An Introduction to the AWS Cloud
March 23, 2021
Determining if the cloud is right for your business starts with a thorough understanding of the Cloud and how it works. The Cloud is one of those tech buzzwords that everyone is talking about but few people can define. Many people understand that it has something to do with internet storage and that it’s everywhere, but beyond that, their understanding is nebulous at best. It’s easy to get confused, especially when you start adding in terms like hybrid cloud, elastic compute power, parallel cluster, or interactions dataset. Often the explanations you encounter of what the Cloud is are either oversimplified or too complex. A great place to start, however, is to go right to the source. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the premier cloud providers in the market today, and their quick primer on Cloud services offers a great introduction to the Cloud and how it can impact your business:
The takeaway from this quick video is that the cloud is a way to access on-demand storage, tools, and computing power via the internet. You likely already use a service or app that is hosted in the Cloud on a daily basis. Everything from that online game you love to play on your phone to the photo sharing service you use to send you family cute baby pictures can (and does in most cases) make use of the Cloud. Ultimately, the Cloud really is everywhere and it’s increasingly becoming an important tool in developing and deploying services for organizations across every industry. The primary advantage is that your team doesn’t need to have the expertise to develop AI or machine learning. Neither do you need to invest millions in creating a powerful enough infrastructure to develop and deliver your software solutions. Instead the Cloud offers an affordable way to access an incredibly powerful infrastructure without needing to develop or maintain it yourself.
Some key features of the Cloud are :
- Resource Pooling – because many people are using the services the cost is offset making it affordable for more businesses
- On-Demand Self Service – Leverage the expertise of a Cloud expert or employ someone in-house
- Pay as You Scale – Pay only for what you use and quickly scale up or down as needed
- Automation & Intelligent Solutions – you don’t need to develop your own artificial intelligence tools with the Cloud, instead you can integrate the latest RPA, OCR, and business intelligence tools through your cloud service provider
- Low Maintenence – Cloud servers generally experience very little to no downtime. Additionally, it’s always evolving to improve compatibility with new devices and deliver relevant cutting-edge services.
How is the Cloud Different From the Internet?
This is a common question and with all the talk of world-wide access and content storage, it may seem that the Cloud is just a re-branding of the internet. The internet and the Cloud are indeed connected but they aren’t the same thing. The internet is a network smaller networks that provides software or hardware infrastructure to maintain and establish global connectivity for computers. No one person owns the internet because each entity maintains its own network or piece of the puzzle. The Cloud is a privately owned and developed suite of services and tools delivered via the internet. Thus, the cloud uses the internet to deliver its storage, compute, and infrastructure solutions but it is not the internet itself.
Now that you have an understanding of what the Cloud is, the next question is why use it at all? Certainly many things that the cloud offers can be handled in-house. Additionally, some businesses have concerns about sensitive information or the investment required to make the jump to cloud services. There are many reasons why cloud solutions should be considered but some of the primary advantages are:
Access – When your information is hosted within the Cloud you have worldwide access to the tools and information you need instantly. This is incredibly convenient when you’re talking about software or other tools that would normally be “locked” on a single desktop machine. With cloud software you can work from anywhere.
Depth of Services – Cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure offer a range of features so extensive it would be almost impossible to develop them in house affordably for all but the biggest global companies. Whether it’s machine learning and artificial intelligence, workflow automation, or disaster recovery you can pick and choose what tools fit your needs.
Cost & Scalability – With cloud services you only pay for what you use, meaning if there are only a few tools you require you don’t have to pay for things you don’t need. However, as you grow and your needs change you can easily add on services or expand your dedicated space quickly and remain agile.
Security & Reliability – Cloud services are trusted worldwide by the military, local and national governments, and healthcare providers to protect the most sensitive information out there from both cyber attacks and natural disaster. As long as you are choosing a reliable provider you can trust that your information will remain accessible, recoverable, and secure because cloud providers are consistently improving and adapting their security protocols.
How can DOMA help?
DOMA is an expert in navigating and deploying cloud services for federal, commercial, and healthcare customers. If you would like to find out if cloud services are right for your organization, consider getting a comprehensive cloud assessment from DOMA. We are here to help you determine if AWS cloud services can make an impact on your team. If you’re unsure where to start or need help getting these services integrated we can do the heavy lifting and get you started with the Cloud quickly.
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