What are the most-used AWS Services? [Infographic]

Our guest blogger, Josh Wardini, explains the most-used AWS services and their functions?

Last Updated: • Cloud •
Looking up at the clouds

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is everywhere these days. You might not notice it at first glance, but some of the top companies use it. For instance, Netflix uses AWS for its infrastructure.

But that’s not all:

AWS is suitable for more than just multi-million dollar companies. Small businesses can benefit even more from using AWS and the many services it provides.

Yet, if you’re a small business owner, you might not be able to afford to test out each service individually and see if you can fit it into your business model. AWS offers over 70 different services, including storage, computing, application services, and much more.

While some services are paid, others are free. You can combine several to create precisely what you need. Therefore, it’s better you know what you need before you get started with AWS.

Sound confusing? Don’t worry.

To help you out, we have prepared this article about the most popular AWS services. If you're taking your business to the cloud, chances are you’ll want to run one of these.

Amazon EC2

Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) is the hallmark service by AWS. It lets users create and manage virtual servers called “instances.” The users pay for each second an instance is active, and can shut down instances whenever they please. The service is designed to be highly scalable.

What can you use EC2 instances for? Practically anything. You can use them to host a website, run applications, and plenty more. While the instances are virtual, they function like any other computer.

If you need more computing power, you can just deploy more instances. Likewise, if you need less, you can terminate active instances so you don’t overpay. Flexibility and affordable pricing make the service less expensive than investing in your own in-house server.

If you’re considering investing in your own hardware for your business, you might want to go with AWS instead. It is probably more affordable, and definitely more reliable.

Amazon S3

Simple Storage Service is possibly the easiest to grasp. As the name suggests, S3 lets you store data. You can use it for internet application storage, backups, data archives, and so on.

The service is highly secure and almost always available. You get a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%. It is scalable, meaning you can ramp up the storage space as much as you need. It is designed for 99.999999999% durability. In layman's terms, this means that if you store 10,000 objects with S3, you can expect to lose no more than one object every 10,000 years.

Not bad, right?

Fun fact: Until 2015, DropBox used Amazon’s servers for storage. Even though Dropbox offer storage themselves, AWS’s storage service was more convenient than maintaining their own servers.

Amazon RDS

Relational Database Service is a service which allows you to set up and manage relational databases. It makes it easy to deploy dedicated database instances. You can scale processing power, storage, and IOPS independently, relative to your needs.

RDS makes basic tasks simpler and automatizes certain tasks you would otherwise have to do manually. It manages automatic backups (you can also take a manual backup snapshot if you prefer), software patching, automatic failure detection, and recovery.

All in all, RDS greatly simplifies managing databases.

CloudFront

CloudFront is a content delivery network. A CDN is a network of servers on which you can store static content. It lets you deliver bulky content to remote users from a server closer to their geographical location. This solves latency issues and sometimes helps with traffic spikes.

This is crazy:

CloudFront has 107 servers spread across 5 continents. While it is a fairly new service, it is straightforward. You can set everything up in a matter of minutes. As with other services, it offers the the pay-as-you-go model, which means you don’t have to make any upfront payments. You only pay for as much as you spend, minimizing the risk to your bank account.

Conclusion

Those are the top four AWS services. If you’re looking to take your business to the cloud, you’ll probably find what you need here.

But wait, AWS offers a bunch of other services, so they probably have something that suits your needs — whatever they may be.

And if you’d like to learn more about AWS in general, check out this interesting infographic.

Do you use AWS? Azure? Google Cloud Services? Are you preparing to move into the cloud? Post your comments below and let's discuss.

AWS Infographic facts and stats

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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