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Blog February 27, 2019

Understanding AWS

Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard about Amazon Web Services (AWS) but you may be wondering exactly what it is, what it does, and how it can benefit your company. Of course we understand the reluctance of some business owners to embrace change, especially when it comes to technology. In this article we will lay out everything that you need to know about AWS and what it can mean for you.

So, What is AWS?

Just a few short years ago, AWS was a small and rarely thought about division of Amazon, but it’s now an integral aspect of daily business for companies both big and small throughout the world. Made up of multiple cloud computing products and services, AWS provides hosting servers, storage, email, remote computing, networking, security, and mobile development and can be broken into two main products: EC2 and S3 — EC2 being their virtual machine service and S3 their storage system. AWS is so large that it’s now at least 10 times larger than its nearest competitor, and it hosts popular websites like Instagram and Netflix.

AWS is divided into 12 global regions that each have multiple availability zones in which their servers are located in order to allow users to set geographical limitations on their services if they so choose. By diversifying the physical locations in which data is held, this practice also enhances security.

Unlike many others in and around the industry, AWS doesn’t aggressively brand or call attention to their data centers. Tours are off limits and Amazon’s website only offers rough approximations of each region’s data center locations. Within each region is a minimum of two “availability zones” and within each availability zone, there are a handful of data centers.

Migration Made Easy

AWS tries to make migrating to the platform as seamless and painless as possible, however many companies leverage the expertise of Amazon partners. With on-demand resources and scalability available within AWS, on-site hosting and data storage just doesn’t make fiscal or common sense for many organizations.

Whether you’re currently on a subpar hosting service provider and looking to move to a more reliable and affordable service, or you’re interested in moving your data, applications, or other business components from your on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, migrating to AWS is an attractive option.

While Amazon provides great cloud infrastructure and services, it can be challenging to implement and manage if you lack the in-house expertise. Having a professional AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP)  like Connectria behind you can completely reduce any possible trepidation regarding migration and support.

A Huge Benefit — Saving Money

AWS is attempting to move companies away from physical computing technology and onto the cloud. Numerous companies that require large amounts of storage have physically built their required storage space and have been obligated to maintain it.

With many cloud storage options, businesses are required to sign pricey and lengthy contracts for large amounts of storage space that they may or may not need. With traditional options, building or buying too little storage could be quite expensive if business does take off.

The same situation has arisen with computing power. Traditionally, companies that experience a surge in traffic would have to purchase loads of power upfront in order to sustain its business for those peak times. Unfortunately, that extra computing power which they are paying for all year round lays dormant and unused during any off-peak time.

That’s one of the biggest benefits with AWS: you only pay for what you use. There’s no need to estimate usage and no upfront cost to build a storage system. You use what you need and your costs are scaled accordingly and automatically.

Reliability & Security

AWS is arguably much more secure than hosting your own storage or website. With dozens of data centers around the world which are strictly maintained and continuously monitored, this decentralization of the data centers prevents permanent worldwide data loss in the event that disaster befalls one center or region.

In fact, even without consideration of natural disasters, centralizing your data in an easily identifiable location where any number of people can obtain access is not very wise. AWS has attempted to keep the locations of their data centers as hidden from the public as possible, going as far as to place them in out-of-the-way locations and only allowing access on an essential basis.

The AWS data centers, and therefore all of the data contained within, are safe from intrusions and with their experience in cloud services, Amazon can quickly identify and easily remedy outages and potential attacks 24 hours a day. Of course, you cannot say the same for the small company with their computing handled by a single IT employee.

In order to further ensure the safety and integrity of your data, Amazon’s services and data centers have several layers of physical and operational security. Among the well-recognized certifications that AWS has, are: HIPAA, SAS 70 Type II, PCI DSS Level 1, FISMA Moderate and ISO 27001 and it’s a durable and secure technology platform.

To ensure its infrastructural security, AWS also conducts regular audits and has implemented best practices in security while providing documentation on how to deploy those security features. This safeguards the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of your data and provides both ‘end to end’ privacy and security.

Openness & Flexibility

Being a platform that is agnostic to programming languages and operating systems, AWS allows you to select the development platform or programming model that is the most beneficial. You can select the services that you need and select how to use them and this flexibility enables you to concentrate on innovation rather than infrastructure.

Negating the need for your IT personnel to acquire new skills, your overall productivity and time to market will improve. While utilizing traditional models of IT solutions delivery, companies must make substantial investments in operating systems, programming languages, and new architectures. This may result in you not being able to respond quickly to opportunities and changing markets, and owing to the time taken to adapt to new technologies, your business may slow down. When the opportunity for innovation appears, you want to move quickly and not have to deal with supporting legacy apps and infrastructure or prolonged processes for procurement.

When it comes to developing apps on AWS or using hardware resources that already exist, there’s not much difference. However, as AWS provides a virtual and flexible IT infrastructure, you can utilize their services separately or together as a platform. From web hosting and offsite data backups to full web apps and batch processing, AWS provides them all.

However, instead of the extended time that it takes to plan, budget, procure, hire, setup, deploy, and operate and new project, when you sign up for AWS and you have the equivalent of thousands of servers through the cloud, you can deploy immediately. Whether you simply need secure and affordable web hosting or you want to prototype an app, AWS makes it easy to be productive.

AWS is the Answer, Connectria is the Solution

Unlike other hosting companies, we take great pride in our solutions flexibility. Connectria’s certified engineers ensure that each designed solution addresses the unique requirements of our customers. And though our solutions are backed by exceptional 24×7 support, our focus is upon engineering the right solution from the start. It’s no wonder recent independent surveys of Connectria’s customers revealed 100% satisfaction.

You’re on-premise hosting solution made sense a few years ago, but that’s no longer the case. SMBs and mid-market companies alike are benefiting from upgrading to AWS, and with the AWS management solutions offered by Connectria, migration has never been easier or more affordable. Stop putting off something that is likely causing loss of ROI and contact us today.

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