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Saima Javaid
Saima Javaid

Posted on • Originally published at

What is Cloud Computing and what AWS offers?

In this era of science and technology everyone is talking about cloud and cloud providers. In this article we will learn what Cloud Computing is and who provides these services. I will specifically talk about AWS as I have got a chance to use its services.

Cloud Computing

It is an on-demand delivery of technology services over the internet, e.g., servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. One do not need to own the complete resource and spend a lot of money, instead they can pay as per need. Typically known as pay-as-you-go.

Cloud Service Providers

There are renowned providers in the market that offers cloud computing services which are not only economical but easy to use. You just need to provision your infrastructure or configure a service in few clicks and the resource is ready to use. The prominent ones are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Other providers in the list are IBM, Oracle, Alibaba, Scala, SalsForce and many more.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Among the currently available list of cloud providers, Amazon was the first one who has launched a stable cloud services under the name of Amazon Web Services (AWS). It has still maintaining the leading position and keeps growing the list of services, it offers a wide range of cloud computing services.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Let’s talk about what type of services they offer.

AWS offers a wide collection of cloud-based products which fits for different business requirements globally. The products includes compute, development tools, management tools, storage, databases, and networking. It also includes IoT, analytics, mobile, and enterprise applications with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Following is the handy list of services to have a quick reference of business offers provided by AWS.

Cloud Computing Services

There are three types of Cloud computing services:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): provides the infrastructure i.e. mainly Hardware and Operating System (OS). Therefore, user can install and manage software, workloads, and deployments without having pain to purchase/manage hardware and OS.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): provides platform and organization only need to take care of developing their applications and databases.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): provides software as a solution where user only needs to think about how they will use the software, rest will be manage by provider.

Let’s name some of the computing services provided by AWS:

  • Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud): Virtual Servers on the cloud that provides you control on the OS. This virtual machine can be run by the user on demand.
  • Amazon LightSail: It automatically deploy and manages virtual server, container, storage, databases that are required to run user application.
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: It offers automated deployment and provisioning of resources like a highly scalable production website.
  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS): It allows to use Kubernetes on Amazon cloud environment without installation.
  • AWS Lambda: It allows to run code in the cloud as a function without thinking about servers. It is a big cost saver because you only pay when your function executes.

Migration & Transfer

Migration services used to transfer data physically between datacenters and AWS. Following list provides the overview of AWS migration services:

  • AWS Database Migration Service (DMS): This service helps to migrate on-premise database to AWS Cloud with minimal downtime. It also helps to migrate data between different types of databases, for example, Oracle to MySQL.
  • AWS Server Migration Service (SMS): It helps to migrate on-premises servers to AWS easily and quickly.
  • AWS Snowball: Snowball is a small application which allows you to transfer terabytes of data inside and outside of AWS environment.


Storage services used to store files and binary data.

  • Amazon Glacier: It is a low-cost storage service that offers secure and fast storage for data archiving and backup.
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS): It provides block-level storage to use with Amazon EC2 instances.
  • AWS Storage Gateway: It provides secure integration between on-premises software applications and cloud-based storage.

Database Services

  • Amazon RDS: A service for easy setup, operating, and scaling a relational database in the cloud.
  • Amazon DynamoDB: A fully managed NoSQL database service which allows cost-effective storage and retrieval of data.
  • Amazon ElastiCache: A web service to easily deploy, operate, and scale in-memory cache in the cloud.
  • Amazon Aurora: It’s a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database, build for cloud. It is high performance and low cost.
  • Amazon RedShift: It’s a fast, simple and cost effective data warehousing solution.


  • Amazon Athena: It allows to query data using SQL queries on S3 bucket to search files.
  • Amazon CloudSearch: It is used to create a fully managed search engine for a website.
  • Amazon OpenSearch: It is derived from ElasticSearch and performs similar search engine as CloudSearch. However, it also provide real time application monitoring.
  • Amazon Kinesis: It helps to stream and analyze real-time data at massive scale.
  • Amazon QuickSight: It’s a business analytics tool which helps to create a visualization in the form of a dashboard by using simple human readable queries.
  • Amazon EMR: This AWS analytics service mainly used for big data processing and running large-scale distributed data processing jobs using open-source frameworks, for example, Spark, Splunk, Hadoop, etc.
  • AWS Data Pipeline: Allows to automate movement and transformation of data from one place to another.

Deployment & Management Services

  • Amazon CloudWatch: It is used to monitor AWS environments such as EC2, RDS instances, and CPU utilization. It also allows to configure metrics and triggers alarms.
  • AWS CloudFormation: It offers to speed up the cloud provisioning with defining infrastructure by coding templates.
  • AWS CloudTrail: It provides an easy method to track user activity and API usage.
  • AWS OpsWorks: It automates operations with Chef and Puppets.
  • AWS Config: It continuously monitors user environment and audit the changes in configuration against the desired ones. It generates alerts for deviation from the required values.
  • AWS Service Catalog: It helps large organization to create, organize and govern the catalog of AWS products.
  • AWS Systems Manager: It helps to gain operational insight and take action when required.
  • AWS Managed Services: It offers management of AWS infrastructure which releases the responsibility and helps to focus only on applications.

Internet of Things

  • AWS IoT Core: It’s a managed cloud service that connects devices with the cloud.
  • AWS IoT Device Management: It offers to organize and manage IoT devices remotely.
  • AWS IoT Analytics: it provides the ability to analyze data collected by IoT devices.
  • Amazon FreeRTOS: This real-time operating system for microcontrollers enables user to connect IoT devices locally or with cloud.

Application Services

  • AWS Step Functions: It is a visual workflow for modern applications that manages failures, retries, parallelization, service integrations, and observability, therefore user can focus on business logic.
  • Simple Workflow Service (SWF): A service to help in coordinating both automated and human-led tasks.
  • Simple Notification Service (SNS): A notification generation service in the form of email, SMS, or mobile push notification.
  • Simple Queue Service (SQS): It manages message queues. Message queues is a mechanism to decouple tightly coupled integration between services.

Developer Tools

  • AWS CodeStar: A cloud-based service for developing and managing various software development projects on AWS.
  • AWS CodeCommit: An AWS version control service to upload and manage code privately in the cloud.
  • AWS CodeBuild: A process automation service to compile and build code.
  • AWS CodeDeploy: Deploying code in EC2 instances automatically.
  • AWS CodePipeline: It helps to create a deployment pipeline after passing through different stages such as building, testing, authenticating, and deploying on different environment such as testing, development and production environments.
  • AWS Cloud9: It‘s an IDS for developing and debugging code in the cloud.

Mobile Services

  • AWS Device Farm: It improves the quality of mobile and web applications by testing them across desktop browsers and real mobile devices that are hosted in the AWS Cloud.
  • AWS AppSync: Accelerate application development by GraphQL API that offers real-time data synchronization and offline programming features.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Amazon Lex: It’s a tool to build voice and text chatbots quickly.
  • Amazon Polly: Its text-to-speech service that enables you to convert text into life like speech.
  • Amazon Rekognition: It’s an object detection service which helps to find face and object in the images and videos.
  • Amazon SageMaker: It is a service to build, train, and deploy ML models at any scale.
  • Amazon Transcribe: It’s a speech recognition service that help to convert speech-to-text and offers high-quality and affordable transcriptions.
  • Amazon Translate: It’s a natural and fluent language translator.

Final Words

There are hundreds of services offered by AWS, the purpose of this article is to give a quick overview from where we can start our cloud journey. We can find similar services offered by other providers. Since I am mostly working with AWS, therefore I have listed down and explain them for reader understanding.

Reference Links

Further Reading

Top comments (4)

nikmikhailov_ profile image
Nik Mikhailov

AWS is too expensive, although good service. Tell me about alternatives

honorbertt profile image
Ho Norbert

AWS is cool but expensive I agree. I was told that CF and Gcore are good alternatives. My friend worked with G-kore, and he says that they have very worthy techs.

nikmikhailov_ profile image
Nik Mikhailov

Heard about them too. So it's better to pay attention to G-core or Cloudflare?

Thread Thread
honorbertt profile image
Ho Norbert

I would advise G-core. They are very easy to work with and cheaper than Cloudflare. Their services are on the same level, it seems to me, but with Gcore there will be more freedom.