What are Amazon Web Services
I know this question is bit old, and there are many answers written already but I want to answer it in simple way so that whoever reads it will get a overview of what AWS actually is.
Here it goes…
Amazon Web services are a set of over simplified, horizontally scalable on-demand cloud services offered by Amazon through its subsidiary Amazon Web services Inc.
Some of these services include EC2, S3, RDS, VPC, Route53, SQS, SNS, cloud monitoring, Container services etc.
EC2 – On demand virtual servers, Allows you to launch your own virtual server in cloud with the operating system of your choice with just couple of mouse clicks.
S3 – Is an object storage service which allows you to upload your files, documents movies, music, videos etc at very low cost. (Ex. Dropbox actually uses s3 to store all of the user uploaded files)
– S3 even offers static website hosting, i.e For ex. if you have a school/college website developed in plain html (no server side coding) you can just deploy it in S3.
RDS – This service allows people to host their database schema and data without worrying to manage underlying database server. All other things like patching, updating servers and maintaining will be taken care by Amazon itself. You just have to create your schema and connect to it from your application and then start using it.
VPC – Is yet another service allows individuals/companies or organizations to create and maintain their own private data center in cloud which is virtual and completely isolated with other companies/organizations vpc’s. And you have an option to terminate entire setup if you no longer needs it in future.
Route53 – Provides DNS services like creating your own domain and pointing it to your EC2 instances etc (where your app/web servers running for example).
SQS – is messages services in amazon cloud.
SNS – is notification service.
These are just few to name, There are actually more than 1000+ services like these are being offered by AWS.
Amazon is trying to eliminate major pain points in IT industry in terms of hardware management, cost maintenance and scalability problems and making them super easy to work with. AWS even has an API for all of its services with which many companies automate usage of above services.
for ex. a startup company has to launch pre-production environment where they want to do an UAT before every release. Then with the help of the API they can launch the environment setup on fly and go ahead with the testing immediately. And once done then they can terminate all of the resources used during the testing process, Which in fact a win-win situation for both AWS and the startup because terminating the unused resources reduces maintenance cost for startup and the terminated resources will become available for others. This way Amazon manages to offer its services to any number of its users.
Amazon also encourages its AWS users to terminate resources which no longer being used for any purpose.
If anything in this answer looks deviating feel free to comment.