Amazon Web Services (AWS) have become an increasingly popular choice in the cloud computing market. The number of services and features AWS provides, combined with Amazon’s unparalleled security measures, have helped them become the market leader in cloud services. However, there’s still some confusion about what AWS is and how it works, especially considering there are other big players in the cloud computing field, like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about Amazon Web Services so you can choose whether it’s right for your needs or not.

AWS Explained in Plain English

Amazon Web Services is a family of remote computing services, also called web services, that make up one of the most successful cloud computing platforms in history. AWS provides a highly reliable, scalable, inexpensive infrastructure platform in the cloud. It offers over 65 different services for compute, storage and networking needs. According to Netcraft’s June 2015 web server survey Amazon accounts for 47% of all web sites run on AWS[1]. As such it should come as no surprise that many startups are using AWS due to its flexibility and low cost. However there seems to be a lack of guides explaining how each service works which means you have to do some googling if you want some more detailed info on how they work. This guide aims at bridging that gap by describing each service along with how it can be used as well as linking out to additional resources if you would like deeper dives into certain areas. The guide also contains links to downloadable .csv files containing IP address ranges if you want them for building firewall rules or other things such as planning capacity usage calculations.

What Is AWS?

The AWS cloud computing platform provides a range of useful services, like compute power, storage and networking options. AWS can make it easier for developers to launch websites or applications without having to invest in building or maintaining server infrastructure. On its most basic level, AWS can be used as a network of data centers that makes it possible for companies of all sizes to rent out resources like processing power or storage space when they need them. When you’re not using these resources, they become available again to other people on the network so they don’t go unused. But what if you do have your own servers? Is it worth giving up control over them in order to free up time and money?

What Can I Do With AWS?

With a wide range of products and services, AWS can be intimidating for a beginner. When we think about what we want in an e-commerce site, a server farm capable of handling terabytes of data sounds like it’s just too much to take on. But you might be surprised at how easy it is for anyone—not just experienced coders—to get started with AWS. If you need more convincing that AWS is well worth your time, here are some common sense use cases for cloud computing 1) if you build it, they will come; 2) control is not just king: it’s god; 3) to have any hope of succeeding, any tech business needs top-quality hosting; 4) advertising accounts for 90%+ of most businesses’ revenues (lives); 5) speed kills all deals: if your website loads slowly, no one will buy from you; 6) if your product really takes off and becomes successful (i.e., reaches escape velocity), that could potentially entail millions or even billions of page views per month (assuming linear growth). For those who aren’t yet convinced as to why Amazon Web Services are useful and worthwhile investment: I ask that my readers always consider two questions: 1) why aren’t they using something better? ; 2) why am I considering changing platforms at all? The answer is almost always: because there’s money to be made! That said, let’s look at…

How Does AWS Work?

AWS does not offer hosting services for websites. Instead, it offers a suite of cloud computing resources that IT professionals can use to build out their own infrastructure, including storage and bandwidth capacity, server space, and more. This is perfect for organizations that already have an established IT infrastructure or need an extra boost of power to accommodate growth. If you’re just getting started with your first website or have never worked with technology before at all, it may be worth looking into managed hosting services instead. Managed hosts will typically handle most (if not all) of your basic web hosting needs and make things much easier for newcomers looking to get a website up and running quickly with little effort. You won’t have as much flexibility when using hosted services, but chances are good you won’t need anything more than what they provide. With AWS, though, there is no limit on what you can do; in fact, one of the most common criticisms from people new to AWS is that there are too many options and settings! With so many complex details under your control, however, such complaints are far outweighed by how useful AWS really is. That said, if you want something fast and easy to set up and run your website, you should probably look elsewhere. In addition to its flexible deployment options, another reason why AWS stands out among other tech providers is its security measures. Your sensitive data is encrypted while it travels over networks via HTTPS, and network access controls are put in place to protect against unauthorized intrusions. AWS also takes care of patching software vulnerabilities so that hackers cannot gain access to systems through these backdoors. Moreover, backed-up data is stored multiple times across multiple facilities within each region, while access keys are rotated frequently in order to maintain high levels of security overall. These safeguards alone would make AWS one of the safest cloud service providers around today—but don’t forget about Amazon itself!

What Are Its Costs?

For businesses, using AWS can be cheaper than other options. Because Amazon provides companies with an all-inclusive package for their hosting needs, businesses no longer have to buy separate software and hardware solutions for storing data and running apps. This will save your business money that can be funneled toward growth initiatives—like hiring more employees or launching a marketing campaign. Additionally, because you are using AWS resources as opposed to buying them yourself, you won’t have to worry about paying for any unused resources. For example, when your business grows and requires additional bandwidth or storage space on its website or in its app, it will not incur extra charges simply because you need additional storage space. You can simply add more resources as you go along without having to worry about paying for unneeded extras. With AWS, there is also no management involved; managing servers and software is done by Amazon. Companies don’t have to deal with server setup, web application issues, scaling issues or server backups because those problems are handled by Amazon itself. It makes sense to choose AWS since it saves time; when a company adds a new product feature or service they do not have to pay separately for computing capacity they didn’t use before. The same goes if they want a different location either temporarily in order to grow globally faster through outsourcing development team resources or permanently like setting up their US East region presence first before doing so at each other region where customer demand starts coming from.Deciding on which service should become one of your top priorities.

How Do I Get Started with AWS?

There are a number of ways you can get started with AWS. The first step, of course, is to create an account. If you already have an AWS account but are just now diving into things, make sure that you’ve set up your billing information; otherwise, you may be surprised by charges on your credit card. We’ll dive into more detail later in these steps. Next, sign up for a free tier account if one is available in your region; it will allow you to get comfortable with some of AWS’ offerings and let you see how much certain services cost without needing to pay anything upfront. Keep in mind that some features (like reserved instances) won’t be available until you upgrade to paid tiers. For many organizations, paying ahead of time allows them to save money over time because they’re not locked into paying at regular intervals. While we recommend taking advantage of any free tiers that are available, you should try to plan out your needs well enough in advance so that you’re not left scrambling when trial periods end. That way, as new cloud products roll out or existing ones become less expensive, you can take advantage immediately without worrying about whether or not something will work with your current setup. Create AWS resources: Although we’ve covered setting up core IaaS components like Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 earlier on our list, there are still plenty of other services worth exploring—and even some non-traditional uses for others.


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