As seasoned IT professionals running a small-sized business, you probably must be aware of the advantages cloud-based platforms bring over in-house deployment of hardware.
Most of the small business and startups lack the budget and workforce to purchase, install, handle and maintain on-site data centers and servers. Cloud Computing has long been known as the solution for such businesses, where rather than deploying in-house IT hardware, the business model is deployed on the infrastructures hosted by a third-party. Most of these providers use a pay-per-use model and the initial investment is almost negligible.
Cost aside, cloud-based solutions offer flexibility and scalability. If you are using an in-house IT infrastructure, scaling up your business systems demands heavy investment in hardware, often at the cost of downtime for your business. With cloud hosting platforms, the peak demands are automatically met through the pay-per-use model without any additional hardware costs.
There are numerous cloud-hosting providers in the market currently. Unarguably, AWS (Amazon Web Services) is the most popular one, especially when it comes to catering to small businesses.
What does AWS offer?
AWS includes numerous cloud-based computing, storage, database, networking, administration, security, mobile services and enterprise-based applications. When you open the main console of AWS, you will see more than 30 tools available in each section such as EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) in Cloud Computing, S3 (Simple Storage Service) in Storage and Content Delivery, RDS (Relationship Database Service) in Database and many more.
Here are some noteworthy features of AWS:
1. Prebuilt AMIs (Amazon Machine Images):
It is extremely simple and easy to build your product with the wide variety of prebuilt Amazon Machine Images. Additionally, there is a marketplace where there are user-built Machine Images (MI) and a vibrant community that creates and shares such MIs. With AWS, you can build a product and reach your customer within a matter of hours.
2. Understand your usage of IT applications and save more:
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring tool within AWS to monitor your use of IT applications. This tool provides you multiple insights and metrics that will aid you in choosing the correct price model for the service you want to deploy- be it Amazon EC2 or the S3 .
3. Automated infrastructure:
AWS offers auto-scaling through services such as Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, which automatically scales up your service capacity when the traffic spikes and downgrades it when demand is low and helps you decrease costs while ensuring 100% uptime for your business.
4. Cost management:
AWS offers a very transparent billing model with many instances where you can cut down your expenditure. The Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances can cut down your hourly costs by 50% if you invest in a reserved capacity upfront. AWS also offers Spot instances, where you bid your own price based on a fixed usage of resources and this can significantly reduce your costs. The ‘Cost-aware architecture’ allows you to monitor and tweak your architecture to control the usage to adjust to your business’ growth over time.
5. AWS Activate:
AWS Activate is a global program developed by AWS and directed at SMBs to help them develop their products easily and provides them the same computing power and technology used by global corporations. With AWS, you can get started for free to try out the many services within AWS and see if it is fit for your business and budget.