What is AWS?

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You may think of Amazon as the place you go for two-day delivery on virtually any item, and it is. However, Amazon has also dominated the cloud computing industry with Amazon Web Services (AWS) since first starting up in 2006.

AWS has maintained its lead as one of the largest cloud computing services provider by a considerable margin, owning over 30% of the market share, which easily triples the share of its nearest competitor.

It’s possible that Amazon owned more than 1.5 million physical servers for AWS globally — in 2014. We can only assume that this number has risen since then — considerably.

Here’s what you need to know about AWS.

Cloud Computing

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what AWS really does, let’s talk about cloud computing. Cloud computing, by definition, refers to the delivery of IT resources and applications via the Internet.

The cloud provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources and hardware. You can digitally provision exactly the right type and size of computing resource you need to power your newest bright idea, or operate your IT department without having to invest in hardware or heavy lifting.

Cloud computing providers like AWS give users a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. In short, Amazon owns and maintains the hardware. You pay to use it.

Flexible Services

AWS is a subscription service that offers quite a few services to its users, helping them scale and grow their businesses as they see fit.

Services available from AWS range from servers to storage to devices you can use to test your applications. The list of services offered by AWS is growing daily, allowing enterprises, start-ups, and even public sector customers to access the right combination of a-la-carte tools to react quickly to changing business requirements.

You can review the entire list of services offered with AWS, but be warned: it is growing quickly.

Security Measures

In today’s environment, it can be scary to keep your business’s information online. But AWS takes steps to ensure that your data is safe, including security certification, data encryption, hardware security modules and physical security.

Amazon’s shared responsibility model basically states they will maintain the security of the cloud, but you’re responsible for what happens within the cloud. Compliance, governance and regulatory requirements such as controlling, auditing and managing identity, configuration, and usage all come built into the AWS platform. You take care of the rest.

Hybrid Capabilities

You don’t need to completely abandon your physical resources in order to use AWS. Let’s say that you’ve already invested in some hardware and resources.

Deep features, connectivity, identity federation and integrated tools allow you to run hybrid applications across the services you already have and the cloud services that you’re going to get. You can use the expansive storage features of AWS to back up your bulkiest data, giving you more physical room to expand other entities. You also have the potential to create and manage security measures and access points using AWS, using permissions to allow and deny access to AWS resources.

Whether your business needs include storage, databases, or networking, AWS provides access to the tools and services that you need to succeed. Ben Finkel’s AWS: Technical Essentials course takes a look at some of the most useful tools that AWS can offer IT professionals for success, from the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to AWS’ simple storage service, S3.

The services that AWS can offer will help your business scale, lower costs, and move more efficiently. AWS is trusted by some of the largest enterprises and the hottest startups to power a wide variety of workloads.

It’s market share alone makes it worth learning if you’re an IT pro. It’s a good chance you might run into one of Amazon’s 70 enterprise applications in your career.

Here are a couple of the entry-level training courses from the CBT Nuggets library: AWS: Technical Essentials and AWS: Core Real-World Functions.

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