Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web Services (AWS) have been around for nearly 10 years now. It all began in 2006 when they started offering IT infrastructure services to businesses – what is now more commonly known as cloud computing. Of course, cloud computing has literally soared far and away in popularity and usage over the past few years (particularly since 2012), and this is in the most part due to the massive savings that can be had on infrastructure expenses through smart utilization.

The cloud offers businesses the opportunity to replace the massive upfront infrastructure expenses that would normally be required to start a business, with low variable costs that scale in line with growth. With cloud computing, there is no longer any need for businesses to procure servers and other IT infrastructure months in advance. Instead, even SMEs are now able to gain access to literally hundreds and thousands of remote servers in a matter of minutes.

PA Server Monitor

AWS is now available in more than 190 countries around the world, providing reliable, scalable and low cost infrastructure platforms to anyone who needs them. Amazon’s data centers can be found in the US, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Europe, and businesses of all sizes are taking advantage everywhere.

The Advantages of Setting Up With AWS

Agility

AWS provides a massive global cloud infrastructure, and one that allows businesses to very quickly experiment and innovate with new applications and software pretty much instantly, with no fixed terms of contract or massive upfront layout of capital. With AWS, a company doesn’t have to wait weeks or months to receive and install new hardware or software – nor even budget for the updates in the first place – and applications can be instantly deployed as they become available. What is more, based on business demand, companies can scale up and down with ease, and they only ever pay for what they use.

Low Cost

AWS offers pay-as-you-go pricing, which means that long-standing commitments and upfront expenses are eradicated. AWS prides itself on being able to keep costs as low as possible, having managed to lower their prices on 15 separate occasions over the past 4 years. This really is great value.

Flexibility

Amazon Web Services is an agnostic operating system platform. What this means is that you have the choice of the programming model or development platform that suits you, which services you want to use, and how you want to use them.

Security

The Amazon Web Services datacentres are protected by multiple layers of security, which ensures absolute safety and integrity of your data. With industry recognized audits and certifications, AWS is a totally secure and durable technology platform that you should feel safe in using.

How To Set Up Servers With Amazon Web Services

Amazon’s cloud server product is called Amazon EC2. Once you have set up your free AWS account, you can follow the step-by-step guide below and be able to start using your web server immediately.

· Sign in to the AWS Management Console with your username and password.

· Click on EC2 – Virtual Servers in the Cloud.

· Click “Launch Instance” (instances are effectively servers).

· Click on “Classic Wizard”.

· Select the 32 bit Amazon Linux AMI type server.

· Set number of instances to 1, and set type to Micro (this is so it will be free). Hit continue, then continue again on the next page.

· Give your server a name, then hit continue once more.

· Now you need to create a key pair so that you can access the server remotely from your computer. Under “Create a New Key Pair”, give your key pair a name, then click “Create and download your key pair”.

· Now select your security group (quick-start-1, for instance) and click continue.

· Finally you will be presented with a screen containing everything that you have just selected. If everything looks good then click “Launch”, and your server will be up and running and ready to use in a matter of minutes.

Well done!! You have now set up your own free server with Amazon Web Services. If your business plans mean that make do with just the free one, then go for it, otherwise you will need to start purchasing more space.

Indeed, the likelihood is that you may well have to pay for a few extra servers to meet all of your business requirements. But, once you’ve got hang of the backend of Amazon Web Services, the job of acquiring new servers as your business expands becomes a lot more streamlined and straightforward.

AWS is a great service and something that should be top of the list of your considerations as your business starts to expand. Although it can be a little daunting at first glance, once you’ve got to grips with the process, it becomes a lot easier to use from thereon in.

What are your experiences with AWS? Let us know about them I the comments below.

John Waldron is a writer with markITwrite who regularly writes on lifestyle and technology. He has a First-Class Honours Degree in English with Creative Writing and an MA in Professional Writing from University College Falmouth, Cornwall.

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