The leading force in the cloud marketplace, Amazon Web Services provides a collection of 40+ cloud infrastructure services that allow users to “rent” computing resources, which can easily be scaled up or down depending on their needs. Since these services are loosely coupled, they can be used independently or mixed and matched.
It’s not always easy to really get what it means to use AWS, so we thought we would delve into three of AWS’ most popular services, namely Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and and Lambda. But don’t be fooled – none of these services are easy to deploy per se without some serious cloud architecture expertise.
1) Simple Storage Service (S3)
Probably the most used AWS service, Simple Storage Service is the perfect tool for enterprises looking to leverage the power of big data as it’s a flexible, high availability storage web service. Enterprises can use it to store a nearly limitless amount of data on what are called “S3 buckets”, triggering them only as needed. This is great for providing the primary storage for cloud native apps, back up MySQL databases, or house the static assets of a mission critical website, for example. And the good news? Users only pay for the amount of data they store and the bandwidth they need to transfer it in and out.
Having access to S3’s almost unlimited storage will also boost any enterprise’s site or app hosted on it. Although it’s not a benefit that’s usually highlighted, optimized website performance (such as page load or page response times) positively impact business outcomes – per a recent study by the Aberdeen Research Group, the average impact of a one-second delay can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions (for an ecommerce site generating $100K/day, this would translate into a loss of $800K in yearly revenue).
2) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
The Elastic Compute Cloud is a central piece of the whole AWS ecosystem. It enables on-demand, scalable computing resources, allowing AWS environments to be easily expanded and scaled down in a matter of minutes. With its “Pay As You Go” pricing model, EC2 is a great alternative to buying traditional servers for workloads that are hard to anticipate or sporadic traffic as users only pay for the resources that they need. And when those resources are no longer needed – for example, when a big project has been completed or a period of peak traffic has passed – the environment can be scaled down to account for this change.
In addition to its powerful flexibility, EC2 can also:
- Be easily integrated with other AWS products such as Simple Storage Service, Virtual Private Cloud and Relational Database Service;
- Provide the reliability that enterprises demand with a SLA commitment of 99.95 percent availability; and
- Be accessed remotely, allowing users to stop, restart or reboot specific instances with the support of web service APIs.
AWS Lambda is an incredibly powerful tool that allows a development team to maximize the effectiveness of their code without needing to provision or manage supporting servers. Code written for Lambda, called “Lambda functions,” can be automatically triggered as a response to multiple events and trigger other AWS services like S3 buckets, DynamoDB tables, and more.
The beauty of Lambda is in the wide variety of immediate benefits it provides for a development team – and the entire organization. By reducing the amount of code running at all times and not needing to a provision a server, it’s easy to cut costs on server usage, operating systems, and server provisioning. It can allow a team to reconceive their strategy for a wide variety of necessary functions, particularly for enterprises attempting to maximize their streaming data, improving data validation and sorting, as well as optimizing mobile usage or improve an IoT set up. By maximizing the power of serverless computing, the cost savings and power of the cloud can be felt across a whole enterprise.
Handing it off to the experts… for some extra peace of mind
All that being said, and regardless of how powerful these AWS services are, they all come with a level of complexity that requires more than just serious coding skills. Making large deployments on the cloud often become a cross-departmental initiative, requiring an enterprise to not only optimize their application or site for the cloud, but also be strategic in choosing which service(s) to use and how. Leveraging expert help, particularly by utilizing an AWS managed service provider (MSP), can help avoid pitfalls and unexpected hiccups that happen with even the most well thought out cloud migrations.
To find out more about the benefits that a managed AWS cloud environment can bring, contact Media Temple today.