The Amazon Web Services or AWS Cloud is a cloud services platform developed by the American giant Amazon. AWS brings together more than 50 services in categories such as cloud storage, computing power, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and even video game development. Find out everything you need to know about Amazon Web Services, its history, benefits, how it works, and the different services it offers.
Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services is the cloud computing platform that brings together Amazon’s cloud services. Originally designed as an in-house resource from the Webstore infrastructure, AWS has subsequently become a provider of innovative and cost-effective cloud solutions that enable organizations that use them to grow and scale. It is thanks to Amazon Web Services that Amazon has become the world leader in cloud computing. Amazon Cloud services are used by millions of companies worldwide such as Spotify, Yelp, Shazam and Airbnb. AWS appears as the leader in this market. Between 2015 and 2017, its sales increased from $ 7.8 million to $ 17.5 million in 2017. Last year its net profit was $ 4.3 million.
Amazon Web Services: A Flexible and Secure Cloud Solution Platform
AWS Cloud price: cloud pricing
These resources are scalable according to user needs and virtually unlimited. The pricing varies depending on the number of resources used by the user. The flexibility of AWS is enhanced by its hybrid nature. Users do not have to choose between their internal infrastructure and the cloud.
One of the benefits of Amazon Web Services is that the cloud is more secure than a local infrastructure. Data is encrypted during storage and transfer, and extensive certification and accreditation processes ensure data security. Similarly, hardware security modules and physical security procedures ensure the security of the IT infrastructure of the companies that use it. Similarly, for the sake of transparency of governance and compliance operations, control, auditing, management of identities, configurations and uses integrate the platform.
AWS offers and rates its services across data center regions around the world. The company has ensured that the price of Amazon Web Services varies according to the service, usage and geographic location of the data. For Amazon Web Services, these customers only have to pay for what they use. Unlike some players, the subsidiary of the giant e-commerce is transparent. It is easy to calculate monthly expenses for users of Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, and other offers. In addition, the calculator available from the website of the firm allows to accurately estimate the bill at the end of the month.
Amazon Web Services Free
Undecided users or users who do not need huge amounts of storage can turn to AWS’s free offer. They will have 12 months to take advantage of the proposed services and will have to be content with the limited quantities of storage, streaming, characters, data, users per year or per month. For example, they are eligible for 5 GB of storage for Amazon S3, 750 hours of Amazon RDS per month or 5,000 images per month for Amazon Recognition, a facial recognition API. For more details, the free Amazon Web Services offer is detailed on this page.
Amazon Web Services regions
To minimize the impact of potential outages and to ensure the reliability of its system, AWS is geographically divided into regions. The central hubs of these regions are located in the eastern United States, the western United States, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. Each region has multiple smaller geographic areas called Availability Zones. In total, there are more than 44 availability zones spread across 16 geographic regions. AWS also plans to add 14 Availability Zones and 5 additional Regions in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region in the United States.
In 2018, the American company wants to continue its commercial deployment in South America. After moving to Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, the firm moved to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, on April 8, 2018. At the end of May 2018, Reuters explained that Amazon is seeking to bring its services to these developing countries.
Amazon Web Services: What are the major AWS services
AWS currently has more than 50 services and continues to grow. These services are divided into several categories: computation, storage, database, migration, networking and distribution of content, tools for developers, management tools, security and identity, analysis, artificial intelligence, mobile services, application services, messaging , enterprise productivity, desktop and application streaming, internet of things, call centers, and game development. Here are the main AWS services.
Amazon S3: A Scalable Amazon Cloud Storage Solution
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) makes it easy to collect, store, and analyze data on a large scale. Data can be collected from many sources such as websites, mobile applications, business applications or connected object sensors. Many users of this service store billions of objects and exabytes of data. S3 can be used as Data Lake for Big Data analytics, as a backup target, or as a storage for server-less computing applications. The data is also used during machine learning with other AWS services.
Amazon DynamoDB: the operated NoSQL database
Amazon DynamoDB is a NoSQL database service known for its very low latency of only a few milliseconds. Entirely managed in the cloud, this database supports the various models of document storage. Flexible, powerful, scalable in terms of speed and capacity, this database is adapted to the web, games, advertising technologies, the Internet of Things and much more.
Amazon Redshift: The AWS Warehouse and Data Analysis Service
Redshift is a fully managed data warehouse service known for its speed. With this solution, users can analyze all their data in a simple and economical way. Thus, one executes complex analytic queries on several petabytes of structured data. Column data is stored on local high-performance disks. Massively parallel queries are executed. The user thus receives more results per second. This service is also fully scalable. With Redshift Spectrum, it is also possible to execute SQL queries on several exabytes of unstructured data in Amazon S3.
Amazon CloudFront, the global Amazon Cloud content delivery network
CloudFront is a global content delivery network that delivers data, video, applications, and APIs securely to users without latency at high transfer speeds.
Amazon CloudSearch, the Amazon Cloud Managed Search Service
Amazon CloudSearch is an AWS managed search service that makes it easy to set up, manage, and scale a search solution for a website or application. Compatible with 34 different languages, this service has the advantage of being economical, and offers features such as highlighting, automatic filling or location-based search.
Amazon Machine Learning, a machine learning service for developers
This Amazon Web Services service makes it easy to use Machine Learning technologies for developers. Visualization tools and wizards make it possible to create machine learning models without the need to master complex algorithms and technologies. Amazon Machine Learning then makes it easy to obtain predictions for an application without having to apply custom prediction generation codes or manage infrastructure.
Other widely used AWS services include Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS Relational Database Services, Amazon VPC Isolated Cloud Resources, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk Application Management Services, Amazon Migration Service Migration Hub, or the Amazon Lumberyard 3D game engine.
Amazon EC2 Elastic Cloud Compute: The Virtual Servers of Amazon Web Services
The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Web Service provides users with secure, resizable computing capability. It makes it easy to access cloud computing resources and to obtain and configure capabilities with ease.
Specifically, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 is a web-based service that allows companies to run their applications on the Amazon Web Services public cloud through “virtual machines” running on AWS Data Center servers.
To use EC2, the developer creates an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), which contains an operating system, applications, and configuration settings. The AMI is then uploaded to the Amazon S3 Storage Service and saved with Amazon EC2 to create an “AMI ID”.
The data is retained only while the EC2 instance is running. However, a developer can use an Amazon Elastic Block Store volume to keep them longer. It is also possible to make backups with Amazon S3.
Users can accurately control their computing resources and run their application on Amazon’s IT environment. Amazon EC2 allows you to launch new server instances in minutes, allowing you to easily resize capacity as needed.
Autoscaling and instances on demand
To increase or decrease capacity, simply use the Amazon EC2 web interface or API. A developer can code an application to resize instances automatically with AWS Auto Scaling. It is also possible to define Auto Scaling rules and instance groups to manage them simultaneously.
There are different types of Amazon EC2 instances that meet different business needs. Each type of instance takes advantage of different size options depending on computing power, RAM and storage requirements.
On-demand instances allow the developer to create as many resources as they want and pay on time. The “Reserved Instances” allow you to benefit from a reduced price provided you commit to a three-year period. Finally, Spot Instances are Amazon auctioned instances for workloads with flexible start and end dates.
Users only pay for the capacity they use. Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 are the two major Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) used by cloud application developers around the world.
Amazon Glacier: AWS Cold Cloud Storage Service
All data does not need to be accessible instantly and regularly. That’s why Amazon Web Services offers Amazon Glacier, a “cold data” storage cloud service at a lower cost.
This low-cost service makes it easy to store historical data or to store database backups. This is an alternative to Amazon S3, a more expensive service that provides real-time access to data. In comparison, it takes 3 to 5 hours to extract the data stored on Glacier.
On Amazon Glacier, data is stored in archives and vaults. The archive takes the appearance of a block of data that can consist of a single file or aggregated data in the form of TAR or ZIP files. The size of a Glacier archive varies between 1 byte and 40 terabytes.
The archives classify into chambers (vaults) for a better organization. The administrator can set permissions and access conditions to each room on a case-by-case basis.
Amazon Cloud charges the Glacier service monthly based on the number of gigabytes of data stored. Data uploading is free, but each extraction request is worth a little more than 5% of the user’s average monthly storage cost. The goal is to dissuade users from using Glacier as a regular storage service.
Amazon Drive: an Amazon Cloud hosting service for individuals
Like Google, Amazon Web Services offers a private storage offering. With Amazon Drive, users can keep secure file copies: photos, videos, text documents, and more. An iOS and Android mobile application are available to manage the files. It is also possible to synchronize them on a Windows or Mac computer.
Amazon Drive Premium
Amazon Drive integrates the Prime offer of the E-commerce platform. Premium subscribers have 5GB of storage for files and videos. For these customers, Amazon Drive Photo is an unlimited service: they can put as many photos in the Cloud as they want. The others have to pay $ 12 a year for 100 GB or 1 TB for $ 60 a year. If users need extra space, they can add Teroctets for $ 60 per unit per year. Previously, the service offered unlimited storage for all types of files for a fixed cost. A real blow for cloud storage enthusiasts.
Overall, Amazon Drive reviews are pretty good, but the change in pricing policy and the abandonment of unlimited storage has ended the state of grace of the service.
With AWS, the Web giant wants to be agnostic. However, this does not prevent him from offering many services of his own in his ecosystem. Amazon Chime is one of them. At first glance, this communication tool appears as a competitor of Skype. The big difference with the service bought by Microsoft is that Amazon Chime is primarily aimed at the professional. It allows, basically, to make video calls between a colleague and with customers. Well, it is neither more nor less a data visualization solution since we can share documents, including those from Business Intelligence tools: financial reports, advertising campaigns, etc.
It is also an Amazon cloud embedded offer, like the other solutions presented in this article. Amazon Chime is actually a UcaaS, a unified communications service in the cloud. It can be used on all devices: computer, tablet or smartphone (iOs or Android).
Three offers available
Like the other services of Amazon, this one benefits from several offers, here to the number of three: Chime Basic, Chime Plus and Chime Pro. The first offer, free, gives access to conferences for two people, a cat and chat rooms. The second offer costs $ 2.50 per user per month and provides access to screen sharing and the company directory. Finally, Chime Pro extends video conferences to up to 100 participants and creates its own call links. As of April 1, 2018, companies that want to try the embedded service in AWS enjoy a free month for Chime Pro. After this time, they can still benefit from Chime Basic. Pricing also changes. The company charges hosting $ 3 a day and it will not exceed the $ 15 a month mark.
Also published on Medium.