What is Amazon Web Services? A Comprehensive Guide To Cloud Computing.
Amazon Web Services, also known as AWS, is one of the leading cloud service providers that supply a range of cloud services, making cloud technology accessible to individuals and enterprises across the globe.
Amazon provides services like managing and maintaining hardware and infrastructure, which helps individuals and enterprises save the expenses and expertise required to host these services on site. These services are usually accessible to users via the internet on a free or pay-per-use basis.
Amazon tried launching Merchant.com, an e-commerce service platform designed to help businesses like Target and Walmart in the earliest days. Any third party business under the sun, create their ecommerce platform on top of the Amazon engines. An idea great in theory, this concept failed wonderfully in practice. Amazon found itself grappling with a ton of startup debt and delivery issues.
The planned implementation of the ideas in three months took three months in its pre-setup phase due to unexpected technical issues. Only when the company’s then-chief of staff, Jeff Bezos, took it upon himself to find the root cause did they find that their bottleneck lay in the team’s styles of independent working. The work of Amazon was split into various smaller teams, all of which required storage, compute and databases.
These were being built and used by every single team separately for every single project, leaving Amazon to start from scratch for every new project every single time. The internal teams realized that they would reduce their downtime by a considerable amount of time if they just shared a few resources and accessed them through a shared server.
They also, in turn, discovered that this gave each employee a lot more time since they were all doing the same work in their separate team. Lastly, they discovered a faster way of working since they did not have to start from ground 0 with every new project. Now when you discover so many good things from a tiny idea, you do not just keep it to yourself!
Amazon realized their idea was so good that some people would pay for it. That is how they launched Amazon Web Services, offering upto three cloud services back in 2006. Cut to 2021, and they now offer a little over 200 fully-featured cloud services powered by data centers present in over 190 countries. They are in every corner of the world, leaving their now CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest man out on the planet!
What exactly does AWS offer?
Amazon Web Services offers over 200 fully functional cloud-based products. These include computing, storage, databases, networking, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise management tools. These services apply to everyone from startups to full-scale large enterprises. AWS helps deliver these services globally and enables companies to work faster, reduce their IT costs, and scale with ease. Ranked as one of Gartner’s leaders in the 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure, AWS is credited for offering standardized, highly automated services that can be integrated with ease.
AWS provides a range of services within each category, making it easy for organizations of every kind to find a service suitable to their needs. For example, within Analytics, their Amazon FinSpace provides you with all the essential information needed for a finance company. In contrast, Amazon RedShift is all about data from warehousing units. Similarly, under everything from storage to developer tools, you can find business-specific and size-specific use cases to match your needs.
So how did Amazon become one of the biggest companies out there? What makes Amazon Web Services so highly successful?
However, hold on, how successful is Amazon Web Services? Does Amazon Web Services offer much scope for developers? What are the pros and cons for businesses when they choose to work with Amazon Web Services? What is differentiating Amazon from Google, Microsoft, or any other cloud provider out there?
That is a list full of questions, and we suggest finding a comfy chair and maybe a cup of coffee because we plan on answering all of them in this guide, so keep reading!
Amazon Web Services VS Google Cloud Platform Vs. Microsoft Azure
While there are one too many cloud providers in the market, to try and count for the race for the top has been reserved for three industry sharks, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The whole world is moving onto the trend of using cloud services, and it is the way to go with the internet. The question is no longer why you should use the cloud but rather more of who should you choose when picking a cloud service provider?
While there are a bunch to pick from in this section right here, we will focus on all the offerings that differentiate the big 3: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, to help you conclude which one is better for YOU!
Now when speaking of what sets them apart, there is a bunch of things to consider because, on the face of it, all three are great cloud service providers, in a highly competitive rivalry with each other, which means that as a customer, you are guaranteed to get almost all of the mainstream cloud services and be satisfied with their quality from either of the providers regardless of whom you choose.
Comparison at a glance:
Amazon: AWS is the leading cloud service provider. They were the first to market and enjoyed staying in the market without any competition, allowing it to establish its market share for quite some time before Microsoft and Google came around. Amazon is great, but its primary focus is on the public cloud, meaning that interoperability is not the top priority at an Amazon data center if you are a private or hybrid cloud enterprise. Their cost structure can also be a little confusing for businesses to understand fully.
What kind of services would you find at Amazon Web Services?
AWS: Amazon offers a range of cloud services, and they are adding to this list quite frequently. However, when you sign up for AWS, you are signing up for:
- Developer, engagement, and management tools
- Database and storage solutions
- Business productivity tools
- App integrations
- Machine learning and predictive analysis
Google Cloud: While Google was the last to enter the cloud market, they are a very well-funded enterprise in the competition. Compared to the other two, it does not focus on enterprise, but it more than makes up for its tech expertise where it lacks in this. Google is an industry leader when it comes to deep learning, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
What kind of services would you find with Google Cloud Platform?
GCP offers relative ease of use and setup, making it easy for newcomers looking for cloud services. With GCP, you can find:
- App development
- SMB business analytics and AI
- Productivity and workload management tools
- Data management and storage
Microsoft Azure: A very close competitor to Amazon, Microsoft is the runner-up leading cloud service provider in the market. With its years of experience working to help build professional tools to accelerate businesses, you might say Microsoft has an inside window into figuring out the needs of an enterprise. It completely understands the functionality of businesses and focuses heavily on providing seamless interoperability to businesses that are still keeping their roots attached with their private data centers.
What are some services offered by Microsoft Azure?
Here is a bunch of services that Microsoft Azure offers:
- Game and app development
- Scalable data warehousing
- Blockchain technology
- Big data and predictive analytics
Here is a table that gives you an overview of the key differences between the three platforms:
Amazon Web Service
Google Cloud Platform
Wide range of pricing options and discounts for large companies
Budget Friendly, good for startup’s
They dominate in terms of sheer size and offerings. Limited scope for personalisation
Provides Hybrid solutions. Azure is famous for it’s Virtual Machine and AI optimization service
Compatible with Windows and Linux, you can custom configure the platform or get a predefined machine type
Basic backup system service, wide variety of options to pick from
Strong back up options, offer a range of off-site storage options for non-essential features. Highest number of SQL-supported databases
SQL and NoSQL support however they lack in providing backup options
Innovative AI and machine learning tech
Microsoft is heavily investing in AI. You can scale up or scale down with ease with the tools that Azure offers. It’s also beneficial when used with the existing Windows suite
They provide a range of tools and services however Amazon is a strong leader in this space
– Larger Companies
– Businesses looking for flexibility and a wide presence range of services
– Looking to expand to a global market
– Looking for stable reliable service from a reputable company
– Enterprises using mostly Windows services
– Enterprises moving to cloud for the first time
– Anyone in the gaming industry
– Sustainable companies finding a green solution. (They have energy efficient data centers)
– Individuals/Enterprises involved in developing and deploying web apps and websites
– Companies with hyperscale networking environments
How to get started with Amazon Web Services?
Amazon Web Services offer over 200+ services around the globe. If you are a developer interested in building applications and working with Amazon, continue reading!
AWS offers extensive tutorials to help you get familiar with their services; they provide resources for everyone from full-stack developers to front end developers, hobbyist builders, AI app developers, data scientists, DevOps engineers, and many more to find sufficient information to find a way to contribute to the ever-growing universe of services that AWS provides.
Here is an introduction video on all the tools they offer for developers:
To put it simply, Amazon is on a mission to grow, so much so that they aim to provide free training and tutorials to help train over 29 million people across the globe to grow their tech skills along with them by 2025 alone. So naturally, this means that the demand for high-paying and high-growth jobs in the Amazon Web Service field is rising. So how can you land one?
It is very straightforward! Amazon offers a range of certification courses that prove your expertise and knowledge in their services. By appearing for these and qualifying in these exams, you clear their criteria and add a heavyweight to your CV, fast-tracking your route to a job at Amazon.
How many certifications are there?
Currently, AWS offers 11 certification courses divided between 4 levels of expertise: Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialised.
Here is an illustration that highlights all of these courses:
AWS Foundational Certifications:
- AWS Cloud Practitioner: This exam certification is the foundational course certification that gives you a high-level introduction to the world of AWS. Perfect for beginners, this provides a general overview.
AWS Cloud Associate Certifications: These fit people with over a year of experience using AWS services and individuals looking to find a solid career in Amazon. While the practitioner certification covers the basics, the associate certification focuses more on the daily implementation of these concepts. There are three certifications in this category, and they are as follows:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate: This provides you with a broad perspective of AWS and helps build a strong foundation that plays a crucial role in pioneering your career forward. Ranked as the top cloud certifications, this certification gives you a strong understanding of how AWS manages security, networking, data storage, and AWS compute capabilities.
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: This certification tests your knowledge of Dynamo DB, Elastic Beanstalk, SQS, and SNS, giving a deeper insight into the AWS service. It also touches upon the knowledge of APIs and SDKs. This is an ideal next step once you are done with the solutions architect course, also. Do not be fooled by the name. This is beneficial for everyone, not just developers.
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: Again do not be fooled by the name! This is ideal for anyone that runs anything on AWS. Going into testing your in-depth knowledge of CloudWatch, this certification validates your expertise in the AWS system architecture. This one is the hardest on the list of associate certifications. However, it is a breeze compared to the difficulty that AWS Professional has in store for candidates.
Amazon Professional Certifications: Ready to climb up the ladder and come out as an expert? Take on the professional certifications offered by Amazon Web Services if you are up to the challenge. The pay and growth opportunities are worth it! We recommend at least two years of work experience using AWS. We have a strong command over designing, operations, and troubleshooting solutions. AWS offers the Solutions Architect – Pro certification and the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification under their professional certifications.
- AWS Solutions Architect Professional Certification: This tests your knowledge of everything in the AWS ecosystem. It requires a strong understanding of security and directs connect as well.
- AWS DevOps Professional Certification: This focuses on the in-depth knowledge of deployments and lifecycles of services like CloudFormation and OpsWorks. It is a more narrow scope ideal for people looking for a career in DevOps.
Amazon Speciality Certifications: This certification is for you if you are ready to climb up to the highest ranks of your AWS career path. Ideal for people with at least 2-5 years of work experience, this certification is the end of getting certified by AWS. They test your knowledge of concepts like big data and design, use AWS to automate data analysis, automation of AWS systems, Kinesis, Athena, Quicksight and Rekognition, AWS for ML solutions, and much more. There are overall four certifications under this category, and these are as follows:
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking: Specialty certification explores hybrid and AWS-only networks and tests your knowledge of multi-region setups and cost optimization. Taking this certification before your Professional Solutions Architect Pro certification may help you be better prepared.
- AWS Certified Data Analytics: Specialty certification, formerly known as the AWS Certified Big Data specialized certification, focuses on all the data services. While this includes everything that the previous certification did, it also goes more in-depth in other aspects. This certification proves that you can use the services and tools to build data analytics apps and manage the lifecycle of collecting, storing, processing, and visualizing your data.
- AWS Certified Security – Specialty: This certification tests your knowledge of a broad range of topics, ensuring that you know the safety aspects across a range of domains. You should identify and access management, know virtual private cloud, essential management service CloudTrail, AWS Config, and Web Application Firewall.
- AWS Certified Machine Learning – Speciality: The newest addition to the list of certifications, focuses on your expertise in machine learning. This is for you if you can confidently demonstrate your expertise in machine learning concepts like data collection and analysis, modeling, and machine learning algorithms. It also requires an understanding of Kinesis, streaming data collection, and SageMaker to build, train, tune and deploy machine learning models.
- AWS Certified Database – Specialty: This exam validates a candidate’s expertise in the breadth of AWS database services and accelerating the use of database technology to drive your organization’s business transformation. Build credibility and confidence by highlighting your ability to design, recommend, and maintain the optimal AWS database solution for a use case.
How can you prepare for these certifications?
AWS offers a bunch of resources for training on their website. These allow candidates to prepare for all the points covered in the exam and are great for gaining knowledge. However, how does one fully prepare for all the questions that the certification exams will throw their way?
Qwiksills offers you a range of specialized practice tests that cover the most frequently asked questions and provide you with an exam-like atmosphere. These are great for evaluating where you stand and offer you higher confidence and level of preparedness for the exam. In addition, you can check out our AWS practitioner tests here.
Why Choose QwikSills?
- We provide affordable pricing.
- You receive friendly and user-friendly support to stay focused
- It helps simulate exam-like conditions
- We consistently update our library, ensuring the practice tests are always relevant.
Why Choose to get certified?
- Validates your expertise
- Provides you with the opportunity to land a high paying job
- Offers more growth potential to expand your career
- Gives you a chance to make a change and work with one of the fastest-growing companies on the planet.
- It is a globally accepted certification, and Amazon has data centers across the globe. Getting certified is a skill you carry with you wherever you go.
What are the pros and cons of using AWS?
Like any service or business on the planet, using AWS comes with its own set of promises and struggles. While the benefits of using AWS supersedes its drawbacks on any day, being aware of these will help you realize whether or not the platform is the right fit for you!
To sum it all up, here is everything about AWS!
Some Interesting Facts About AWS
According to a Canalys report, as of April 2021, AWS rules over about 31% of the total market share for cloud service providers. It is the top-ranking service provider and contributes to upto 52% of Amazon’s total income. It is used by some of the biggest and most well-known brands like Netflix, Reddit, Quora, Airbnb, and several more. Infact companies all across the globe of all sizes are digitally transforming their operations with the help of AWS. It also extends its services to over 500 schools, 2000 government organizations, and 17,500 NGOs across the globe.
Amazon is delivering global infrastructure to companies to build and deploy services in minutes using their platform. In addition, by investing in educating people, providing funds towards the development of the internet of things and machine learning, and undertaking a green initiative to reallocate their energy consumption to at least 25% through renewable resources, Amazon has become a premier choice for businesses and individuals across the globe.
Inside Amazon’s Data Centers:
Amazon has over a million plus customers and is seamlessly providing infrastructure to companies across the globe. How are they doing this so successfully?
The secret to this lies behind their data centers spread across the globe. Amazon currently has over 81 availability zones, spread across 245+ countries and 230+ points of presence. Their data centers provide security, availability, a global footprint, flexibility, and elasticity to organizations everywhere. Each site is selected after extensive research. The zones are built far enough to ensure that not more than one gets affected in times of geographical crisis like natural calamities. AWS continuously monitors service usage to deploy infrastructure.
They have a strong contingency and business continuity plan to recover from any unforeseen events. Take their response to the pandemic. For instance, AWS was quick to include policies to abide by the infectious disease outbreak and mitigated their policies to alternate staffing to reduce the risk of teams during COVID 19. They also have strict operational, surveillance, and governance policies to secure their data and manage their infrastructure.
With physical access being limited only to authorized personnel, and special monitoring, they regulate their day-to-day operations. To sum it all up, AWS works as a well-oiled machine, with proper protocols and systems in place to ensure its seamlessness.
The Future for AWS
Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing tech phenomena. Amazon Web Services dominates this space with constant innovation and growth. AWS offers developers a platform to grow and be a part of this change. Certification by AWS can help you land jobs that quickly pay upwards of 100,00 USD depending on your level of certification. In addition, you can test your knowledge by enrolling for the QwikSkills practice tests that prepare you wholly for everything the exams throw your way!
In a rapidly moving world towards automation and digitization, a career in cloud computing is one of the safest career choices. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, Amazon grew its revenues by 33%, thanks to AWS. AWS is growing steadily owing to its strategic partnerships, customer-centric vision, and endless fortitude to keep reinventing the wheel.
Amazon is arguably the most profitable company in the technical tech space; they are taking over the world by providing cloud infrastructure to people across the internet all over the world. Their services are affecting and shaping the tech industry’s future, contributing to higher employment, literacy, and economic development on a global scale. While the common man looks at Amazon and thinks of its e-commerce service, it is time people noticed and took a look at the potential and offerings that AWS brings to the table.
To know more about the offerings of AWS for course certifications, click here. Also, if you enjoyed this article and wish to know more about the space of cloud computing in general, you can click here. (Insert Link to the cloud computing blog) If you are keen on deep diving further into the world of AWS in general, feel free to give our other blogs a read here!