In some senses, Amazon has come a long way since its inception as an alternate to the brick-and-mortar bookstore in 1994. Even Jeff Bezos, who declared that he wanted to turn Amazon the biggest store in the world, did not predict the degree to which it would surpass his vision. The company has not only grown exponentially, but completely transformed the way people shop…for anything. So perhaps it makes sense that their biggest, most profitable service ever is another startling disruptor. And no, we’re not talking about 2-Day shipping (although we probably won’t argue with you either). We’re talking about Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides on-demand computing resources and services in the cloud for anyone, with pay-as-you-go pricing. AWS offers a broad set of services that help you move faster, lower your costs and scale your applications. The combination of a wide customer base and agile, abundant features makes AWS one of the most popular cloud providers in the industry. In fact, Gartner placed it at the top of its Cloud Infrastructure Magic Quadrant in 2015, with customers deploying an estimated 10 times more infrastructure on AWS than the next fourteen providers combined.
At its most basic, AWS to make it easier to build and manage your websites and applications, allowing you to:
- Host a dynamic website, or web app
- Process and store data
- Handle peak loads (for high-traffic websites)
Security in the cloud is always one of the number one concerns for new users or companies. AWS provides a secure global infrastructure with 12 geographical regions for servers, and multiple service centers per region; it also has a specific “GovCloud” for US Government customers. In addition to the containment benefits provided by these regions and centers, AWS offers a range of security features and options:
- Access to AWS data centers and network is strictly controlled, monitored, and audited
- Security credentials are tightly managed and monitored
- ACL-type permissions can be applied on to your data, as well as encryptions for data at rest
- Virtual private clouds (VPC) can be set up to be isolated from other virtual networks
- Operating systems can be controlled and configured to your specifications
- Security groups, which acts as a virtual firewall for all traffic, can be set up
- Login information can be encrypted
Because AWS was intended for use by both individual consumers and companies with a need for more sophisticated infrastructure, its benefits are diverse and include:
- Designed to allow application providers, ISVs, and vendors to quickly and securely host your applications
- Reliable, secure, and global infrastructure
- Scalable and high-performance applications can be adjusted based on your needs
- Built-in flexibility enables you to select the operating system, programming language, web application platform, database and other services
- Tiered pricing: only for the compute power, storage, and other resources you use, with no long-term contracts or up-front commitments – and the first option is FREE!
- Huge variety of products and professional services
On top of all this, AWS committed in 2014 to 100% renewable energy usage, partnering with Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, EDP Renewables and Tesla Motors to achieve this goal. So whether you’re a company looking to become more agile or an individual searching for a place to host your personal blog, take a look at what AWS has to offer. If you’re still not sure about making the leap, Value Global has a full range of cloud services to help guide you towards the right solution. And, after all, you rely on Amazon for everything else; why not the Cloud, too?