Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the pioneer in offering virtual private servers at affordable prices to the public. In reality, AWS is the first big cloud computing platform and offers all the necessary services to virtualize our IT infrastructure. AWS was officially launched to gain additional income using the experience gained by building and using Amazon.com’s infrastructure. Nowadays it has millions of users and many big companies work by using AWS to implement their services. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are their main competitors but we can treat AWS as the leader in this type of service.
Amazon Web Services goes beyond many VPS the immense majority of ISPs can offer, and it gives tools in the following categories:
- Computing: Offers everything that is necessary to make operations in the cloud. Amazon EC2 es the undisputed king in Amazon’s cloud computing services offering everything necessary to create and manage new instances. Lightsail offers the same services while simplifying administration tasks, akin to traditional VPS’s. Elastic Container Service allows to implement our own clusters with scaling and load balancing, among other things. Lamda allows us to launch code without needing servers.
- Databases: It gives the ability to imlement various types of databases, freeing our instances from this heavy load.
- We can use Amazon RDS for relating databases (MySQL, PosgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server and Amazon Aurora) or Amazon DynamoDB for NoSQL. We can also implement our own cache managing system with ElastiCache.
- Storage: Offers various types of storage, both for files under regular access and files under infrequent access. Amazon S3 is the main service, but it is usually combined with other services like Amazon Glacier or Amazon EFS.
- Corporative applications: Amazon WorkMail Amazon WorkDocs y Amazon WorkSpaces is the corporative mail service which Amazon offers, to which other services like Amazon WorkDocks and Amazon WorkSpaces are adjunct.
- Network and content delivery: Nos permite la creación de redes privadas virtuales a través de la nube, gracias al servicio Allows us to create virtual private networks in the cloud thanks to Amazon VPC. It also permits via Cloudfront to create our own CDN (Content Delivery Network) which speeds up the delivery of content towards our users, freeing our web server from a large workload. Finally, Route 53 presents an advanced DNS manager, with which to implement every registry needed to manage our domain from AWS.
- Security and access control: Through IAM and other services we can protect the access to our systems with the most current generation tools.
- Finally we’ve got a tool for managing mobile applications, including the posibility of testing them in a variety of real devices, services related with the Internet of Things, push-notifications and many more which cover essentially all of our needs.
These are some of the services we can find in Amazon Web Services, although it’s true that Amazon periodically updates its range of services and its available tools. However, it’s possible that we might not be able to cover all our needs with just AWS. To check the differences between this cloud platform and every other one, take a look at the Cloud Computing Guide.
A very important topic is the cost of the services offered by AWS. Amazon has revolutionized the market offering much greater performing services at lower costs compared to traditional VPS services. In general, the pricing is calculated with the amount of usage of the system, and AWS offers a tool which allows us to estimate the price of the service. In an intuitive manner, we can estimate an initial cost of approximately $150 per year, which rivals the cost of many shared hosting services.
Finally, many services offer a free use tier and new clients can benefit of 1 year of free of charge service usage, which allows users to explore the many posibilities and to see if they can adapt them to their needs without any risk whatsoever.
In further entries we will analyze in detail each main service, its configuration and integration to make the most use of them.