Amazon Web Services – Part 1

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud platform service which is hybrid of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). It offers various services starting from data warehousing to content delivery. It allows easy deployment of “local cloud” on premises, which is a highly sought out feature. AWS is built upon global infrastructure which is laid based on regions and availability zones (AZ).  A region is a physical area, and an availability zone consists of one or more data centers.

We will have a blog series where the basic services and features of AWS starting from the foundations. The following will be covered:

  • Amazon Web Services Cloud Platforms
  • How a cloud presence can be built
  • Venturing EC2 Instances
  • Considering VPC
  • The Most feature-rich S3
  • Getting started with Amazon Route 53
  • Understanding IAM

Before diving into AWS, let’s understand what cloud computing is.


With increased demand for computing services – storage, databases, servers, software, networking, applications, services, analytics and more, gave birth to Cloud Computing.

In Simple terms, Cloud Computing offers on-demand delivery of different computing services mentioned above.  Many organizations have already started implementing this technology for multiple reasons. Few are listed below:

  • To avoid infrastructure costs (e.g., Purchasing servers)
  • To increase speed, performance, and productivity
  • Improved Manageability
  • Less Maintenance
  • Better Security
  • Adopting Virtualization
  • Service-Oriented approach
  • Utility Computing
  • Automation
  • Scalability and Elasticity
  • Reliability
  • Improved Analytics
  • much more….


The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s definition of cloud computing identifies “five essential characteristics”:

  • On-demand self-service – A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  • Broad network access – Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
  • Resource pooling – The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
  • Rapid Elasticity – Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  • Measured service – Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction suitable for the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

— National Institute of Standards and Technology


Most of the services provided by the Cloud Computing providers fall broadly into three categories:

  • Infrastructure as a Service – To provide IT infrastructure–storage, servers, networks, OS, virtual machines as a service on the pay-as-you-go basis from several cloud providers. Example, AWS.
  • Platform as a Service – To provide a platform or environment for configuration, testing, developing, or controlling applications. Eases up the task of quickly developing and deploying new applications without worrying about underlying platform or infrastructure dependencies. Example, Apprenda.
  • Software as a Service – To provide applications as a service to the end users, typically on a subscription basis. Eases up the task of managing and maintaining the applications. Example, Google Apps, Salesforce.


The NIST’s definition of cloud computing services follows:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer can deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.

Software as a Service (SaaS) – The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, except for limited user-specific application configuration settings.


Widely implemented model by various organizations are Private, Public, and Hybrid. Although there are other deployment models–Community cloud, Intercloud, Multicloud, and Distributed cloud.

  • Public Cloud – Focused on delivering different cloud computing resources over the internet. Owned & Operated by the Cloud Providers. Example: AWS
  • Private Cloud – Focused on delivering different cloud computing resources over the private network. Operated by a single business organization. Can be located physically on organization’s on-site data center or hosted by a third-party cloud provider.
  • Hybrid Cloud – Composition of two or more clouds having distinct features are combined to reap the benefits of multiple deployment models. For example, the interconnection of public and private cloud for data transfer and analytics to improve business productivity.


Several organizations have already implemented Hybrid Cloud. For example, Royal Dutch Shell, Boeing.

  • Management includes operations, security, compliance etc.,

** Infrastructure implies physical infra such as facilities, compute, network & storage equipments.

*** Infrastructure location is both physical and relative to an organization’s management umbrella

**** Trusted consumers of service are those who are considered part of an organization’s legal/contractual umbrella including employees, contractors, and business partners. Untrusted consumers are those that may be authorized to consume some/all services but are not logical extensions of the organization.


CSP’s are companies offering different computing services. They offer different deployment models that are implemented by various organizations based on their needs. Organizations opt for CSP’s to save cost and increased efficiency, as building & maintaining the organization’s infrastructure becomes difficult and non-feasible especially for SME’s and start-up’s.

Below is the list of few major CSP’s


Cloud Computing changes the traditional technology paradigm, by allowing businesses to focus on the services that technology is used to deliver rather than the. It follows the core principle of SOA — ‘Everything-as-a-Service’ (Eaas or Xaas) making it more efficient, scalable, and reliable. The most successful output of implementing cloud computing is Analytics and Business Service Automation.

In the next blog post, we will dive into AWS and what it offers.


AWS, Amazon Web Service. (2014, January 6). What is AWS? – Amazon Web Services. Retrieved from


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