Cloud Computing with AWSMore and more businesses are turning to the Cloud to meet their IT needs. But how does this work, and why has it become so popular? This article will discuss these topics, with a particular focus on Amazon Web Services and serverless computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a method by which various IT services can be accessed on-demand over the Internet. These services include computational power, databases, storage and applications.
The hardware on which these services run is owned by a cloud services platform, which is responsible for its maintenance. The user thus does not own or manage the hardware. Pricing is 'pay-as-you-go' - in other words, you are charged only for the services you use.
There are three main variations of this model: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. These are commonly abbreviated to SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
What's the Difference?
IaaS gives the user maximum control over IT resources, making it similar to managing your own infrastructure. This means you have access to the computers, storage and so on, giving you more flexibility with regards to resources.
PaaS makes it unnecessary to worry about the infrastructure, meaning you can focus on your applications. Maintenance, capacity planning and resources are all dealt with, enabling you to work more efficiently.
SaaS usually refers to the provision of an end-user application, which can be used without any consideration of the infrastructure or the maintenance of the service. Email and social networking sites are examples of SaaS.
These different models exist because user needs can vary widely. Businesses must decide which to use based on their individual situations.
Why Use the Cloud?
Cloud computing has many advantages which are making it increasingly popular with modern businesses. Since you only pay for the services you use, you avoid wasting money on running and maintaining your own servers and data centres.
You also eliminate the need to guess how much capacity you need, as you can access as much or as little as you like at any given time - a web application allows you to simply provision what you need.
Any new resources you may require will be available in a matter of minutes, removing the need to wait weeks. Your applications can also be made available all around the world with minimal work on your part.
AWS and Serverless Computing
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular cloud services platform used by hundreds of thousands of businesses. It offers a large range of products and services which can securely and reliably manage the infrastructure of almost any business. As it is so widely used, businesses can take advantage of economies of scale to get far cheaper services than they would otherwise be able to access.
It even allows you to run and develop applications without having to worry about servers - this is known as serverless computing. Although the services and applications do run on servers, you do not have to manage them, giving the illusion of a 'serverless' experience.
An AWS service called Lambda allows you to upload and run code without having to consider servers. It scales your application automatically when the workload changes, and as with other Cloud services, you only pay for what you use; in this case, you’re charged for every 100 milliseconds your code is running. In addition, it’s easy to add other services if needed - this includes any databases and storage the application may need.
Cloud services may not be perfect, but for many businesses the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It’s a simple way to save money, save time and become more efficient - and with the recent advent of serverless computing, there’s never been a better time to start using the Cloud.