Amazon Web ServicesArticles

Story of the month – The secret behind AWS’s success story

6 Mins read
cloud computing

From the moment you step into the world of cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) makes its presence felt. No matter whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a start-up, if you have ever considered migrating to the cloud, then AWS has most probably been at the top of your list of cloud service providers.  

In today’s time, cloud computing is all the rage. And the reason cloud services are such a hit among companies all over the world is that not only do they reduce expenditure, but they are also extremely scalable. In fact, that is how the idea of AWS was conceived. 

The Commencement  

Amazon started as an e-commerce company for books. A few years later, it turned into an online store where you could get anything and everything. They also started a service known as Merchant.com, a platform where third-party merchant companies could build their e-commerce websites. However, having multiple companies access the same platform was becoming a little chaotic.  To prevent it all from becoming a complicated mess, they created a set of APIs that were extensively documented. This not only helped Merchant.com but also the internal team of developers, assisting them in developing tools in an organized manner. That was their first step towards AWS. 

The company was growing at a fast pace. They began hiring more and more software engineers to sustain the growth. However, Amazon was beginning to face a slight problem. Despite having an adequate amount of workforce, the applications were not being built at the speed they were hoping to achieve. 

The Hurdles  

After a lot of researching and digging, it was found that there was a major backlog. It was noticed that applications that were supposed to be up and running in 4 months, were nowhere near done by the deadline. Instead, once the project started, it was taking the teams all those 4 months just to build the database, the requisite storage or the computation. Instead of having a common infrastructure that the internal team of Amazon could access and then continue to build on, they were starting from scratch every single time with every project.  

Another issue that Amazon was facing was that, it was at its busiest during the festive season. It had to acquire all the computing capacities it could get its hands on, along with its associated infrastructure, to cover the surge of activity that took place on its e-commerce platform. But once the festivities ended and the lull began, all that computing power and storage infrastructure were going unutilized. 

The computing power and infrastructure were needed for the next holidays. But during the offseason, retaining and maintaining them, even in their idle state was becoming expensive.   

The Epiphany 

It was during one of the brainstorming sessions at Jeff Bezos’ house, where the executive team was pondering on how to overcome these hurdles, that they had the realization. They needed a virtual infrastructure on the internet that would sort of act as an operating system. A virtual platform for computing, storage, and database with shared access.  

This one small but major thought was worked on for years before it took the form of AWS as we know it today. And the first service that they launched was in the year 2006. 

What makes AWS so amazing? 

With products like EC2, S3 Glacier, RDS, and Lambda, AWS is one of the top Cloud Service Providers. In fact, according to statistics, as of the 1st quarter of 2022, AWS held 33% of the market share. Whereas, its competitors, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud held 21% and 8% of the market share, respectively.  

cloud computing

Image Source: Statista

So, what is it that makes AWS so good? 

1. Cost savings 

Before the invention of the cloud, if you needed an application or software, you had to purchase it, install it, and you needed the appropriate infrastructure to run it and store it. You needed to have your own servers and data centers. Not to mention, you had to secure them from potential threats and thefts. Needless to say, it took a lot of time and monetary investment to have the application up and running. Something that a lot of small businesses were not able to afford or at the very least, found exceedingly expensive.  

With AWS providing these services virtually, the large amount of investment of time and finances have become a thing of the past. Be it a small-sized business or a large enterprise, setting up and maintaining data centers and servers are no longer a headache.  

2. Scalability  

As we learnt earlier, some businesses have a peak season and have little traffic the rest of the year. Like Amazon, these companies too faced major scalability issues. They needed to procure large amounts of computing power and infrastructure urgently during their peak days, but once the rush was over, the expensive services were not being utilized and burning a hole in their pockets. This is where AWS came to their rescue. 

AWS provides highly scalable services, and you only pay for what you use. So, you as a business, have access to all your requirements at a moment’s notice and once you are done, you can surrender those services or only use what you need and just pay for that. 

3. Reliability 

Having your own data center can be quite taxing. Not only does it take time and money to build the infrastructure but maintaining and safeguarding it from physical and virtual threats 24/7 can become a herculean task. And God forbid if there is an earthquake! At all times, you are just one natural calamity away from losing all your data, forever. The mere thought of it can have a person’s blood running cold. But that is not the case with AWS. 

AWS has multiple data centers that are spread throughout the world in various countries like Canada, India, Japan and more. These data centers are rigorously maintained and monitored 24/7, leaving no space for any kind of mishap. The network of their data center is strong and diverse and makes sure that if one area is stuck by a natural calamity, then there is no permanent loss of data throughout the world. 

The company also does not list the exact addresses of its data centers. In fact, they ensure that their data centers are not at easily traceable or penetrable locations. Getting access to these data centers is extremely arduous.  

4. Superior Security 

AWS understands the importance and sensitivity of the data that they are responsible for and takes security very seriously. Their data centers, as well as their services, are highly guarded with multiple layers of operations as well as physical security, making sure that your data is completely safe and secure. 

They are also holders of multiple certifications of quality standards and security like HIPAA, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001 and more. They are constantly audited by firms to ensure that there is 100% compliance and that your data is always safe from all forms of cyber threats, no matter how sophisticated. 

5. The price drops

Since its launch in the year 2006, AWS has been dropping the prices of its services frequently, making it more affordable and cost-efficient for small to medium-sized businesses.  

Amazon has been smart about the business opportunity that was AWS. They saw a possibility of growth in the field and have been rigorously investing in it. This in turn has allowed them to optimize and perfect the product and reduce the production cost, which further enabled them to provide the services at lower rates than their competitors.  

6. The constant evolution of the platform 

Like all things, in the beginning, AWS started small, providing cloud storage services like Amazon S3. When it was launched in March 2006, it had 8 microservices, but by 2022, Amazon S3 had 300+ microservices. That is the scale of evolution that has taken place. 

As of today, AWS provides a plethora of services and solutions to suit the needs of customers of all sectors, irrespective of the size of their business. Whether you are a company that is looking to migrate to a hybrid cloud or a company that is looking to build its own app from scratch on a serverless platform, AWS has something for everyone.  

7. Mobile friendliness  

One of the amazing features of the services provided by AWS is that it is compatible with smartphones, both Android and iIOS. The AWS Console Mobile Application, allows customers to view and manage their AWS resources from their smartphones. This in return created the space for companies to transmit information to their employees who are travelling, working from a remote setup or freelancing and vice versa.  

Wrapping Up 

Amazon Web Services have altered the face of technology. Being one of the pioneers in the field of cloud computing, their years of experience have made them veterans in their field. They have been keeping up with all the new technological advancements and trends and have created quite a few of their own.  

Their focus on driving innovation and success, as well as delivering their services at economical rates make them a beacon for both startups and large enterprises like Netflix, Twitter, Epic Games, Pfizer and more. 

Have anything to add, share your thoughts with us in the comments.  

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