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In today’s fast-paced, digital-first economy, companies must continually find ways to innovate and remain relevant. Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform gives companies the tools to be agile in a competitive environment and keep up with customer demand. This guide discusses what is AWS, its most common use cases for the cloud infrastructure, and what services AWS offers to support a digital transformation.

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What Is AWS?

Amazon Web Services is a collection of online computing services that offers many services to help developers quickly build, launch, and manage a site or application. These services include storage, computing, databases, web content management, and authentication. Common use cases include:

  • Create a blog using the Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • A mobile-friendly site using the Amazon Web Services Mobile Push Notification Service
  • A real-time stock ticker web application using the AWS Real-Time Data Service
  • Short-term storage and long-term archival for disaster recovery
  • DevOps workflows

Using AWS services represents a cost-effective way to access the modern development tools needed for digital transformation. Rather than investing in on-premise solutions, companies can leverage cloud services at flexible low-cost pricing options.

AWS Key Features

Amazon Web Services provides many key features that can help save time and money while increasing app scalability. These features include: 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS provides computing resources. These resources can range from a single machine to entire clusters of machines. Common uses for IaaS include hosting websites or applications, processing large volumes of data, and providing dedicated storage for large amounts of data.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is the layer used to build and run the software. Common uses for PaaS include managing application dependencies and building software tools for managing your app. 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS provides access to hosted software. Companies don’t have to install, maintain, or operate it — the provider takes care of it all. Common uses for SaaS include managing business processes, building data analysis tools, and delivering software-as-a-service applications.

Amazon Web Services Benefits

There are many benefits to using Amazon Web Services, including: 

  • Scalability: As the system grows, AWS can automatically add services to accommodate increased workloads.
  • Availability: AWS provides high availability across multiple services to ensure the application is always available. 
  • Agility: The platform provides a variety of services that enable agility. For example, companies can use Elastic Beanstalk, to build and deploy applications using docker-based technologies.

What Is AWS Compute Service?

The AWS Compute Services refer to virtual servers that provide the operating system and CPU computing power to run applications. These services include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2 instances), Amazon Elastic Transcoder, and Amazon Simple Computing Service (Amazon S3). Provisioning additional resources is simple as AWS resources are auto-scaling. This means companies can add computing capacity in real time.

What Is AWS Storage Service?

The platform’s storage services enable storing data online securely and accessing it from any device with an internet connection. These services include Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon SimpleDB, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). With Amazon S3, companies can store files in buckets and access them using HTTP and HTTPS protocols. Amazon EBS enables storing data in standard hard drives that can attach to virtual machines running on EC2 and RDS. Another use case is to employ Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) to process messages and communicate with other services that use the Amazon Simple Queue Protocol (SQP). 

AWS Development Tools

Amazon Web Services provides a wide range of development tools, including web and mobile applications, APIs, tools for testing and managing applications, and software development kits. The tools can be used either as a standalone service or in conjunction with AWS services. They include Amazon Web Services’ software development tools, as well as third-party tools

What Is AWS Data Management?

Amazon Web Services provides data management services that enable developers to store, manage, process, and deliver their data using the cloud. The services include data storage, data transfer, data analysis, and data protection through tools such as Amazon DynamoDB and SQL-based databases such as MySQL and NoSQL. 

AWS Data Migration Services

Amazon Web Services’ Data Migration Service allows businesses to transfer data from their on-premises or other environments to the AWS Cloud, including data stored in SQL Server, Oracle, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, and other cloud data storage services. 

AWS Security Tools

The AWS Identity and Access Management service allows companies to manage access to AWS resources using Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies. IAM policies are based on AWS services your users need to access, such as identity sources (e.g., Active Directory, SAML, Google, etc.), roles (readers, writers, etc.), or other criteria. 

What Is AWS Big Data Management?

Amazon Web Services provides many big data management tools, including big data storage and processing, data analysis, and machine learning. The platform handles big data access and transfers with low latency to ensure applications operate at peak performance when working with such massive amounts of data. Some of the more notable big data management tools include:

  • Hadoop and Hadoop-Based Technologies: 
    • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR)
    • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
    • Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)
  • Data Storage and Processing: 
    • Amazon Elasticsearch Service
    • Amazon Redshift
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service
  • Data Analysis and Visualization: 
    • Amazon Athena
    • Amazon Kinesis
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: 
    • Amazon Machine Learning
    • Amazon Cognito, AWS AI  

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DreamFactory: Simplifying API Integrations for AWS Infrastructure

The DreamFactory platform offers a full catalog of AWS cloud services to simplify application development. These tools empower companies with the agility they need to keep pace with innovation and meet customer demand. The services are flexible, and companies can choose what they need without being tied down to using all of them. Additionally, applications built using the technology are highly scalable and can grow as business needs evolve.

Want to learn more about DreamFactory or try the platform for yourself? Start your free trial now!