Must know concepts for getting started with AMAZON WEB SERVICES

Amazon Web Services or AWS is a cloud computing’s leading platform. It has everything one needs from server and database to a bulk emailing platform and natural language processing. It has a lot to offer and is being extensively used by startups and top companies. Along with providing a wide range, it is very secure and super easy to scale dynamically. This article is for anyone who wants to be an artificial intelligence expert and is interested in knowing about AWS. The concepts covered in the article are relevant to testers, software developers, technical sales, a machine learning expert etc. As per Synergy Research group, the spending on cloud infrastructure increased by 42% in 2019’s first quarter. Netflix, Expedia, Airbnb are among many other brands who host their services on AWS. Although competitors such as MS Azure are catching up AWS, continue to stay the most massive commanding one-third of the market. 


Table of Contents


  • What is AWS?
  • Must know Concepts
  • The steps ahead
  • Conclusion


If your company or team is looking to invest more in the cloud, it would be beneficial for you to increase your knowledge by taking up the best online certificate programs. It is also necessary if you are looking to start a new business which you would like to host on AWS. 


What is AWS?


Amazon Web Services offer a range of computing products that lets you perform tasks in the cloud. Being the biggest service offering in the market, it offers everything from event queues to website hosting. It is designed to be relatively low-level and is not meant for the casual website builder. AWS if for large enterprises that build their entire business on this platform. It is not beginner-friendly.

Along with being low level, there are many different services offered and some even substituting others. There are many different choices but useful only if you understand all the services and how they work. So the question is, where to start from? This would be covered in the next section. 


The complexity and scale of AWS can be intimidating, but you need not know about every service to get started. At the core of the platform, some services serve as the building block. They are:


  1. Virtual servers- Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  2. Networking- Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  3. Relational databases- Relational Database Services (RDS)
  4. Users, groups and roles- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  5. Block storage- Elastic Block Store(EBS)
  6. File Storage- Simple Storage Service (S3)


Amazon offers a free learning library that has videos covering these series amongst many others. One way is to go through these videos based on your interests and follow up with more advanced ones. If you would like a guided approach, then you can also go for an artificial intelligence certification that is a relatively high level and introduces you to AWS and its essential services. 


Must-Know Concepts


To learn about the AWS concepts, get a free tier account that offers many services for the first year. Additionally, some services are always free. Before going ahead with AWS, here are some core concepts you should know:

For Operational Excellence:


  1. Observability- The process of measuring the internal state of the system. 
  2. Infrastructure as Code- The process of using machine-readable configuration files for managing the infrastructure.

For Security:


  1. Network security- It involves a network security engineer using AWS features for safeguarding the system.
  2. Data Encryption- The process of encoding information such that no third person can possess or decipher it. 
  3. IAM- Identity and Access Management: The service responsible for tracking access and identities in the system. The three fundamental components are: a)   Principal
      b)  Action
     c)   Resource

For reliability:


  1. Limits- The constraints applied for protecting the services from excessive load. They are of two types- soft and hard. 
  2. Fault Isolation- The blast radius of an incident is limited by using independent components separated via fault isolation zones. They are at three levels:a) Resource and Request
    b) Availability Zone
    c) Region

For Performance Efficiency:


  1. Selection- The ability to choose the service that most aligns with your workload. Achieving performance via selection means choosing the right tool for the job. 
  2. Scaling- Choosing the right service is the key to get started and choosing how it scales is vital for continued performance. The two primary means of scaling are:a) Horizontal scaling
    b) Vertical Scaling

For Cost optimization:

1. Cost optimization Lifecycle- It is a continuous process of improving cloud spending over time. It has a 3 step workflow as follows:

a) Review
b) Track
c) Optimize


2.  Pay for Use- AWS has pay for use model that is, paying only for the used capacity. Paying for use covers these four ways of cloud optimization-

a) Right-sizing
b) Serverless
c) Reservations
d) Spot Instances 

Steps Ahead


To deepen your knowledge about AWS, you can use AWS whitepapers. They cover topics such as DevOps, cloud computing economics and industry-specific papers. The papers also cover the best security practices and the AWS Well-Architected Framework. A lot keeps going on with AWS, and new services are continuously updated and being released. A new service or feature can save much money and make life easier. It is good to keep an eye out.


After you are done setting up your server, you can start coding your website using NodeJS. You can set up your webserver using the default HTTP port 80 instead of port 3000. This can be done by using load balancers on AWS. There is a lot of AWS documentation out there and if you are stuck, look it up, and you would indeed find some advice. 




To start learning AWS, focus on the core services mentioned in the blog, get hands-on and experiment and then give the AWS exam. You should set up your account correctly and have patience as learning AWS is tough. Stick to it and if you want structured learning, then go for one of the best online certificate programs offered by Global Tech Council. 


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