A Fresh Look at What Amazon Brings to the Cloud

One of the reasons I blog is to provide a focus to my research and learning. I use this research to help me revisit many of the technologies that I stay in tune with. With many of the top cloud providers I like to step back and look at what they offer from time to time to see if I have missed anything or may see things in a different light.

Take a look at a a current overview of Amazon Web Services.

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce - Amazon Elastic MapReduce is a web service that enables businesses, researchers, data analysts, and developers to easily and cost-effectively process vast amounts of data.
  • Auto Scaling - Auto Scaling allows you to automatically scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down according to conditions you define. With Auto Scaling, you can ensure that the number of Amazon EC2 instances you're using scales up seamlessly during demand spikes to maintain performance, and scales down automatically during demand lulls to minimize costs.
Content Delivery
  • Amazon CloudFront - Amazon CloudFront is a web service for content delivery. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments.
  • Amazon SimpleDB - Amazon SimpleDB is a highly available, scalable, and flexible non-relational data store that offloads the work of database administration. Developers simply store and query data items via web services requests, and Amazon SimpleDB does the rest.
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) - Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a web service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while managing time-consuming database administration tasks, freeing you up to focus on your applications and business.
  • Amazon Fulfillment Web Service (FWS) - Amazon Fulfillment Web Service (Amazon FWS) allows merchants to access Amazon.com's world-class fulfillment capabilities through a simple web services interface. Merchants can programmatically send order information to Amazon with instructions to physically fulfill customer orders on their behalf.
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) - Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) offers a reliable, highly scalable, hosted queue for storing messages as they travel between computers. By using Amazon SQS, developers can simply move data between distributed components of their applications that perform different tasks, without losing messages or requiring each component to be always available.
  • Amazon CloudWatch - Amazon CloudWatch is a web service that provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources, starting with Amazon EC2. It provides customers with visibility into resource utilization, operational performance, and overall demand patterns, including metrics such as CPU utilization, disk reads and writes, and network traffic.
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) - Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) is a secure and seamless bridge between a company's existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud. Amazon VPC enables enterprises to connect their existing infrastructure to a set of isolated AWS compute resources via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, and to extend their existing management capabilities such as security services, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to include their AWS resources.
  • Elastic Load Balancing - Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances. It enables you to achieve even greater fault tolerance in your applications, seamlessly providing the amount of load balancing capacity needed in response to incoming application traffic.
Payments & Billing
  • Amazon Flexible Payments Service (FPS) - Amazon Flexible Payments ServiceTM (Amazon FPS) is the first payments service designed from the ground up for developers. It is built on top of Amazon's reliable and scalable payments infrastructure and provides developers with a convenient way to charge Amazon's tens of millions of customers (with their permission, of course!).
  • Amazon DevPay - Amazon DevPay is a simple-to-use online billing and account management service that makes it easy for businesses to sell applications that are built in, or run on top of, Amazon Web Services. It is designed to make running applications in the cloud and on demand easier for developers.
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) - Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
  • Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) - Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides block level storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are off-instance storage that persists independently from the life of an instance.
  • AWS Import/Export - AWS Import/Export accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport. AWS transfers your data directly onto and off of storage devices using Amazon's high-speed internal network and bypassing the Internet.
  • AWS Premium Support - AWS Premium Support is a one-on-one, fast-response support channel to help you build and run applications on AWS Infrastructure Services. It offers technical assistance from the Amazon Web Services team whenever and as frequently as your business demands.
Web Traffic
  • Alexa Web Information Service - The Alexa Web Information Service makes Alexa's vast repository of information about the traffic and structure of the web available to developers.
  • Alexa Top Sites - The Alexa Top Sites web service provides access to lists of web sites ordered by Alexa Traffic Rank. Using the web service developers can understand traffic rankings from the largest to the smallest sites.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk - Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence. The Mechanical Turk web service enables companies to programmatically access this marketplace and a diverse, on-demand workforce. Developers can leverage this service to build human intelligence directly into their applications.
Amazon was one of the first movers in the Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) arena. They have dominated this space and are providing backbone services to many of the top Software as a Service (SaaS) and even Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers.

Most of their cloud offerings are available through the Amazon Console, and all of them through the Application Programming Interface (API) for full access. Amazon has addressed many of the pain points in developing platforms and software that runs in the clouds. A pretty impressive offering.