This would be the first in a series of articles I would write about AWS services and on AWS for dummies. This is an article for people who have never used AWS or cloud services before and want to learn more. This article is meant to help people who are new to cloud computing learn more about it. This is what the article will talk about:
- IT infrastructure from the past.
- What is computing in the cloud?
- IT from the past versus IT from the cloud.
- How to get started with Amazon Web Services.
IT infrastructure from the past.
When we use a web browser like Google Chrome to get to our favourite websites like YouTube.com or Facebook.com, a lot is going on behind the scenes. A user can go to their favourite website or service because a lot of different physical, virtual, human, and nonhuman parts work together.
No matter how big or small an organisation is, in order to give users access to any of their services over the internet, they need different parts. The following are the main parts of a traditional IT infrastructure for a web-based service:
- Databases and storage.
- Setting up and using networks.
- It takes time and space to run and keep an eye on the whole infrastructure.
- Maintenance, Security, and Recovering from a Disaster.
This plan works pretty well if there aren’t that many people who use a certain service. But as the service gets more and more popular and the company grows, it gets harder and harder to scale up the physical infrastructure and give users instant, uninterrupted access all the time. Think about Facebook as an example. The platform is used by about 2.6 billion people. They have very large, custom-built data centers—15 as of 2019—with more than 180,000 servers that give these 2.6 billion users access to Facebook.com around the clock, every day of the year. The above-mentioned parts—servers, storage, networking, and people—are at the heart of each of these data centres.
So, we can see that not all organisations can afford to have this much hardware, labour, and space to do their daily work.
What is computing in the cloud?
To put it simply, cloud computing is just data centres like any other data centre. These centres have servers, storage, networking, labour, and space, but you don’t have to worry about managing them. A trusted, independent party rents out its entire infrastructure over the internet to other organisations that either can’t afford or don’t feel the need to have their own infrastructure on-site.
With pay-as-you-go pricing, cloud computing is the delivery of computing power, database storage, applications, and other IT resources on demand. You can use as many resources as you need and set up the right type and amount of computing resources almost immediately.
Cloud service providers offer their customers all of the core services that are part of a traditional on-premise IT infrastructure, plus extra services and benefits in terms of pricing, availability of services, scaling up or down, security, maintenance, and much more. Most of the time, customers only pay for what they use, and they only have to worry about the type of infrastructure they want and how it will be set up virtually. Everything is accessible over the internet through an interface provided by the cloud service provider. Users log in and simply set up the kind of architecture they want.
Cloud Service Providers
Cloud computing has grown a lot over the years, with more and more companies ditching their own data centres and moving to the cloud. In 2020, these would be the top three cloud service providers:
- In 2020, Amazon (AWS) will have 60% of the market.
- In 2020, Microsoft (Azure) will have 31% of the market.
- Customers of Google (GCP) Cloud Platform with 9% in 2020
Popular services that use these cloud services include Netflix, Airbnb, McDonald’s, Activision, NASA, Walmart, Ford, T-Mobile, Disney, Colgate, eBay, Spotify, and many more.
Companies are using cloud services more and more. New startups are building their products around cloud services, and old companies are moving to the cloud. Cloud computing has grown into a billion-dollar industry, with AWS alone making about $35 billion in 2019 and having more than 1 million active users.