AWS - Top 5 features

Saturday, April 18, 2020
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For people looking to make the most of the AWS service, there is a huge number of products to choose from. This article will go into 5 of the most popular and useful features that are available.

What is AWS?

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It’s a cloud based platform that offers database storage, content delivery, and compute power, amongst so much else. In a straightforward summary, using AWS, an organisation can:

  • Using the cloud, host dynamic websites on web and application servers
  • Access files from anywhere with secure cloud storage
  • Store information and manage databases of MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and SQL Server
  • Utilise a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to supply static and dynamic files at a fast rate across the world.
  • Deliver bulk emails to a customer base

The AWS ecosystem is massive, there are hundreds of features and services that can be utilised depending on an organisation’s needs. Below we’ve outlined five of the most popular features used on the AWS platform.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

Using Amazon is supposed to aid organisations by creating a more straightforward infrastructure. To help with this goal, AWS offers the Relational Database Service (RDS) service. Essentially, this makes it easier to create, manage and scale relational databases in the cloud. The service allows for both cost-efficient and resizable capacity, this is alongside automating administrative tasks that take up a lot of time and resources. These include hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups.

By using the RDS, an organisation is given the flexibility to concentrate on their application and deliver on their goals. It’s available on multiple database instance types which are targeted to provide optimal performance around either memory, performance or I/O. Utilising the service is straightforward, as migration or replication can be performed through the AWS Database Migration Service.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

The Elastic Compute Cloud is a central component to Amazon’s web hosting service. It creates a load environment that is safe, secure, and scalable. For developers, it can make web-scale computing much simpler. With a streamlined interface, a user can form and configure capacity with reduced headaches. EC2 gives the user total control of the computing resources, while using Amazon’s tried and tested systems.

Amazon Cloudfront

By using Amazon Cloudfront, an organisation can improve the distribution speed of static and dynamic web content. This includes the distribution of html, css, javascript and image files to an end user’s computer. Utilising edge location, CloudFront delivers content globally at high speeds and with low latency.  Cloudfront is fully integrated with AWS, in both a physical capacity and in the digital, global ecosystem.

Using Cloudfront can begin within minutes. The pricing model is uncomplicated and revolves around a pay-as-you-go system, there are no fees to be paid upfront and long-term contracts aren’t asked for.

Amazon Simple Storage (S3)

Amazon Simple Storage was created to help developers with web scaling computing. It’s an object storage service that provides scalability, data availability, security and performance for organisations that need it. No matter the company’s size, they can make best use of the Simple Storage Service to save and keep secure data across multiple different use cases. Whether a website, mobile application, backup, restore, archive, enterprise application, IoT device, or big data analytics, there is the functionality to support and store this data within S3.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

The virtual private cloud from Amazon allows for a separate area of the AWS cloud with resources defined just for an organisation. Within this area a company has full control over the virtual environment, this includes the range of IP address, route tables configuration, network gateways, and subnet creation. Within the VPC it’s straightforward to gain safe entry to resources and apps by using both IPv4 and IPv6.

The network configuration is customisable to your needs and demands. Backend systems, including databases can be formed in  a private subnet without any access to the internet. Depending on security needs, a number of security protocols can be implemented, such as security groups and access control lists.

Amazon’s Web Services is an extremely effective and powerful platform for utilising cloud based technology. With hundreds of products on offer, there are a number of solutions to most enterprise’s computing issues. The ones outlined above are some of the most popular features on the service, but it would be worthwhile looking in more depth at the full range of services on offer. Doing so could improve performance, and reduce impacts on resources.