Quick Reference Study Notes for Amazon Web Services (Advanced)

Amazon web services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. Amazon Web Services initially offered IT services to the market in the form of web services, which is nowadays known as cloud computing. With this cloud, we need not plan for servers and other IT infrastructure which takes up much of time in advance. Instead, these services can instantly spin up hundreds or thousands of servers in minutes and deliver results faster. AWS is one of the first companies to introduce a pay-as-you-go cloud computing model that scales to provide users with computing, storage or throughput as needed and that is what makes it cost-efficient.

Today, AWS provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers multitude of businesses in 190 countries around the world.

Cloud Service Models

There are mainly three types of categories in cloud computing-


IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service. It provides users with the capability to provision processing, storage, and network connectivity on demand. Using this service model, the customers can develop their own applications on these resources.


PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. Here, the service provider provides various services like databases, queues, workflow engines, e-mails, etc. to their customers. The customer can then use these components for building their own applications. The services, availability of resources and data backup are handled by the service provider that helps the customers to focus more on their application's functionality.


SaaS stands for Software as a Service. As the name suggests, here the third-party providers provide end-user applications to their customers with some administrative capability at the application level, such as the ability to create and manage their users. Also, some level of customizability is possible such as the customers can use their own corporate logos, colors, etc.

Cloud Computing Deployment Models

A cloud-based application is fully deployed in the cloud and all parts of the application
run in the cloud. Applications in the cloud have either been created in the cloud or have
been migrated from an existing infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. Cloud-based applications can be built on low-level infrastructure pieces or can use higher level services that provide abstraction from the management, architecting, and scaling requirements of core infrastructure.

A hybrid deployment is a way to connect infrastructure and applications between cloudbased
resources and existing resources that are not located in the cloud. The most common method of hybrid deployment is between the cloud and existing on-premises infrastructure to extend, and grow, an organization's infrastructure into the cloud while connecting cloud resources to the internal system. For more information on how AWS can help you with your hybrid deployment, please visit our hybrid page.

The deployment of resources on-premises, using virtualization and resource management tools, is sometimes called the “private cloud.” On-premises deployment doesn’t provide many of the benefits of cloud computing but is sometimes sought for its ability to provide dedicated resources. In most cases, this deployment model is the same as legacy IT infrastructure while using application management and virtualization technologies to try and increase resource utilization.

Types of Clouds
Public Cloud

In public cloud, the third-party service providers make resources and services available to their customers via Internet. Customer’s data and related security is with the service providers’ owned infrastructure.

Private Cloud
A private cloud also provides almost similar features as public cloud, but the data and services are managed by the organization or by the third party only for the customer’s organization. In this type of cloud, major control is over the infrastructure so security related issues are minimized.

Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud is the combination of both private and public cloud. The decision to run on private or public cloud usually depends on various parameters like sensitivity of data and applications, industry certifications and required standards, regulations, etc.


AWS CloudFront-

CloudFront is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which retrieves data from Amazon S3 bucket and distributes it to multiple data center locations. Amazon CloudFront speeds up the distribution of your static and dynamic web content, such as .html, .css, .js, and image files, to your users. CloudFront delivers your content through a worldwide network of data centers called edge locations. When a user requests content that you're serving with CloudFront, the user is routed to the edge location that provides the lowest latency (time delay), so that content is delivered with the best possible performance.

  • If the content is already in the edge location with the lowest latency, CloudFront delivers it immediately.

  • If the content is not in that edge location, CloudFront retrieves it from an origin that you've defined—such as an Amazon S3 bucket, a MediaPackage channel, or an HTTP server (for example, a web server) that you have identified as the source for the definitive version of your content.


How AWS CloudFront Delivers the Content?

AWS CloudFront delivers the content in the following steps.

Step 1 − The user accesses a website and requests an object to download like an image file.

Step 2 − DNS routes your request to the nearest CloudFront edge location to serve the user request.

Step 3 − At edge location, CloudFront checks its cache for the requested files. If found, then returns it to the user otherwise does the following −

  • First CloudFront compares the request with the specifications and forwards it to the applicable origin server for the corresponding file type.

  • The origin servers send the files back to the CloudFront edge location.

  • As soon as the first byte arrives from the origin, CloudFront starts forwarding it to the user and adds the files to the cache in the edge location for the next time when someone again requests for the same file.

Step 4 − The object is now in an edge cache for 24 hours or for the provided duration in file headers. CloudFront does the following −

  • CloudFront forwards the next request for the object to the user’s origin to check the edge location version is updated or not.

  • If the edge location version is updated, then CloudFront delivers it to the user.

  • If the edge location version is not updated, then origin sends the latest version to CloudFront. CloudFront delivers the object to the user and stores the latest version in the cache at that edge location.

Features of CloudFront

Fast − The broad network of edge locations and CloudFront caches copies of content close to the end users that results in lowering latency, high data transfer rates, and low network traffic. All these make CloudFront fast.

Simple − It is easy to use and can be used with other AWS Services − Amazon CloudFront is designed in such a way that it can be easily integrated with other AWS services, like Amazon S3, Amazon EC2.

Cost-effective − Using Amazon CloudFront, we pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without any hidden charges and no up-front fees.

Elastic − Using Amazon CloudFront, we need not worry about maintenance. The service automatically responds if any action is needed, in case the demand increases or decreases.

Reliable − Amazon CloudFront is built on Amazon’s highly reliable infrastructure, i.e. its edge locations will automatically re-route the end users to the next nearest location if required in some situations.

AWS Database Services-
As the cloud continues to drive down the cost of storage and computing, a new generation of applications has emerged, creating a new set of requirements for databases. These applications need databases to store terabytes to petabytes of new types of data, provide access to the data with millisecond latency, process millions of requests per second, and scale to support millions of users anywhere in the world. To support these requirements, AWS provides both relational and non-relational databases that are purpose-built to handle the specific needs of the applications which include relational databases for transactional applications, non-relational databases for internet-scale applications, a data warehouse for analytics, an in-memory data store for caching and real-time workloads, and a graph database for building applications with highly connected data.

Several databases provided by AWS-

  • Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service)

  • Amazon Aurora

  • Amazon DynamoDB

  • Amazon Redshift

  • Amazon ElastiCache

  • Amazon Neptune


Amazon Relational Database Service-

Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) is a fully-managed SQL database cloud service that allows to create and operate relational databases. Using RDS you can access your files and database anywhere in a cost-effective and highly scalable way. RDS makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching and backups. It frees you to focus on your applications so you can give them the fast performance, high availability, security and compatibility they need.

Amazon RDS is available on several database instance types - optimized for memory, performance or I/O - and provides you with six familiar database engines to choose from, including Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle Database, and SQL Server.


Features of Amazon RDS

Amazon RDS has the following features −

  • Scalable − Amazon RDS allows to scale the relational database by using AWS Management Console or RDS-specific API. We can increase or decrease your RDS requirements within minutes.

  • Host replacement − Sometimes these situations occur when the hardware of Amazon RDS fails. There is no need to worry, it will be automatically replaced by Amazon.

  • Inexpensive − Using Amazon RDS, we pay only for the resources we consume. There is no up-front and long-term commitment.

  • Secure − Amazon RDS provides complete control over the network to access their database and their associated services.

  • Automatic backups − Amazon RDS backs up everything in the database including transaction logs up to last five minutes and also manages automatic backup timings.

  • Software patching − Automatically gets all the latest patches for the database software. We can also specify when the software should be patched using DB Engine Version Management.

DB Instances

The basic building block of Amazon RDS is the DB instance. A DB instance is an isolated database environment in the cloud.  A DB instance can contain multiple user-created databases, and you can access it by using the same tools and applications that you use with a stand-alone database instance. You can create and modify a DB instance by using the AWS Command Line Interface, the Amazon RDS API, or the AWS Management Console.

Each DB instance runs a DB engine. Amazon RDS currently supports the MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server DB engines. Each DB engine has its own supported features, and each version of a DB engine may include specific features. The computation and memory capacity of a DB instance is determined by its DB instance class. You can select the DB instance that best meets your needs. If your needs change over time, you can change DB instances.

AWS Network Architecture

Amazon Virtual Private Network-

AWS creates the networking foundation by building AWS Cloud Infrastructure for your application by building a virtual private network (VPN) environment with public and private subnets where you can launch AWS services and other resources.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) allows users to use AWS resources in a virtual network. The users can customize their virtual networking environment as they like, such as selecting own IP address range, creating subnets, and configuring route tables and network gateways. You can use both IPv4 and IPv6 in your VPC for secure and easy access to resources and applications. You can also easily customize the network configuration for your VPC. You can leverage multiple layers of security (including security groups and network access control lists) to help control access to EC2 instances in each subnet. Additionally, you can create a hardware virtual private network (VPN) connection between your corporate data center and your VPC and leverage the AWS Cloud as an extension of your corporate data center.

Amazon Route 53

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is designed for developers and corporates to route the end users to Internet applications by translating human readable names like www.mydomain.com, into the numeric IP addresses like that computers use to connect to each other. It is fully compliant with IPv6 as well. Route 53 can be used to configure DNS health checks to route traffic to healthy endpoints or to independently monitor the health of your application and its endpoints. Amazon Route 53 also
offers Domain Name Registration—you can purchase and manage domain names such as example.com and Amazon Route 53 will automatically configure DNS settings for your domains.

Amazon Direct Connect-

AWS Direct Connect permits to create a private network connection from our network to AWS location. It uses 802.1q VLANs, which can be partitioned into multiple virtual interfaces to access public resources using the same connection. This allows you to use the same connection to access public resources, such as objects stored in Amazon S3 using public IP address space, and private resources such as EC2 instances running within a VPC using private IP address space while maintaining network separation between the public and private environments. This results in reduced network cost and increased bandwidth. Virtual interfaces can be reconfigured at any time as per the requirement.


AWS Compute Services

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)-

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances (called Amazon EC2 instances) to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. These instances can be launched in one or more geographical locations or regions, and Availability Zones (AZs). Each region comprises several AZs at distinct locations, connected by low latency networks in the same region.

EC2 Components
In AWS EC2, the users must be aware of the EC2 components, their operating systems support, security measures, pricing structures, etc.
Operating System Support
Amazon EC2 supports multiple OS in which we need to pay additional licensing fees like Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Enterprise, and Oracle Enterprise Linux, UNIX, Windows Server, etc. These OS needs to be implemented in conjunction with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

Users have complete control over the visibility of their AWS account. In AWS EC2, the security systems allow creating groups and place running instances into it as per the requirement. You can specify the groups with which other groups may communicate, as well as the groups with which IP subnets on the Internet may talk.
AWS offers a variety of pricing options, depending on the type of resources, types of applications and database. It allows the users to configure their resources and compute the charges accordingly.
Fault tolerance
Amazon EC2 allows users to access its resources to design fault-tolerant applications. EC2 also comprises geographic regions and isolated locations known as availability zones for fault tolerance and stability. It doesn’t share the exact locations of regional data centers for security reasons.
This service allows users to move existing applications into EC2. It costs $80.00 per storage device and $2.49 per hour for data loading. This service suits those users having a large amount of data to move.

*NOTE : "This study material is collected from multiple sources to make a quick refresh course available to students."

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