Understanding AWS: A Comprehensive Guide to Amazon Web Services


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a global cloud platform that allows you to host and manage services on the internet. It is used by almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies to host their infrastructure and provides a plethora of services to its customers. This article provides a comprehensive overview of AWS, its services, cost, size, and future.

What is AWS?

AWS is essentially a hosting provider that offers a wide range of services enabling you to run your applications on the cloud. It provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), meaning they provide bare servers as a service, eliminating the need for you to manage the backup and power supply of the servers.

In addition to IaaS, AWS also provides Platform as a Service (PaaS), offering Java, Ruby, PHP as a service, thereby eliminating the need to manage the binaries of these applications. AWS also offers Software as a Service (SaaS), providing email sending capabilities like Simple Email Service (SES) and queuing services like Simple Queue Service (SQS).

AWS is also a cloud storage platform, offering a variety of storage options including Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Simple Storage Service (S3).

Why is AWS a Big Hit?

One of the primary reasons AWS is a top choice for cloud services is its clear and transparent billing. AWS offers per-hour billing for every instance or service, including instances on EC2 and S3 buckets, which are charged on a per GB basis.

The sign-up process is straightforward, requiring no agreements. All you need is an email ID and a credit card, and you can launch your servers and be up and running in minutes. AWS also provides an integrated billing dashboard that allows you to pull out reports based on services and various parameters.

AWS is also known for its stability and trustworthiness. Over the past seven or eight years, AWS has experienced only a few major outages, which have been region-specific and have not lasted more than a few hours.

Overview of AWS Services

AWS offers a wide range of services. Some of the most commonly used ones include:

1. Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): EC2 provides bare servers that allow you to run your software. You can get small or big machines based on your requirements.

2. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): VPC allows you to create networks in the cloud and run your servers in those networks.

3. Simple Storage Service (S3): S3 is a file storage and sharing service.

4. Relational Database Service (RDS): RDS allows you to run and manage databases on the cloud. It supports all major database flavors, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Aurora.

5. Route 53: Route 53 is a managed DNS service that scales according to demand.

6. Elastic Load Balancer (ELB): ELB allows you to load balance incoming traffic to multiple machines, enabling you to scale up your web applications to any number of users.

7. Auto Scaling: Auto Scaling adds capacity on the fly to Elastic Load Balancers, ensuring your website or application is never down due to load.

Cost of AWS

AWS offers per-hour billing for all its services. For storage services, it provides per-hour or per-GB-month storage. Pricing is region-specific, with Virginia being the cheapest region. AWS also offers services based on term. If you sign up for a year, it would be cheaper than signing up on an on-demand basis. They also offer spot resources, which are like a bidding market base where you can bid for a price.

Size of AWS

AWS has 15 regions across major countries of the world, including the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It has a global footprint, ensuring that wherever you are in the world, you would have a region within 1,000 miles of your location. Each region has multiple availability zones, each of which can be thought of as a large data center. These data centers house anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 servers.

The Future of AWS

As of now, AWS offers 64 services that span across Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). They are continually launching new services in all domains.

Currently, AWS is focusing on machine learning and has recently launched a couple of services that focus exclusively on this area. They are also focusing on Software as a Service (SaaS) products, where they aim to take control of the service you want to utilize.

AWS is also known for reducing costs regularly. This is due to their scale — as they scale up, they pass on the cost benefits to the customer.


In summary, AWS is a comprehensive cloud service provider that offers a wide range of services to cater to different needs. Its transparent billing, stability, and wide range of services make it a top choice for businesses of all sizes. With its ongoing focus on areas like machine learning and SaaS products, AWS continues to innovate and lead in the cloud services domain.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, AWS offers a reliable and scalable solution for your cloud computing needs. Its global footprint ensures that you have access to its services no matter where you are in the world. With its continuous innovation and cost reductions, AWS is set to remain a dominant player in the cloud services market for the foreseeable future.

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