What Should Businesses Know About AWS?
Amazon Web Services or AWS is the largest cloud provider in the world. AWS has a 32% market share of the cloud provider industry, called infrastructure as a service or IaaS.
As a result, understanding AWS and its implications are important for businesses of any size.
The following are core things to know about AWS and how it could affect your business and the world in general.
What is AWS?
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Cloud computing refers to the storage and access of data over the internet. With cloud computing, data isn’t stored on the hard disk of a computer. Instead, data is accessible from a remote server.
Amazon Web Services is a platform for scalable and cost-effective cloud computing solutions. AWS is developed through a combination of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
In the second quarter of 2021, AWS brought in $14.8 billion in net sales, which was a record. That accounted for more than 13% of Amazon’s total net sales.
AWS provides servers, networking, storage, remote computing, mobile development and security. AWS controls more than 1/3 of the cloud market, as mentioned above. That makes it almost double its next nearest competitor.
AWS can be divided into three primary products—EC2, which is the virtual machine service, Glacier which is a low-cost cloud storage service, and S3, which is the storage system for Amazon.
The servers for AWS are located in 81 availability zones. The regions are divided to set geographical limits on services and to provide security through the diversification of the physical locations where data is held. As such, AWS has a presence in 245 countries and territories.
Essentially, AWS lets websites be hosted remotely, but now it’s much more than that as well.
The Current Business Model
AWS does still host websites, but the business model is more centered on delivering functionality to organizations and individuals. The AWS cloud is a collection of services connected to a network where the service platform is hosted.
For computers anywhere in the world to connect to a unified cloud, some thingshave to be true.
First, they have to be able to use virtualization. Virtualization means software can operate like hardware. With virtualization, the devices can bring together the computer capabilities of multiple processors and devices and the network connectivity.
To put it in simpler terms, there must be a pooling of resources so there’s a perception of one big computer instead of a lot of little ones.
The workloads running on the pooled resources can’t be tied to a physical location. Everything has to be transportable through the cloud.
Something else that has to be true is that the resource pools operating the workloads need the capability to be provisioned through a self-service portal.
Finally, the services need to be available on a per-use basis.
The Implications of Amazon Web Services for Small Business
It can sound somewhat complex, but there are actually significant implications of Amazon Web Services for small businesses.
The AWS flexible public cloud infrastructure offers computing, networking, and storage. It also provides services including analytics, security, mobile development, email and database resources.
Small businesses can run eCommerce, applications, or some or all of their infrastructure in the cloud. Then, small businesses don’t have to try and take on the costs of maintaining, monitoring and hosting their infrastructure on their own.
Particular benefits of AWS for small businesses include:
- The elimination of infrastructure costs. AWS charges only for the resources being used, so small businesses can cut out hardware and administrative infrastructure costs. As a small business owner, you and your workforce can focus on strategy and growth.
- You can run your business from the cloud with AWS. There’s access to a virtual desktop or PC, so things can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
- For an eCommerce small business, AWS offers affordable online sales and retail solutions including not only site hosting but also things like order-processing integration. Orders can be automatically imported from your system connecting to Amazon Merchant accounts. You can update orders and accordingly integrate information into inventory tracking.
- When you use the AWS platform for application hosting, it simplifies management, scaling, deployment, and load balancing. That allows everyone in your business to use applications efficiently.
- Small businesses produce large amounts of data. To try and store and manage that data onsite would be expensive, complex, and potentially risky. You can use AWS to have scalability for data storage and pay for what you use only, without upfront costs.
- Small businesses are often reticent to move to the cloud because of security concerns, but AWS offers stringent security capabilities. AWS has worldwide data centers that are constantly monitored and maintained and provide backup capabilities for small business infrastructure.
The Benefits of AWS For Businesses
Some of the many benefits of AWS for a business include:
- Cost savings: Companies that in the past were looking for storage would need to build a physical space and then maintain it. Storing on a cloud could otherwise, in the past, meant signing an expensive contract for services you didn’t need. Companies would also have to buy a lot of computing power to maintain their business during peak times, but then they’d still pay for that computing power during off-peak times. With AWS, as a business, you pay for what you use. There isn’t any upfront cost to build your storage system, and you don’t have to try and estimate your usage. Your costs are scaled based on what you need.
- Adaptability and scalability: Since cost is based on your usage, if you’re a startup or a small business, you have the opportunity to build out but only when you need to.
- Reliability and security: Amazon Web Services, as mentioned, is highly secure and reliable. There’s rigorous and continuous monitoring and maintenance, as well as diversified data centers.
Overall, AWS is something any business needs to understand if not now, very soon.