What is AWS: An Introduction to Amazon Web Services

The present technology-driven era is witnessing a swift change from the ways businesses traditionally functioned. Thanks to new technological innovations and cloud services, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure, managing a business has become easier than ever. Today, cloud computing has become an integral part of various businesses, no matter what industry they’re in. However, this was not always the case.

Back in the 2000s, businesses were completely dependent on purchased servers, which not only came with limited functionality but also were very expensive. Also, a lot of validations and plans were required to get a functioning server. The more the business grew, the more servers and optimizations were needed to ensure that they would run smoothly and provide the desired results.

In this article, we will introduce you to AWS and some basic concepts that will help you understand this cutting-edge cloud computing technology. We will cover: Today, servers are available instantly, thanks to cloud platforms that provide various features, like adding any type of workload, increasing storage and security, and providing durable data storage that is absolutely secure. While there are many cloud platforms in the digital market these days, AWS is probably the most common.

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  • What is AWS?
  • A brief history of AWS
  • Services AWS offers
  • How does AWS make life easier?

What is AWS?

To understand AWS, you must first understand that the cloud still runs on hardware, and there are certain features in the infrastructure that makes a cloud platform what it is. This hardware infrastructure makes AWS a cloud provider. AWS provides all the services and features that you can get in a local data center, like security, compute capacity, and databases. In fact, you can also get various other features, like content caching in different global locations.

The best part about AWS is that you get everything on a pay-as-you-go basis. This means that you pay only for the services you wish to use, which is a very attractive model, since the less you use, the less you’ll pay, and the more you use, the less you’ll pay per unit.

That’s not all. The applications that you provision in AWS have other benefits, such as:

  • They are very reliable since they run on a safe and reliable infrastructure.
  • They are very scalable since they run on an on-demand infrastructure.
  • They are very flexible, due to the designs and the design options available on the cloud.

Now that you have the basics about AWS let’s take a brief look at the history of this technology.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Introduction Guide

A Brief History of AWS

  • AWS was launched in 2002 when Amazon wanted to sell its remaining unused infrastructure as a service or as an offering to customers.
  • The idea was met with enthusiasm, which prompted Amazon to launch its first AWS product in 2006, four years after the idea was first floated.
  • In 2012, Amazon hosted a huge event focused on collecting customer input about AWS. Amazon still holds similar events, such as Reinvent, which allows customers to share their feedback and grievances about AWS.
  • In 2015, Amazon announced that its revenue reached $4.6 billion.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, AWS launched products and services that helped customers migrate their services to AWS.
  • In 2016, Amazon’s revenue increased to $10 billion.
  • Today, AWS offers customers more than a hundred products and services.

AWS Services

Since it came into existence, AWS has become an essential cloud computing technology in the enterprise space. Some of AWS’s most essential offerings are:

Amazon S3

This tool is used for internet back up and is the cheapest storage option available in the object storage category. The best part about this storage option is that data stored in it can be retrieved from the internet whenever needed.

AWS Data Transfer Products 

As the name suggests, these are migration, data collection, and data transfer products that help you collect data seamlessly. They also enable you to monitor data in real-time and analyze it.

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) 

This provides a secure and resizable computing capacity based on your needs or forecast. The service is designed to make web-scale cloud computing more accessible.

Amazon SNS (Simple Notification Services) 

This is a notification service tool that enables messages to be delivered to a large number of subscribers through email or SMS. You can send alarms, service notifications, and other messages through the SNS service.

Amazon KMS (Key Management System) 

This is a security tool that uses 256-bit encryption for your data and safeguards it from hackers and cyber attacks.

Amazon Lambda 

This is a service for which you pay only for the time it takes to execute your code. With this service, you are not required to pay for the infrastructure, and the cost is based on usage time. It’s a cost-effective service that can save you a lot of money compared with another service that charges on an hourly basis.

Route 53 

This is a DNS service in the cloud that doesn’t require you to maintain a separate DNS account. This service is designed to provide businesses with a reliable and cost-effective method to route users to internet applications.

How Does AWS Make Lives Easier?

Let’s now look at how AWS has made life easier for businesses using the example of Unilever, a giant in the world of consumer goods.

Unilever had a problem: It needed a faster time-to-market and a standardized environment. The company is spread across 190 countries and was relying on a lot of digital marketing for its products. Its existing legacy local environment proved to be useless, as it was unable to cater to the changing IT demands.

Unilever moved a part of its business to AWS, and since then rollouts have been smooth, provisioning applications have become, and even provisioning infrastructure has improved. The company could do everything in push-button scaling. Also, the safe backups ensure that all the company’s data is safe and accessible at all times. Today, Unilever is growing with AWS, thanks to features such as swift deployment rollouts, secure backups and the ability to generate real-time reports.

This is just one of many examples of how AWS has helped businesses grow exponentially.

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AWS is the number-one choice in cloud computing services for businesses across the globe. It has a presence in over 190 countries and has more than 100,000 active customers. These impressive numbers are a testament to the fact that the platform is continually growing, with more and more businesses moving to AWS. This has created great employment opportunities for people who know how to develop AWS architecture and applications.

If you want to give your career a boost in the cloud computing sector, consider taking Simplilearn’s AWS Courses which includes AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training Course, AWS SysOps Associate Certification Training, AWS Developer Associate Certification Training, and AWS Technical Essentials Certification Training. This will help you earn AWS certifications, and boost your chances of getting into the world of AWS cloud computing!

You may also check out the Simplilearn's video on "What is AWS" curated by our industry experts to help you understand Amazon Web Services.

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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