Understanding AWS(Amazon Web services) “The Cloud”

To understand AWS, we need to understand the basics of Cloud Computing first. Let us take you through Cloud definition and need of Cloud computing and then we will figure out how AWS fits into role of Cloud Computing.

The need of managed services by third party

A Case Study: Let’s say you are a startup company to host a website. You need to host your website and start selling products. Following are the things you would need to invest upon-

  1. Servers: Front end Web Server, App Servers, Database Server to serve required stuff.
  2. To Store the customer data you need to set up a database powered by various tools to connect to that database.
  3. To handle all the software and services issues, you need to set up an IT office and for that you may have to invest again on Laptops, desktops for employees, network, firewalls, LANs, WANs and even to rent a property.
  4. To handle all the hardware related issues, you need to hire employees who have such expertise. Again Office set up for those employees.

After investing so much if some years down the line there is recession in the market, then due to cost cutting all the resources including employees, will be required to be scaled down. This means wastage of our investment in case of uneven circumstances.

Also if we have some new sale or scheme to be launched which require addition of some servers on demand that needs many days if not months to add new resources which are exact replica of existing ones.

ANY SOLUTION WITH NO INITIAL INVESTMENTS?

Why not outsource IT infrastructure part. Let somebody else manage hosting your website, handling traffic on your websites, managing your database, hardware, patching, OS Upgrades and even in some case software installations and up-gradations. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!!!

Indeed that would be. This is nothing but Cloud Computing. When someone shares its resources with others and manages it for a specified amount (i.e. a required monthly rent), and you use those resources as and when required (without bothering about anything) , over the internet or over some private network.

That someone else managing your resources or giving his resources to you on rent is known as CLOUD SERVICE PROVIDER (CSP). 

Read the Wikipedia definition- (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing)

Other Advantages of Cloud Computing

  1. Scale Up or down whenever required
  2. Pay for the amount you are using (when you are not using any resource, no bill is charged)
  3. No upfront investment
  4. CSPs make use of Virtualization, Multi tenancy etc. to save power hence supporting go green environmental cause
  5. Also the resources are fully utilized by sharing technique

Types of Cloud Service Models

Not all service providers can give you everything you want. So it’s important to know about the various categories of services which are provided by different Service providers-

There are three types of Service providers-

  1. IAAS
  2. PAAS
  3. SAAS

IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service): The provider which provide you all the infra you require to start your business are IAAS providers. This means CSP will be giving you infrastructure like servers, networks, storage etc. and managing it. Though installation of middle-ware and software etc. will be your own headache. But advantage is you can customize that part according to your own need. AWS will fall under this category.

PAAS (Platform as a Service): This category goes to those providers who give you middle-ware like IDEs ready for your code to be deployed upon. You just need to build and manage your application on the complete platform which consists of OS, IDE, firewalls, development tools , runtime environment etc.

SAAS (Software as a service): In this model, complete abstraction is done to the user as software is hosted somewhere else, and user just uses that as a service. To be more precise the best example is – GOOGLE DOCS (Microsoft office is installed somewhere else, but we use it as a service and we don’t need to install it, rather we can create documents presentations etc. without office on our systems).

Image below Will give you more clarity on what is managed by a CSP:-

cloudmodels_piyush

Types of Cloud Deployment Models

Now that if we talk of IAAS and PAAS provider, how and where they manage our data is another question which divides the CSPs further into categories-

Public Cloud – When Cloud infra is shared amongst more than one organization or individuals and they use that infra over network which is for public use that is public Cloud.  For e.g. I am a CSP and have a physical server. On that I can create 4 different VMs and give those 4 VMs to 4 different organizations over a network.

Private Cloud – When the underlying hardware is dedicated to one organization and is managed my either CSP or internally by an organization leveraging the advantages of Cloud Computing is Private Cloud. Its obviously expensive than Private cloud.

Community Cloud—when we have a private cloud not for one organization, but for more than one having common concerns or legal requirements, it is called cloud for community. That Community shares the cost with all the advantages of private cloud

Hybrid Cloud – Combination of at least one private and public cloud is hybrid cloud

Now what is AWS?

AWS –Amazon Web Services is CSP (Amazon.com) which provides you mainly IAAS and uses PUBLIC cloud as major deployment Model.

Do we have other CSPs apart from AWS in market?

Indeed we have – hundreds of them – visit the wiki link to know about the names J

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cloud_computing_providers

Why AWS then?

AWS have many advantages when compared to other. Its way ahead than many other provides. Some of the advantages are as below.

  1. Number of Edge locations, which will give low latency.
  2. Easy and user  friendly infra deploy tools
  3. Fastest way to deploy infrastructure by using images and automated tools like cloud-formation.
  4. Hourly billing
  5. Easy to destroy any unused infrastructure

And many more.

History and reach about AWS

AWS have a very strange history and Amazon never thought it will shape to this gigantic IT company. Many people know that AWS is a collection of web services from Amazon which sells from books to what ever items you want through online. In 2003 Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black thought of stream lining Amazon infrastructure deployment and  by end of 2005 they realized about selling these stream lined infrastructure as a service to clients. In 2006, Amazon launched AWS services with some basic services and now it’s used in more than 190 countries across globe and provides 80 + services in following categories-

AWS Compute Services

AWS Network Services

AWS Storage Services

AWS Database Services

AWS Management and Developer Tools

AWS Analytical Services

AWS IOTs

AWS Application Services etc.

 

Conclusion–   So what we can summarize so far is that there are various challenges in managing or setting up of our own datacenters and Cloud computing seems to be the only solution for that. Cloud computing means delivering of IT resources via the Internet or we can say using a resource over a network on RENT instead of buying it. AWS is the collection of some of the cloud services provided by Amazon. In our next post we will see about the services provided by Amazon AWS services.

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