Amazon Web Services, or AWS, has been setting the standard for online e-commerce solutions for some time now. But in its early adoption of cloud computing as a solution to scalability issues may just revolutionize how other companies approach the cloud as a resource. In this post, learn six things AWS can teach any business about using cloud computing effectively.
AWS adds new server capacity daily
Each and every day, Amazon adds to its existing server capacity. They make this choice for two reasons: it is more cost-effective to add more server capacity than to add it bit by bit, and as Amazon's overhead decreases they can pass those savings back to their customers in the form of lower prices.
By adding new server capacity continually, Amazon also works proactively to guard against outages and down-time (see next section for more on this). With millions of fellow (albeit smaller) solopreneurs, elearning company operations and small businesses relying on Amazon's infrastructure, Amazon also realizes their profitability depends in significant part on ensuring reliable infrastructure and up-time for all.
AWS uses redundancy to guard against down-time
Amazon has 11 different regions with a number of data centers using a service like hadoop cloud within each region. Within each data center, Amazon has created a number of availability zones. The system might seem convoluted and somewhat redundant at first glance, but there is business wisdom to be found beneath the seeming duplication of effort.
Together, this system of multiple regions combined with multiple data centers holding multiple availability zones functions to ensure the millions of businesses and customers that rely on Amazon have a way to guard against expensive down-time.
AWS builds its own custom servers
Amazon is becoming known for leveraging its own continual expansion to innovate in the field of cloud computing - most recently, by beginning to build its own custom servers. The reason is simple: Amazon has certain specific needs and it has become expedient to simply build to spec rather than try to customize or retrofit an out-of-the-box server system.
Another huge advantage to this approach is found in time - namely, speed of expansion. By keeping server production and implementation in-house, Amazon cuts out time spent relying on a middleman to meet this need.
AWS designs its own custom hardware and software
Along with custom in-house-built servers, Amazon now designs its own customized and complementary software and hardware to run its entire network of operations. This move also helps to control AWS overhead expenses, which helps control customer costs as well.
But most importantly, it ensures Amazon is well-versed in every aspect of its own IT capacity under a variety of conditions, from ideal to outage situations.
Amazon seeks out advantageous locations for its hubs
When Amazon launches a new data center (and it has 30+ such centers now), the company looks for a number of advantages before selecting a site. From low energy prices to tax advantages, cool air (great for keeping data centers cool) to access to green-friendly power sources (like hydro-electric power), Amazon has continued to build its worldwide infrastructure in places that keeps it face-forward in planning for its future energy needs and overhead concerns.
Amazon guards against over-growth
Whether building new or adding to data centers, Amazon remains sensitive to the impact a single data center may have in the event of an outage. For this reason, they resist allowing any single data center to grow too big, preferring instead to add additional buildings or data centers to reduce the risk to itself and customers across the board.
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