Nowadays, more and more businesses opt for cloud-based IT infrastructure. Not only do enterprises choose to develop new applications in the cloud, but they also tend to move their existing software there. And this is not just another trend everyone wants to follow. Using cloud services is indeed beneficial in many ways and can take literally any business to the next level.
AWS is the most popular provider of cloud platforms and it leaves behind four other tech giants such as Google, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Alibaba. According to the market analysis by Canalys, AWS’ market share constituted 31.7 percent in 2018, while Microsoft Azure that was ranked as the second largest vendor had as few as 16.8 percent.
In this article, we’ll discuss what is AWS and how your business can benefit from developing a corporate application in this cloud. We’ll also take a look at some inspiring success stories so that you can see the real potential of infrastructure services provided by AWS.
AWS: General Overview
AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and it’s an on-demand cloud platform covering a wide range of cloud services. Basically, it might be called “one-stop shop” in the cloud computing world since there you can find almost anything you need to develop and run complex applications - from data storage and compute power to machine learning and IoT services.
The above is possible thanks to AWS Global Infrastructure consisting of 61 Availability Zones with “server farms” located in different regions. The number of data centers is an important indicator since it impacts the quality of services delivered by AWS.
First and the foremost, a wide network of data centers ensures the high level of backup reliability. This is because there is always equipment that will keep on working if other computers fail for some reason. Secondly, deploying your enterprise application across different Availability Zones will reduce latency, improve fault tolerance and, thus, increase the level of app performance.
AWS as a company is fully owned by Amazon. The latter launched its cloud business in 2006 so it has been on the market for 13 years already. This means that you as a client should worry neither about the reputation of this cloud platform vendor nor about its reliability.
How exactly does AWS work?
The short answer is: pretty simply. But let’s take a closer look.
AWS provides more than 50 cloud infrastructure services delivered on the on-demand basis. Such model is usually referred to as the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that is compute power, storage facilities, databases, and other IT resources available via the Internet. IaaS customers may use such resources instead of local physical data centers to build and run their applications.
Let’s say you want to develop a business process management system for your enterprise. In such a case you need storage, databases, and servers -- many or just a few, smaller ones or bigger ones. Everything depends on your expectations in regards to the system functionality and requirements to the software.
You have two options then. The first is a traditional one: you do the research to define what hardware to purchase, approve the budget, and, finally, buy the equipment. The process usually takes weeks or even months and it quite costly. Not only should you make an upfront investment, but you also have to spend money on the proper hardware maintenance.
Alternatively, you can get virtual services in just a few clicks. All you need to do is to choose the instance type that fits your use case, the operating system you prefer and the quantity you require. You’ll get a full administrative control over the resources almost instantly. And you can terminate instance (and, as a result, cease paying for it) at any moment once you stop using it.
It seems quite obvious that the latter option has more advantages in terms of business management, budget forecast, and risk mitigation. And AWS makes it available to enterprises of any size and from any corner of the world.
Benefits of choosing AWS for your enterprise app
Now it’s time to talk about the main AWS’ advantages in greater detail. Since there are a huge number of cloud computing services AWS provides, the list of benefits is quite long. For this reason, we’ll only focus on those of them which are crucial for the development and running business applications.
This is one of the most important benefits you get by opting for AWS. Because, in today’s fast-paced world, a business either grows or “sinks”. That’s why it’s essential that enterprise applications which are vital for your activity could scale as fast and broadly as your business needs it. AWS makes it possible because when you use cloud services, you’re not restricted by the capacity of your physical servers. The opportunities are endless and this means you can develop your business as you envisioned it without thinking about the proper IT infrastructure.
Using AWS requires no long-term commitments from your side. You may adjust cloud IT resources as you require it. Such flexibility creates a great playground for your experimentations. Basically, you can try and test whatever you want without too much effort or compromising on quality.
AWS services are delivered on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. This means that you only need to pay for the cloud IT resources you use. The lower operating costs give you a significant advantage over your competitors. On top of that, you don’t have to make any significant investments in advance so the opting for AWS is completely risk-free.
Security is one of the most critical requirements to any enterprise application. All AWS’ data centers are highly secure, so you don’t have to worry about data leaks and similar issues. You can also increase the level of data protection by adding an additional layer of security and taking advantage of an encryption feature.
Whatever enterprise application you want to create, it’s important to make it high-performing and resilient. With AWS, you can build a reliable system that is able to recover from infrastructure failures automatically. But the greatest thing is that with AWS, your coding team can validate recovery strategies by testing the way the system would behave in case of disruptions. This reduces the risk of negative consequences triggered by a system failure.
AWS products that will level up your enterprise app
We already mentioned that AWS offers a large number of cloud products and solutions. That’s why it might be quite challenging to choose the ones that fit your business needs. But the good news is that AWS has a perfectly categorized menu so you can start with exploring the solutions filtered by the industry, your organization type, or a use case. Alternatively, you can select separate products from the service type of your interest.
We cannot discuss all AWS products and solutions in this article since it would take the whole book. So we’ll mention only those services that are either the most popular among customers or the most innovative.
The abbreviation stands for “Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud”. And, as the name suggests, it’s the cloud compute capacity customers may use to build and run their apps.
AWS has the whole range of products and solutions that help its customers migrate from on-premises hardware to the cloud smoothly. AWS Migration Hub is just one of them and it allows you to track the migration process.
By the way, it’s not necessarily that you move all the software you have to the cloud at a time. For AWS customers, it’s possible (and it’s a quite common situation) to combine usage of local physical servers and cloud compute power.
AWS IoT is not a single service, but the category of products that will allow you to build IoT solutions for a wide range of smart devices. From AWS IoT Core that is a cloud service letting customers connect different devices to Amazon FreeRTOS that is an operating system built specifically for microcontrollers, AWS offers everything you need to make your IoT application work fast and flawlessly.
This AWS service is aimed at helping companies develop VR & AR applications in the easiest way possible. It allows customers to create a lifelike 3D environment that is full of virtual habitants.
Besides the above products and solutions, AWS also provides Machine Learning and AI services, as well as services that allow customers to build blockchain networks and robotics applications. So you can be sure that even your most innovative ideas may become a reality with AWS.
AWS customers: success stories
AWS is indeed a trusted cloud service platform with more than a million of satisfied customers, including such big brands as Expedia, Atlassian, GE, and Adobe. So if you still have doubts if AWS can really make a difference, read these success stories for some inspiration.
Lyft is a well-known company that owns an on-demand car transportation mobile app. It was launched in mid-2012 and, as of the end of 2018, had the share of 28 percent on the US market. It goes without saying that such a rapid growth required infrastructure that would let the company scale its solution rapidly. So Lyft opted for AWS, having started with just three servers at first. Today, the app is still fully based on AWS. However, the company uses not only AWS EC2 but also many other cloud products.
If you travel a lot, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb, a marketplace that connects property owners with travelers seeking for apartments or rooms to stay. The app was released in 2008 and now it has about 4.5 million places to rent in more than 81,000 cities worldwide.
The company started using AWS in 2009. The main reason was the necessity to continuously increase the number of virtual servers as the application was becoming more and more popular. That’s why it was important for Airbnb to choose a provider that would allow the company to enlarge cloud infrastructure as needed quickly and without putting too much effort into this task.
GE is a global corporation operating in a number of industries - from manufacturing to aviation and oil & gas. Unlike Lyft and Airbnb, it doesn’t own any application for a broad audience of users. However, it has advanced internal systems such as ERP that require many data centers to work properly. For this reason, GE decided to migrate to the cloud. Reportedly, such decision allowed the corporation to decrease the number of physical data centers from 34 to 4.
Why choose an AWS partner for your next project?
Here, at millermedia7, we all are proud to be one of the AWS Partners. AWS Partner Network (APN) is a program focused on providing all kinds of support to companies that build AWS-powered solutions.
Why is it a wise decision to work with an APN member? Well, this is a matter of competency. AWS partners have access to numerous training resources and possess expertise specifically on AWS products. So if you want to take the full advantage of AWS and get a top-notch solution in the end, choose among those service providers which are currently APN members.
The purpose of this article was to introduce you to AWS and show you how your business can benefit from using it. To sum up, AWS is a cloud infrastructure vendor that offers a wide range of products and solutions delivered over the Internet. With AWS services, you can build practically whatever enterprise application you want in a cost-effective way. At the same time, you can be sure that AWS-based solution is secure, scalable, and reliable. And if you are looking for professionals that will help you migrate to the cloud or develop a high-performing business app, AWS partner is your best choice.
Want to create the next solution for your business with an AWS Partner? Contact us!