Very often people ask for compelling reasons on why they should consider AWS for their infrastructure needs. Though there are hundreds and thousands of customers leverage AWS in more than 190 countries, with hundreds of case-studies including companies like Netflix, Pinterest, Dow Jones, SAP, Coursera, NASA/JPL, Reddit, Vodafone, 99Designs, Thomson Reuters, Flipboard, Expedia & LinkedIn but most of the people who are managing their infrastructure in-house or a co-located data center, may still have concerns around cost, security, data privacy and many more.
In this blog, I have listed what I see as top 10 benefits of using AWS for your infrastructure needs:
1. Zero CapEx:
Many people tend to believe that AWS or any other cloud-based solution are only for the riches. However, the reality is completely opposite. We see AWS as playing field leveler enabling start-ups to leverage high-end technologies and infrastructure needs with ZERO CapEx. Start-ups shying away from leveraging Oracle as their database or any other commercials softwares which demand high-upfront licensing cost must explore AWS Marketplace and in high-probability, they might find those products in an hourly priced model with no up-front cost.
Whether you require a server for hosting a small website, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for heavy traffic sites, reliable & scalable email service, data warehousing service, or Hadoop cluster for your BigData needs, AWS offers everything with absolutely no-commitment at all, not even a month. All server-backed services are charged on hourly basis, so as soon as you terminate/stop a server, you won’t be billed from next hour.
3. Get Rid of Negotiations:
Surely price negotiations is not an expertise area for many (atleast me) and neither we like spending our time & energy doing that even if we have the skills. AWS is highly focused on reducing infrastructure cost for their customers. They have reduced their pricing across various services more than 30 times in last few years. Tools like Trusted Advisor, or 3rd-party tools like CloudCheckr, Cloudability, Cloudyn etc. can provide you insights to optimize cost within your existing setup on AWS.
Procuring a new server might take time between several hours to 8-10 days depending upon whether your infrastructure is on-premise, co-located or if you are associated with a hosting provider. Similar time is needed to procure software licenses as well. However, AWS enables you to spin-up new servers within few minutes with no need to buy separate licenses for many operating systems & softwares.
5. Pay Per Use:
Think of infinite space for your backup & archival needs, ability to launch new servers, up-scale/downscale a server, CDN integration, transcoding media files, unlimited bandwidth and many more highly scalable services/features available to you while you pay based on your actual usage only.
AWS has build world class, highly secure infrastructure, both physically and over the internet. Few highlights from the security measures mentioned on AWS website are:
Data centres are staffed 24×7 by trained security guards, and access is authorized strictly on a least privileged basis
Multiple geographic regions and Availability Zones allow you to remain resilient in the face of most failure modes, including natural disasters or system failures
Ability to configure built-in firewall rules from totally public to completely private or somewhere in between to control access to instances.
Few other highlights include private subnets, Multi-factor authentication (MFA), Isolate GovCloud & encrypted data storage.
Forget about guess-work or scientific analysis to identify your infrastructure needs. You can leverage auto-scaling to build a self-managing infrastructure aligned closely to the actual need based on traffic/resources utilization. Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) enable you to spin-up clones in multiple regions for different environments within few minutes, eliminating the need to repeat the set-up steps every time.
8. Global Leader:
Amazon has global presence with 10 regions, 36 availability zones and more than 50 edge locations. Few months ago, Gartner positioned AWS in Leaders Quadrant of the new Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service. Gartner also mentioned that AWS has more than five times the compute capacity in use than the aggregate total of rest 14 service providers placed in the same Magic Quadrant.
9. Best-in-class PaaS Offerings:
AWS has come-up with highly scalable managed services for database, caching, data-warehousing, transcoding, storage, backup, infrastructure management & application management which decreases the overall time & effort spent in setting-up & managing the infrastructure and thereby considerably decreasing the go-to-market cycle for end-customers.
APIs are available in various programming languages to help you manage your infrastructure programmatically. Whether it means launching a new instance, or taking backups, everything is possible through API. In fact, APIs are more powerful than AWS Management Console.
In case you are still not sure if AWS suits you need but would like to try-out, the following links might interest you:
AWS Free Tier – Most of the AWS services offer free quota to start with.
AWS Activate Packages – In case you are a start-up, look at AWS Activate Packages and you might get free credits & trainings to get started.