Join Jeff Winesett for an in-depth discussion in this video Business benefits, part of Amazon Web Services Essential Training.
When we speak of the Cloud we are generally speaking of anything involving hosted services over the internet. These are often broken into three main categories. Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS Platform as a Service or PaaS and Software as a Service or SaaS. Sometimes those last two are referred to as PaaS and SaaS respectively. You're probably very familiar with these as these abbreviations are used and talked about everywhere these days.
Here are some examples of each. Windows Azure and Rackspace Cloud provide you with infrastructure as a service and things like Google App Engine, PHP Fog, Heroku and similar types of application deployment platforms provide platforms as a service in the Cloud. Popular software packages such as Google Apps, Basecamp and Mint, these are some examples of Cloud-based solutions providing software as a service in the Cloud. Seeing as this is a course about AWS, you might have noted I did not use AWS as an example of any of these.
Often when people think of AWS they consider it as an example of infrastructure as a service. However, as we'll quickly become clear in this course, AWS is really all of these. Let's quickly talk about some benefits of using the Cloud from a business perspective. The Cloud allows you to minimize your upfront infrastructure investment. You do not directly have to purchase or otherwise even think about things like racks or physical servers, power supplies, routers, cables and all the myriad parts and the connections between them that are needed to host your technology product.
The Cloud offers something referred to as Just-in-Time Infrastructure which refers to being able to only allocate and use exactly what you need and only what you need at the moment you need it. Gone are the days where you fall victim to your own success. Say for example where you did not plan for enough capacity to handle a load that you got as well as gone are the days of falling victim to your own failure or you have over allocated your capacity and you've overpaid.
The Cloud allows you to keep costs low by allowing you to scale as you grow. Thirdly, the Cloud also allows you to maximize the efficiency of your resources. Applications can request and relinquish resources on demand, allowing system administrators to stop having to plan for hardware procurement or to figure out what to do with idle resources. The Cloud allows you to use only what you need and also pay for what you use when you are using it.
No long-term committments. This also makes it very easy to test things out, experiment with different configurations and try different options while keeping costs very much under control. This of course is by no means an exhaustive list of the business benefits. I am sure you will unveil many more as you begin using Cloud-based resources. This highlights some of the benefits from a business perspective, but what about a technical perspective? I'm hoping you're asking that question right now because that's exactly what we're going to cover in the next section.
- The benefits of cloud architecture
- Core cloud-based architectural principles
- Monitoring resources and applications with CloudWatch
- Using Amazon Machine Image (AMI)
- Using Elastic Beanstalk
- Implementing message queues, Simple Workflow Service, and Simple Notification Services
- Setting up security groups
- Launching and connecting to an EC2 instance
- Elastic Load Balancing
- Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
- Using the AWS SDK