AWS – or Amazon Web Services – is one of the most popular cloud-based platforms on the web. The list of companies using it in some capacity is really a who’s who of the online world, and includes:
- Dow Jones
- Hearst Business Media
- American Airlines
As well as many others.
Today, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about AWS, to help you decide if it could benefit your business.
So, first things first – what is AWS?
AWS is the collective name for a variety of online services provided by Amazon.
Now, the list of features is quite extensive. (You can view the full list on the AWS page.) But suffice to say, the goal of AWS is to give you all the tools you need to help your business grow and improve.
- Web servers
- Database management
- Web storage and migration
- Networking & content delivery
- Customer engagement
- VR & AR services
- Game development
- Web analytics
- Desktop and app streaming
- Machine learning
- Management tools
- Mobile & media services
It’s a comprehensive service
It’s worth re-iterating this. As you can see from the list above (which, as we’ve said, is not the full list), it’s hard to think of any modern online business function you couldn’t meet using AWS.
Whether you want to deliver an online course, share marketing videos, improve your online conversion or simply just streamline your processes, AWS has the tools to help you.
The list of customers we looked at contains some very diverse businesses, all with different needs and all of them benefit from using AWS.
It can be adjusted to suit your budget
Amazon has the infrastructure to deliver all of their capabilities under one set of services.
Most businesses, to put it mildly, do not.
The cost and time required to build an equivalent set of services on your own – when taking hardware upgrades, maintenance costs, server cooling, electricity and floorspace – would be well out of reach of most companies.
The total cost of using separate tools for each of the features would quickly move into the tens of thousands.
By using AWS, companies can access all the tools they need at a price far lower. And it’s a standard feature that your company will only every pay for the resources it uses.
It’s also worth noting that AWS comes with its own technical staff, meaning your company can free up technical staff to handle other tasks. Many of the main AWS tools actually apply security updates and manage things like backups, snapshots and deployments automatically, saving the user time and money as standard.
AWS is a flexible solution
Modern businesses are required to adapt to changing circumstances quickly. AWS is very flexible in this regard.
Their model supports can be scaled up and down in terms of resource, and to allow for your company’s capacity needs to always be met. You won’t have to pay for resources you don’t need during quieter periods, and you can also avoid having to be without the services you need during periods of fast growth.
For instance, if your business had the need for a new server, using traditional methods this could take 8-10 days to sort out, not to mention the time needed to sort out licenses.
Using AWS, you can bring in a new serer in minutes, with everything ready to go. This speed and flexibility is invaluable in today’s fast-moving environment.
High levels of security
One of the primary concerns for any business when using a platform like this is security.
However, AWS’s security processes function at a very high level. Their list of compliance certifications and their adherence to privacy laws all over the world is impressive.
As for an endorsement outside of the company themselves, you only have to look at the fact that Dow Jones, Nasdaq and HealthCare.gov are customers of AWS as an indication of their security levels.
When you tap into AWS, you’re tapping into the whole of Amazon’s infrastructure, which is – needless to say – frighteningly powerful.
The same virtual backbone that’s enabled Amazon to become one of the world’s biggest and most efficient retail companies is in operation for over a decade is put into action helping your business.
If you were to try and achieve the same result using individual software packages, you’d be looking at dealing with the same expensive, time-consuming teething problems that Amazon has already dealt with and fixed.
Time is money to any company, and AWS will free up yours, enabling you to get on doing what you do best: growing your business.
One of the primary concerns when introducing external software is compatibility: will you be able to introduce the platform into your existing infrastructure without encountering issues?
Essentially, can you get going on day one without having to spend hours troubleshooting?
AWS is perhaps the standout platform in terms of compatibility, able to slot in with different operating systems, databases and programming language.
Amazon, unsurprisingly, want to work with as many companies as they can. It’s therefore in their interest to spend money and time ensuring flawless synergy with as many different networks as possible.
Their work has paid off. If you’re interested in using AWS, it’s very likely it will be perfectly compatible with your existing system.
Data misconceptions you might have
There’s a big misconception that cloud computing automatically means you lose ownership or control of company data.
This is, simply, not true. Using AWS your company retains exclusive ownership of your data, even after it’s changed. You do entrust AWS with the information, of course, but the data remains yours.
Essentially, Amazon simply looks after the data.
The other common misconception people have regarding data is that anyone could access the data.
In the case of AWS this is inaccurate. Your company will be able to maintain total control over who access your data. You can set separate permissions for each team member and decide who is able to access what.
Again, you have total control over which of your team is able to access which bits of information.
Finally, what you need to know about taking on AWS
To successfully use AWS, you need to have people on your team capable of architecting the right solution.
An easy way to get started is to work with an external team that is already well-versed in AWS, and can deliver what you need efficiently and without you having to spend the same outlay on training and certification that you would for an internal team.
At Iconic Solutions, we’re fully versed in using AWS and have the AWS certifications to back it up. If you’re curious about how you can scale your infrastructure efficiently, get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through your different options.