AWS (Amazon Web Services) Guide

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Guide
Article by Sumana GangulySumana Ganguly
Last Updated: May 04, 2023

Amazon Web Services delivers IT services, specifically cloud computing services, to developers and other relevant users. Its numerous services include software, databases, and servers that users can access from anywhere at any time.

This cloud platform is offered by Amazon, Inc. and is a massive component of the e-Commerce leader’s business portfolio. The AWS accounts for almost $15 billion or over 13% of Amazon’s total net sales.

Since its inception, Amazon Web Services has been growing steadily, surpassing other cloud computing platforms, like its major competitors, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It makes up 33% of the worldwide market share of cloud computing services.

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What Is AWS?

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Cloud Infrastructure is a broadly-adopted and comprehensive cloud platform with more than 200 full-feature services from data centers scattered across the globe.

It is Amazon’s IT division offering three core products:

  • EC2, the virtual machine service
  • Glacier, its cost-efficient storage service
  • S3, the overall storage system

Together, these components provide networking, remote computing, security, mobile development, and email.

The extensive AWS infrastructure has:

  • 27 launched regions
  • 87 availability zones
  • 410+ presence points
  • 400+ edge locations
  • 13 regional edge caches
  • 17 local zones
  • 28 wavelength zones
  • 245 countries served
  • 115 direct connect geographical locations

The AWS offers ultra-low latency applications for highly-optimized processing with minimal to zero delay despite the high-volume data messages.

Through AWS, users can do the following over public internet connectivity:

  • Run web application servers on the cloud to host interactive websites
  • Store files on the cloud securely for convenient access anywhere
  • Utilize managed databases, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server, to keep important data and other information
  • Deliver dynamic and static files globally and quickly through a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Send bulk emails to customers

How Does AWS Work? 

Before defining how AWS works, we first need to look into what cloud computing is.   

Cloud computing is the delivery of various services through the internet, paying the fees only as you use the service. Instead of owning and maintaining costly servers and data centers, you can access IT services from a cloud provider as you need them.   

That said, AWS is trusted by millions of customers to power their applications and infrastructure. The best IT services companies, businesses, and organizations of various sizes and industries use AWS services for web hosting, storage, machine learning, AI, data analytics, the internet of things, and more.

So, how does AWS work? Users are given full control of the services. They can scale up or down as they see fit. Because of its pay-as-you-go model, users can experiment without the need for upfront fees or long-term commitment.  

What Are the AWS Models?

These are the three cloud computing models available on Amazon Web Services:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):

AWS’s EC2 is an example of IaaS. This is the main building block of cloud technology. It is extra-flexible as it gives developers management control over these resources:

  1. Data storage spaces
  2. Networking functionalities
  3. Virtual and dedicated hardware

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS):

This is an AWS service that manages the operating systems and hardware—both are foundational to IT infrastructure. It enhances the developers’ efficiency because they do not have to worry about running applications manually. This way, they can concentrate on app deployment and management. Some of the tasks offloaded through PaaS are:

  1. Capacity planning
  2. Software maintenance
  3. Resource procurement
  4. Patching

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS):

SaaS includes end-user apps that run on a browser via a dedicated service provider. The application software depends on the user's needs and should be chosen according to these requirements.

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What Are the AWS Applications?

Listed here are the ten most crucial AWS applications:

Storage and Backup

Amazon Web Services has multiple storage types from which developers and businesses can select. These enable files and storage to be accessed and indexed easily for running vital business applications.


The AWS cloud hosts over 41 million websites, alongside other apps and plug-ins.


The computing power of AWS improves the online gaming experience of end-users.

Social, Mobile, and Web Applications

This feature sets AWS apart from other cloud computing service providers. It can deploy and scale e-Commerce, SaaS, and mobile apps. Since AWS is fueled by an application programming interface (API), businesses can create scalable applications without compromising any operating systems.

Big Data Management and Analytics

  • Amazon Elastic Map for better processing of extensive data through the Hadoop framework
  • Amazon Kinesis for processing and analysis of streaming data
  • AWS Glue for job handling, extraction, transformation, and loading
  • Amazon Elastic Search Service, an open-source tool for performing log analysis and tool monitoring
  • Amazon Athena for data query
  • Amazon QuickSight for data visualization

Artificial Intelligence

  • Amazon Lex for voice and text chatbot technologies
  • Amazon Polly for text-to-speech translation, including echo device systems and Alexa Voice Services
  • Amazon Rekognition image analysis and facial recognition

Messages and Notifications

  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) for seamless business correspondences
  • Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) email exchange between marketers and IT professionals
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) for publishing and subscription by end-users to company messages

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Amazon Sumerian Services uses dev tools for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to produce:

  • 3D web applications
  • E-Commerce applications
  • Sales applications
  • Online learning platforms
  • Training simulations
  • Manufacturing applications
  • Gaming applications

Game Development

The AWS game development features are beneficial to game development enterprises offering backend dev services and analytics. These enable developers:

  • Host gaming data
  • Store gaming data
  • Analyze game performances
  • Develop games appropriately

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT services of the Amazon Web Services offer the following:

  • IoT backend management platforms
  • Hardware maintenance
  • Data ingestion
  • Database services
  • AWS storage
  • AWS IoT Button for IoT functionality on hardware
  • AWS Greengrass for IoT device installation

Content Delivery and Media Distribution 

With Amazon CloudFront, you can safely and swiftly deliver content to your audience across the globe. You can deliver consistently high-quality video and live stream to any device using AWS Elemental Integration and AWS Media Service.  

Development and Test Environments 

AWS provides developers with software development kits and tools to create, deploy, and manage applications. These kits are available for numerous programming languages, such as C++, iOS, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Android, and PHP.  

  • AWS Serverless Application Model Command Line Interface (AWS SAM CLI) allows the development, testing, and deployment of a serverless application to the AWS Cloud. 
  • AWS API Gateway lets developers create, monitor, and manage application programming interfaces (APIs).  
  • AWS CodePipeline helps with the automation of release pipelines for infrastructure and application updates.  
  • AWS CodeBuild runs your build scripts for testing, compiling, and packaging your code.  
  • AWS Cloud9 allows developers to write, debug, and test code in the cloud. 
  • AWS CodeWhisperer offers recommendations based on codes you previously used.  

Research Computing 

AWS provides research labs and higher education institutions around the world with cost-effective and scalable tools to store data and hasten experimentation. With AWS, researchers can store huge amounts of data and quickly analyze them. They can also use technologies like AI and machine learning.  


Networking is an essential tool for businesses to communicate with other devices over the internet. AWS provides numerous networking options for companies of various sizes. In addition to AWS's internal network to connect their own data centers, companies can build their private networks using AWS's Route 53 DNS service.  

AWS Direct Connect also allows IT professionals to build a dedicated connection from a physical data center to the AWS cloud.  

Security and Management 

With AWS, you can get a wide variety of cloud security services. For example, AWS Identity and Access Management allow admins to manage user access to specific resources. With Amazon Cloud Directory, admins can build a user directory. Moreover, AWS Organizations allow businesses to create and manage policies for various accounts.   

AWS also offers tools to monitor and detect potential security risks in real time. Amazon Inspector has this function to prevent compliance and security issues. Additionally, Amazon Macie employs machine learning to protect sensitive data in the cloud.  

What Are the Amazon AWS Advantages?

Get the most out of what Amazon AWS can do for your business. Here are the pros of Amazon Web Services:

Robust Security

Fortified security is at the core of the entire AWS infrastructure. Amazon Web Services has stringent cloud security standards and requirements. It is monitored around-the-clock to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of user data, guaranteeing cybersecurity.

All the information flowing through Amazon Web Services networks is interconnected via data centers and regional zones. They are encrypted on multiple layers automatically before dispatch from AWS’s secure facilities.

Your company can build the most secure infrastructure. With AWS, you have:

  • Complete control over your data
  • The ability to encrypt your data
  • The capacity to move your data across varying platforms
  • Exclusive rights to manage retention at any time

High Network Availability

Every AWS regional infrastructure has multiple wholly isolated partitions. These partition applications let you achieve high availability and faster resolution to issues.

Additionally, the AWS management console and control planes are distributed all over the regions, including regional API endpoints designed to operate securely on a 24/7 basis.

Excellent Performance

What Amazon AWS performance offers are:

  • Low latency
  • Low packet loss
  • High overall network quality

Built for high-level performance, AWS regions achieve the abovementioned through a fully redundant 100 GbE fiber backbone network, delivering many terabits of AWS regional capacity. The AWS infrastructure needs only single-digit millisecond latency for its services to reach end-user’s devices.

Whichever app your enterprise needs, you can turn to AWS resources to deploy up to thousands of servers in minutes.

Infinite Scalability

Your enterprise will have adequate capabilities to handle business operations even at the peak activity level, owing to the conceptually infinite scalability of the AWS cloud.

You can provision how many resources your organization needs so you can scale up or down instantly depending on your business requirements. This cuts costs significantly and helps enhance your ability to meet your client's needs.

Extreme Flexibility

AWS consultants allow you to choose how and where to run your workload while using the same control plane, APIs, networks, and Amazon Web Services.

For instance, if you want to run your apps globally, you can pick from any AWS zones and regions.

It is the same case with running apps with one-digit millisecond latency to devices and end-users. You can simply choose among the AWZ wavelengths and local zones. Or, if you would like to run apps on-site, you can opt for AWS outposts.

Global Footprint

Amazon Web Services has one of the largest global cloud computing infrastructure footprints, and it is increasing consistently and rapidly.

When you launch workloads and applications to the cloud, you can choose the most suitable technological infrastructure. This will ensure your intended services are delivered to your target users. You can run workload with high throughput and low latency demands on the AWS cloud using wide-ranging support and a broad set of applications.

The AWS Global Station has satellite antennas—all of which are close to AWS infrastructure regions.

AWS Pricing 

The platform provides a tool called AWS pricing calculator that allows you to get a price estimate based on the service and usage that your business needs.   

When it comes to AWS pricing, these are the concepts you should know:   

  • Pay As You Go: With cloud computing platforms like AWS, you only pay for the services that you use. This helps you to expand or reduce the service based on dynamic business needs without having to over or under-commit.   
  • Save If You Commit: AWS allows you to save up to 72% on various services, including AWS Compute, AWS Lambda, and AWS Fargate. The idea with this AWS pricing scheme is that you get savings when you commit to using an AWS service for a specific amount for a one or three-year term.   
  • Pay Less If You Use More: With AWS, you save more as your usage grows due to its tiered pricing.  

Top Companies That Use AWS

The AWS cloud computing platform is a clever choice for enterprises in any industry. Here are the global brands that spend big on AWS:

  • Netflix
  • Twitch
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • BBC
  • ESPN
  • Adobe
  • Twitter
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Airbnb
  • AOL
  • Hitachi
  • Unilever
  • GE Oil and Gas
  • Kellogg’s
  • Shell
  • Apple

What Is AWS: Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is AWS Used For? 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform by Amazon that provides services through the internet, including storage, computing, databases, security, web hosting, and many more. These services help individuals and businesses easily build and scale applications.  

How To Get Started With AWS? 

To get started, you must first create and secure your AWS account. Then, you can set up the AWS CLI and AWS Cloud9 environment. You can also join the AWS community and learn how to optimize AWS pricing. Finally, you can choose the proper AWS service for your needs and launch your first application.  

What Is the Difference Between AWS and Google Cloud? 

We could go on and on about the differences between these two cloud computing giants. However, the biggest takeaway is that when it comes to competitive pricing, a tiered networking framework, and AI offering, Google Cloud has the upper hand. On the other hand, AWS remains to be the market leader because of its wider range of reliable services.  

Key Takeaways on What AWS Can Do and How It Works

Starting in 2016, Amazon Web Services (or AWS) is the comprehensive cloud-based segment of Amazon’s immense IT business. The importance of AWS has been proven by industry giants and startups alike.

What AWS does is provide IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. It helps companies access cloud computing infrastructure and technologies that empower business operations and cater to distinct end-user demands. Its pay-as-you-go scheme allows enterprises to scale storage systems, throughput, and computing capacities according to business requirements.

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