servers, there would be adequate time left to focus on your projects.

2. Amazon RDS

Another popular addition to the AWS services list 2019 is Amazon RDS, which is tailored for ensuring limited complexities in the design of cloud infrastructure. So, how does Amazon RDS or Relational Database Service help you? The facility of dedicated instances for databases within a limited period and complete management privileges provided by the AWS support team are some of the reasons that put Amazon RDS in this list of top AWS services.

Most important of all, Amazon RDS is also associated with the capabilities for supporting multiple database engines, including SQL Server, SQL, PostgreSQL, and others. This implies a lot of savings in terms of time and cost on the maintenance and support for database servers!

3. Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is the next addition in this list of top AWS services in demand. Why? The most appropriate response for this question would be the assurance of security for data in the cloud. The highly secure infrastructure of Amazon S3 makes it a reliable, redundant file storage service. The security of data on the cloud is ensured by storing it in 3 data centers in a particular region.

Other than the intelligent distribution of data in the different data centers, Amazon S3 also provides integrations such as FedRAMP, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA/HITECH to prevent data compromise. Most important of all, the drastic growth of annual data transfer on an average with Amazon S3 has been estimated at 91%! This clearly shows that S3 is one of the most used AWS services.

The higher availability of AWS S3 rightly supports these factors, thereby implying the flexibility to access information with just a click and almost zero latency. With so many features, Amazon S3 tends to be one of the popular AWS services and that too at cost-effective pricing! You can access a free layer providing a storage capacity of 5 GB, and the pricing starts at $0.023 per month to access the first 50TB of storage capacity. Cheap, isn’t it?

4. Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a promising addition to this list of AWS services because of its applications in improving the speed of a website. This service helps in better access for users to information on the cloud. CloudFront is a Global Content Delivery Service or CDN that helps manage content, delivering it to end-users, and ensuring its efficient presentation.

This AWS service is mainly used for providing website static files that are obtained from various data centers around the world. The notable advantages that can be found with this service are an improvement in loading speed of web page and user satisfaction. You could be able to reach your target users quite easily with the Amazon CloudFront at your disposal with effective integration with other AWS services and the least latency possible.

5. Amazon VPC

Amazon VPC or Virtual Private cloud is also counted as one of the most popular AWS services because of its roles in preventing information security risk. The use of a private network in the cloud helps in ensuring the accessibility of information to authorized systems and individuals.

The features of AWS VPC help in the creation of a private virtual network that can be used for housing the complete IT infrastructure or services without any contact with the external world. Seems like a legitimate approach to secure your information from unauthorized access, doesn’t it?

6. Amazon SNS

Amazon SNS would be the next entry in this discussion on AWS services. SNS or Simple Notification Service can be used for sending SMS, email, and SQS or HTML endpoint messages. It is important to know how to use SNS, it can also be used for operations as an email server. The most interesting part about this renowned notification system is the flexibility of integration of with different types of applications such as Node.JS, Python, and PHP applications. Furthermore, you could be able to leverage Amazon SNS for sending notifications to users on all platforms such as the web as well as Android and iOS on mobile platforms.

7. Amazon Elastic Beanstalk

Amazon Elastic Beanstalk is also a promising addition to the list of AWS services. This service is suitable for developers as it helps in taking away the trouble of managing the infrastructure of a website. Developers generally face issues with solving any problem and can face a tedious task with development if they are engrossed in maintenance tasks. The Auto Scaling Solution can help in automatic updates of new software versions to S3 and then automatic installation on EC2. Most important of all, this service is free!

8. AWS Lambda

Amazon Lambda is another credible mention in the list of renowned Amazon Web Services. This service works for serverless functions so that you can execute code functions without the requirement of any EC2 server. Many times, developers encounter issues related to conflicts between the demands for development and the infrastructure available to them. Therefore, AWS Lambda provides an environment which is highly supportive of any development tasks. So, developers could be assured of running their codes and finding their effectiveness by letting AWS provide the necessary resource for the same with AWS Lambda.

9. AWS Auto Scaling

Amazon AutoScaling service is a reliable answer for companies that are looking towards opportunities for expanding their applications and extend their reach to over thousands or even millions of users. This service helps in the management of a fleet of servers that are equipped for supporting any volume of traffic demanded by your application. The service itself is free, albeit with the recording of several instances for the time of running applications.

10. AWS IAM

The final addition to this list of AWS services would be AWS IAM or AWS Identity and Access Management. This service is considered effective for controlling access and control over AWS resources. Interestingly, this service can be complemented effectively with your corporate identity federation. The other favorable aspects of this service include the facility for group policies and multi-factor authentication.

Bottom Line

There are a number of reasons to select Amazon Web Services as a cloud service provider. Amazon is developing services to plan a bright future with a concentration on the requirements and applications of the next generation. So, if you are thinking to make a career in AWS cloud, it’s a good decision for your career and career growth as well.

Moreover, there are a number of AWS online training and certifications to validate your AWS knowledge and expertise. Whizlabs is aimed to help you to prepare for these certifications and thus pass the certification exam. For this, we provide AWS Certifications Online Training and Exam Simulators. Just start preparing for the right certification and have a bright certified career ahead.

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.
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11 COMMENTS

  1. I appreciate your work on AWS Services. It’s such a wonderful read on AWS Services Tutorial.Keep sharing stuffs like this.

  2. You have written a very interesting and a detailed article. However, I think you missed the amazon cloud hosting management part. As their are companies like Cloudways, Flywheels, etc. Which are providing the managed Amazon Cloud hosting Solution. Even Amazon itself is providing the managed hosting service.

    • Thank you, Rehan. Yes, Amazon is offering the managed hosting service. Actually, we’re planning to cover to a separate article on it but sure, I’ll add a paragraph here too.

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  4. Hello Neeru,
    It’s always amazing to read such a detailed and in-depth article. You have beautifully described the introduction to Amazon web services and different certification related to it. This blog would definitely help people who are willing to start their career in AWS.

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