AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings. AWS services can offer an organization tools such as compute power, database storage and content delivery services. AWS launched in 2006 from the internal infrastructure that built to handle its online retail operations. AWS was one of the first companies to introduce a pay-as-you-go cloud computing model that scales to provide users with compute, storage or throughput as needed.
AWS is separated into different services; each can be configured in different ways based on the user’s needs. Users should be able to see configuration options and individual server maps for an AWS service. Amazon Web Services provides services from dozens of data centers spread across availability zones (AZs) in regions across the world. An AZ is a location that contains multiple physical data centers. A region is a collection of AZs in geographic proximity connected by low-latency network links. A business will choose one or multiple availability zones for a variety of reasons, such as compliance and proximity to end customers. For example, an AWS customer can spin up virtual machines (VMs) and replicate data in different AZs to achieve a highly reliable infrastructure that is resistant to failures of individual servers or an entire data center.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) provides scalable object storage for data backup, collection and analytics. An IT professional stores data and files as S3 objects — which can range up to 5 gigabytes (GB), inside S3 buckets to keep them organized. A business can save money with S3 through its Infrequent Access storage tier or by using Amazon Glacier for long-term cold storage. Amazon elastic block store provides block-level storage volumes for persistent data storage when using EC2 instances. Amazon elastic file system offers managed cloud-based file storage. A business can also migrate data to the cloud via storage transport devices, such as AWS snowball & snow mobile or use AWS storage gateway to enable on premises apps to access cloud data.
The Amazon relational database system which includes options for Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB and a proprietary high-performance database called Amazon Aurora — provides a relational database management system for AWS users. AWS also offers managed nosql databases through amazon dynamoDB. An AWS customer can use amazon elastic cache and dynamoDB accelerator as in-memory and real-time data caches for applications. Amazon Redshift offers a data warehouse, which makes it easier for data analysts to perform business intelligence tasks.
AWS includes various tools and services designed to help users migrate applications, databases, servers and data onto its public cloud. The AWS migration hub provides a location to monitor and manage migrations from on premises to the cloud. Amazon also has partnerships with several technology vendors that ease hybrid cloud deployments. VMware cloud on AWS brings software-defined data center technology from VMware to the AWS cloud. An Amazon Virtual Private Cloud gives an administrator control over a virtual network to use an isolated section of the AWS cloud. AWS automatically provisions new resources within a VPC for extra protection. Admins can balance network traffic with the Elastic Load Balancing service, which includes the Application Load Balancer and Network Load Balancer. AWS also provides a domain name system called amazon route 53 that routes end users to applications. An IT professional can establish a dedicated connection from an on-premises data center to the AWS cloud via AWS Direct Connect.
An admin can manage and track cloud resource configuration via AWS Config and AWS Config Rules. Those tools, along with AWS Trusted Advisor, can help an IT team avoid improperly configured and needlessly expensive cloud resource deployments. AWS provides several automation tools in its portfolio. An admin can automate infrastructure provisioning via AWS CloudFormation templates, and also use AWS OpsWorks and Chef to automate infrastructure and system configurations. An AWS customer can monitor resource and application health with Amazon CloudWatch and the AWS Personal Health Dashboard, as well as use AWS CloudTrail to retain user activity and API calls for auditing.
AWS provides a range of services for cloud security, including AWS Identity and Access Management, which allows admins to define and manage user access to resources. An admin can also create a user directory with Amazon Cloud Directory, or connect cloud resources to an existing Microsoft Active Directory with the AWS Directory Service. Additionally, the AWS Organizations service enables a business to establish and manage policies for multiple AWS accounts. Amazon Web Services has also introduced tools that automatically assess potential security risks. Amazon Inspector analyzes an AWS environment for vulnerabilities that might impact security and compliance. Amazon Macie uses machine learning (ML) technology to protect sensitive cloud data.
The AWS mobile hub provides a collection of tools and services for mobile app developers, including the AWS Mobile SDK, which provides code samples and libraries. A mobile app developer can also use Amazon Cognito to manage user access to mobile apps, as well as Amazon Pinpoint to send push notifications to application end users and then analyze the effectiveness of those communications. AWS messaging services provide core communication for users and applications. Amazon Simple Queue Service is a managed message queue that sends, stores and receives messages between components of distributed applications to ensure that the parts of an application work as intended. Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) enables a business to send publish/subscribe messages to endpoints, such as end users or services. SNS includes a mobile messaging feature that enables push messaging to mobile devices. Amazon Simple Email Service provides a platform for IT professionals and marketers to send and receive emails.