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A 10,000-Feet overview of AWS and its resources — Part 1

Hi everyone, this is Yashvardhan and I have been in touch with AWS since some months and I have discovered how powerful and useful AWS is in the Cloud based industry right now and how required it is as well. So, it can prove to be a great investment in yourself if you learn about AWS. AWS requires a good amount of conceptual knowledge before diving into hands-on.

So, I am going to be writing a two-part article about AWS and brief overview of majorly all of its resources which will make you understand about a plethora of AWS resources briefly thereby, giving you a foundation to start with learning AWS.

So, What is AWS?

AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon which provides on-demand delivery of IT resources via the Internet on a secure cloud services platform offering compute power, storage, databases, content delivery, and a lot of other functionalities to help businesses scale and grow.

Consider you have a machine learning algorithm which requires heavy computation but you don’t have a good laptop or desktop so, you can simply launch an EC2 instance (one of the services offered by AWS), which is basically a computer on AWS which can be accessed by you from your computer, and run your machine learning algorithm there.

You can host and deploy your website there, you can manage and store data with use of a plethora of services under AWS.

So, AWS has majorly 6 categories of its services:

  • Compute and Networking Services (Part 1)
  • Storage and Content Delivery (Part 1)
  • Databases (Part 1)
  • Management Tools (Part 2)
  • Security and Identity (Part 2)
  • Application services (Part 2)

Compute and Networking Services

AWS provides a variety of compute and networking services to deliver core functionality for businesses to develop and run their workloads. These services can be leveraged with the storage, database, and application services to provide a complete solution for computing, query processing, etc. across a wide range of applications

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Amazon EC2 is a web service that provides resizeable compute capacity in the cloud. It allows users to obtain and configure virtual servers in Amazon’s data centres and to access and utilise those resources to build and host applications.

For example, you can launch an Ubuntu EC2 instance and access it by ssh-ing into it using a key provided by AWS. Then, after that you can deploy any application, like a website, through that ssh shell and that application will start running on it.

Each EC2 instance will have a public IP address and a public DNS through which that application/website could be accessed by other people.

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a zero-administration compute platform for back-end developers that runs your code for you on the AWS Cloud and provides you with a fine-grained pricing structure. AWS Lambda runs your back-end code on its own AWS compute fleet of Amazon EC2 instance without causing much hassle to the back-end developers to maintain those Amazon EC2 instances.

Auto Scaling

Auto Scaling allows users to scale Amazon EC2 capacity up or down automatically according to the conditions defined for the particular workload.

For example, a website has a dynamic workload which is highly unpredictable. So, running it on a lot of servers the whole time would cause the wastage of a lot of money at times of low workload. And running it on very less number of servers would save money but then, the website might crash due to unmanageable high traffic at times of high workload.

So, the developer of that website can use auto scaling to tell AWS to increase the number of server when traffic increases above a certain threshold and decrease the number of servers when traffic drops below a certain threshold.

This would save the money when possible and would also keep the website performance top-notch.

Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances (probably belonging to an auto scaling group) in the cloud. It enables users to achieve greater levels of fault tolerance in their application, seamlessly providing the required amount of load balancing capacity needed to distribute application traffic.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is the fastest and simplest way to get a web application up and running on AWS. Developers can simply upload their application code, and the service automatically handles all the details, such as resource provisioning, load balancing, Auto Scaling, and monitoring.

For back-end developers, it’s like heroku for AWS.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)

Amazon VPC lets organizations provision a logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud where they can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that they define. Organizations/users have complete control over the virtual environment, including selection of the IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways.

AWS Direct Connect

AWS Direct Connect allows organizations to establish a dedicated network connection from their data centre to AWS. Using AWS Direct Connect, organizations can establish private connectivity between AWS and their data centre which in many cases can reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience than Internet-based VPN connections.

Amazon Route 53

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is designed to give developers and businesses an extremely reliable and cost-effective way to route end users to Internet applications by translating human readable names such as, into the numeric IP addresses, such as, that computers use to connect to each other.

It’s like the GoDaddy of AWS.

Storage and Content Delivery

AWS provides a variety of services to meet your storage needs, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Elastic Block Store.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon S3 provides developers and IT teams with highly durable and scalable object storage that handles virtually unlimited amounts of data and large numbers of concurrent users. Amazon S3 provides cost-effective object storage for a wide variety of use cases, including backup and recovery, big data analytics, disaster recovery, content distribution and nearline archive.

Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is a secure, durable, and extremely low-cost storage service for data archiving and long-term backup. Organizations can reliably store large or small amounts of data for a very low cast per gigabyte per month. To keep costs low for customers, Amazon Glacier is optimized for infrequently accessed data where a retrieval time of several hours is suitable.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)

Amazon EBS provides persistent block-level storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances. Each Amazon EBS volume is automatically replicated within its Availability Zone to protect organizations from component failure, offering high availability and durability.

Amazon EBS is usually used to store Operating System of an Amazon EC2 instance (just like C: drive)

AWS Storage Gateway

AWS Storage Gateway is a service connecting an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organisation’s on-premises IT environment and the AS storage infrastructure. It provides low-latency performance by storing all of your data encrypted in Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier.

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery service. It integrates with other AWS Cloud services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to users across the world with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no minimum usage commitments. Amazon CloudFront can be used to deliver your entire website, including dynamic, static, streaming, and interactive content, using a global network of edge locations. Requests for content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance to end users around the globe.


AWS provides fully managed relational and NoSQL database services, and in-memory caching as a service and many more database related solutions.

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)

Amazon RDS provides a fully managed relational database with support for many popular open source and commercial database engines. It’s a cost-efficient service that allows organizations to launch secure, highly available, fault-tolerant, production-ready databases in minutes.

Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed fast and flexible NoSQL database and supports both document and key/value data models. Its flexible data model and reliable performance make it a great fit for mobile, web, gaming and many other applications.

Amazon Redshift

Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully-managed, petabyte-scaled data warehouse service that makes it simple and cost effective to analyze structured data. It provides a standard SQL interface that lets organizations use existing business intelligence tools. By leveraging the columnar storage technology and parallelizing queries across multiple nodes, Amazon Redshift is able to deliver fast query performance. It enables organizations to automate most of the common administrative tasks associated with provisioning, configuring and monitoring a cloud data warehouse.

Amazon ElastiCache

Amazon ElastiCache is a web service that simplifies deployment, operation, and scaling of an in-memory cache in the cloud. The service improves the performance of web applications by allowing organizations to retrieve information from fast, managed, in-memory caches, instead of relying entirely on slower, disk-based databases.

End of Part 1

If you have reached till here, thank you and congratulations, now you know about AWS and a plethora of services offered by AWS. But still, story doesn’t end here ;). There is a part 2 to this article which is composed of other crucial services of AWS as well. The good thing is that part 1 is NOT the prerequisite of part 2 so, you can just straight away jump into it, here :)

So, I hope you understood everything. Still, if you face any problem/doubt regarding this article or life XD, feel totally free to contact me.

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