The Amazon Web Services Computer Science Essay

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Amazon Web Services is a collection of web services that together make up a cloud computing platform, offered over the Internet by Amazon.com.  AWS for short is a suite of hosting products that aims to take the trouble out of traditional hosting solutions. Services like Dropbox and Reddit all use Amazon web Service.

AWS isn't just used for storage, It can also be used to host a couple of servers on AWS and quite efficiently too. It can be used host a large scale of applications such as a backend program for an iPhone application or a large server for a banking industry.

The below Image shows the services provided by Amazon Web Services

The reasons why we have chosen amazon web service as opposed to its competitors are listed below.

1. Flexibility

The most important feature in the Amazon Web Service is its flexibility. All the services work and communicate together with our application to automatically judge demand and handle it accordingly.

Combined with the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provided by Amazon and the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) we create, we can have a completely customized solution that provisions a server instance in less than 10 minutes, and is ready to accept connections once it comes online. Then we can quickly shut down instances when they are no longer needed, making server management at the easiest ever. It also provides the Auto Scaling and Load Balancing features which enhance the flexibility of Amazon Web Service.

2. Performance

The AWS has the fastest among the entire service provider available. The Elastic Block Storage (EBS) is nearly as fast as S3, but provides different features. EC2 Compute Units give Xeon-class performance on an hourly rate. The reliability is better than most private datacenters in the world, and if there is a problem, you're usually still online, but with reduced capacity.

A example of this is the recent "outage" that happened in the Northern Virginia cluster of AWS, one of Amazon's primary server farms in the United States. It affected Reddit, Wordpress.com, and several other major sites. These sites were still online though, with many in a "read-only" mode, as Amazon had to shut down writing to their backend storage until they could resolve the problem.

In a traditional hosting environment, this probably would have meant downtime and 404 errors (Page not found) as the websites would have just gone dark. But in a truly cloud-hosted environment like AWS, there's enough separation between processing and storage that sites can remain online and continue generating revenue even with reduced functionality.

But the primary performance power of AWS is in the storage. The distributed nature of Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and S3 yields millions of input/output operations per second to all instances. Think of it like having a raid array of Solid State Drives attached to a particular computer. Add in incredible bandwidth, and you have a storage system that is capable of vast scaling, with the reliability of 99.999999999%.

3. "Pay for what you use" Pricing

Amazon took a refreshing approach to pricing its hosting when launching AWS. Every service is "a la carte", meaning you pay for what you use. This makes a lot of sense for server infrastructure, as traffic tends to be very bursty, especially the larger the site is.

Consider a scenario when you need to develop an application to showcase it at an event for a very short duration of time. If we were to use a traditional service provider we would be tied up to a year contract but using amazon web service we pay for what we use, and also we pay for the CPU usage and not by the duration alone. This way the user does not have to worry about the performance as the AWS' Auto scaling would create a new Instance and balance the load.

4. The Free Tier

The free tier provided by AWS, provides enough credit to run an EC2 micro instance 24/7 all month, resolves this. It comes with S3 storage, EC2 compute hours, Elastic Load Balancer time, and much more. This gives developers a chance to try out AWS's API in their software, which not only enhances their software, but also ties them to AWS, which benefits Amazon in the long run.

5. Deployment Speed

The biggest difficulty in developing an application is in during the deployment of the application. Traditional service providers take anywhere from 48-96 hours to provision a server. Then we have to spend a few hours tweaking it and getting everything tested.

Amazon Web Services shrinks that deployment time to minutes. By making use of the Amazon Machine Images, we can have a machine deployed and ready to accept connections in that short amount of time. This is important when, for example, we are running a promotion that generates heavy traffic at specific intervals, or just need the flexibility to handle the demand when a new product is launched.

Competitor Comparison:

Company

Specification

Computing Category

Iaas

Iaas

Control Interface

Web Based Application/Control Panel

Web Based Application/Control Panel

Application Programming Interface

Application Programming Interface

Command Line

Graphical User Interface

Guaranteed Network Availability

99.999%

100%

Pricing Information

Subscription Type

Use Based and Subscription Plans

Use Based

Pricing Information

http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/#pricing

https://www.lunacloud.com/en/cloud-server-pricing

Inbound Bandwidth Price

0 Cents

0 Cents

Outbound Bandwidth Price

12 Cents per GB Used

10 Cents per GB Used

Base Plan Cost

$0.08 per hour

$0.02 per hour

Base Plan Details

1.7GB RAM, 160GB local storage, 1 EC2 Compute Unit

512 MB RAM, 1 vCPU, 10 GB DISK - 2 cents/hour

Features

Free Support

Not Available

Yes but Limited

Free Security Features

Advanced Firewall

Critical Data Privacy

Custom/Secure Permissions

Failover Features

Advanced email/password Security

Advanced Firewall

Failover Features

Persistency

Snapshot Backup

Paid Security Features

Advanced Firewall

Critical Data Privacy

Data Encryption

Intrusion Detection

Persistency

Snapshot Backup

Backup Storage

Snapshot Backup

Auto scaling

Yes, Free

Yes, Free

Load Balancing

Yes, With Charge

Yes, Free

Monitoring

Yes, Free

Not Available

Virtual Private Servers

Yes, With a charge

Yes, With a charge

Root Access

Yes

Yes

File Hosting Service

Yes, With a charge

Web Hosting Service

No

Yes, Free

Compatibility

Compatible Operating Systems

Cent OS 5.4

Debian

Fedora

Gentoo Linux

Open Solaris

OpenSUSE Linux

Oracle Enterprise Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

SUSE Linux

Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu Linux

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2008

Cent OS

Debian

Fedora 11

Linux Operating Systems

OpenSUSE Linux

Red Hat 5.1

Ubuntu Linux

Windows Server 2008

Processor

32 Bit and 64 Bit

64 Bit

Programming Languages Supported

Java

PHP

Python

Ruby

The cloud computing provider offers root access to the servers, all the programming languages are supported by the provider.

WinDev

The cloud computing provider offers root access to the servers, all the programming languages are supported by the provider.

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