The Basics of AWS

Ayla Dillis
2 min readNov 24, 2020

Amazon Web Services or AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing and APIs to individuals, businesses, and governments. The service’s popularity comes from its clear per-hour billing rate, the easy sign-up process, incredible stability, and a platform as a trusted vendor. AWS is currently operating in 20 regions, or independent geographic areas, with five more coming soon, within each region there are two or more availability zones (AZ), or data centers.

A high-level examination of AWS reveals a three-tiered system starting with AWS Accounts, then Regions, and lastly Availability zones. The Account level handles billing, Identity and Access Management (IAM), basically, a program that allows users to access AWS services securely, and Route53 a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service.

The simplified explanation of Regions is as follows; in order to upload data such as photos, videos, and documents to Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service an S3 bucket must first be created. In relation to creation, buckets and objects are resources, and Amazon S3 provides API’s for you to manage them. At the Regional level Amazon’s NoSQL database service, DynamoDB supports key-value and document data structures while providing a database for Amazon. Another feature offered by Amazon at the Region’s level is the VPC or Amazon Virtual Private Cloud that enables the user to build a virtual network in the AWS cloud with no VPNs, hardware or physical datacenter required. Most importantly Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancing is a program that automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets.

At the AZ level Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Companies such as Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook, BBC, and ESPN all currently use EC2 monthly. Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) is a relational database in the cloud, lastly, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is raw block-level storage that can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances and is used by RDS, EBS provides a range of options for storage performances and cost.

I hope you found this brief summary of the Amazon Web Services Accounts, Regions, and Availability Zones informative. In conclusion, AWS has over 130 services and a wide variety of features such as but not limited to

  • AWS Compute and Analytics Service
  • Storage and Database Services
  • Management and Networking Services
  • Application and Development Service

A further explanation of AWS feature, functionality, and usage can be found in this video by the ‘AWS Training Center’ 👇🏻