Authored by Jenny Devin

Identifying Architectural Concepts and Services Provided by AWS


Amazon Web Services (AWS) serves thousands of businesses across 190 countries with its scalable, reliable, and low-cost infrastructure. The AWS Well-Architected framework provides the best architectural practices for creating, designing, and running reliable, efficient, secure, and cost-effective systems in the cloud. This framework will help you create efficient and stable systems, helping you focus on functional requirements.

Services provided by AWS will open a portal of limitless opportunities for you. Learning about them will help you understand the core benefits of the cloud and identify the services and products that best fit your requirements. 

Well-Architected Framework:

The AWS Well-Architected Framework consists of a set of questions that enable you to understand if a specific architecture aligns well with cloud practices. It provides a consistent approach to examine systems and helps you in executing designs that scale with your application needs.

Following are the five pillars that help you in creating stable and efficient systems:

  • Security

This pillar includes the ability to protect systems, data, and assets. It helps you make use of cloud technologies to improve your security. Security in the cloud consists of seven design principles:

  • Enable traceability
  • Prepare for security events
  • Implement a strong identity foundation
  • Protect data in transit and at rest
  • Apply security at all layers
  • Keep people away from data
  • Automate security best practices

Before architecting any workload, you need to put in practices that impact security. You need to be able to recognize security incidents, maintain the confidentiality of data, and protect your systems and services from any kind of threat. 

  • Reliability

The reliability pillar includes the ability of a workload to perform its functions effectively and consistently. It provides you with an overview of design principles, questions, and best practices. It has five design principles:

  • Stop guessing capacity
  • Managing change in automation
  • Test recovery procedures
  • Automatically recover from failure
  • Scale horizontally to increase aggregate workload availability

To achieve reliability, you need to start with the foundations. Before architecting any workload, make sure to set up the foundational requirements that influence reliability. Neglecting these requirements can have a significant impact on the ability to deliver a reliable system. 

  • Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence includes the ability to support the development and operate workloads effectively. It also helps you to gain insights into your operation and improve supporting processes to deliver business value. The five design principles for operational excellence in the cloud are:

  • Make frequent, small, and reversible changes
  • Anticipate failure
  • Learn from your failures
  • Perform operations as a code
  • Refine operation procedures frequently

You need to understand your business and customer needs in order to improve your business outcomes. Your business context, needs, and priorities keep changing. Therefore it is important to design operations that support these changes. 

  • Performance Efficiency

It includes the ability to use computing resources effectively to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demand and technologies change. Its five design principles are:

  • Go global in minutes
  • Democratize advanced technologies
  • Experiment more often
  • Consider mechanical sympathy
  • Use serverless architectures

Make sure you review your choices on a regular basis to make full use of the continually evolving AWS cloud. Make trade-offs in your architecture to improve performance such as relaxing consistency requirements and using compression or caching. 

  • Cost Optimization

This pillar includes the ability to deliver business value at the lowest price possible. Its five principle designs are:

  • Adopt a consumption model
  • Measure overall efficiency
  • Implement cloud financial management
  • Evaluate and attribute expenditure
  • Stop wasting money on undifferentiated heavy lifting 

The AWS well-architected framework helps you in understanding the pros and cons of decisions you make while building systems on AWS. The process of reviewing architecture is a constructive conversation about architectural designs. Having well-architected systems increases the chances of your business succeeding. 

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services is a subordinate of Amazon that provides a cloud computing platform to help an organization develop. It acts as a building block to create any type of application over the cloud. The best-known advantages offered by AWS are simplified implementation, reliability, security, scalability, and flexibility. The top services provided by AWS are as follows:

  • Simple Storage Device (S3)

Amazon Simple Storage Device (S3) is a high-speed, scalable, web-based cloud storage service. It is created to archive data and applications on Amazon Web Services. Amazon S3 can be used by all organizations, regardless of their size. Due to its availability, scalability, security, and performance ability, it is suitable for a variety of data storage use cases such as data archiving, disaster recovery, data storage, IoT devices, media hosting, mobile applications, application hosting, website hosting, running big data analytics tools on stored data, and software delivery. 

It provides 99.999999999% durability and supports multiple security and compliance certifications. You can also link S3 to other AWS security devices like CloudTrail, CloudWatch, and Macle. It comes in seven storage classics:

  • S3 Standard

It is suitable for frequently accessed data that needs to be delivered with high throughput and low latency. It targets dynamic websites, content distribution, and big data workloads.

  • S3 Standard-IA

It offers a low storage price for data that is not needed much but should be quickly accessible. S3 Standard-IA is used for backups, DR, and long-term data storage

  • S3 Intelligent-Tiering

It is suitable for data with access needs that keep changing. It further has four different access tiers: Infrequent Access, Frequent Access, Archive, and Deep Archive. 

  • S3 One Zone-IA

This type of tier is suitable for data that is infrequently accessed without high resilience or availability needs. 

  • S3 Outposts

It adds APIs to an on-premises AWS environment. It is used when performance needs call for data to satisfy specific data residency requirements.

  • S3 Glacier

It is used only for archival storage because it takes a lot of time to access the data.

  • S3 Glacier Deep Archive

It has the lowest-price option for S3 storage. It retains data that only needs to be accessed once or twice a year. 

  • Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2)

Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) provides resizable compute capacity in the AWS cloud. It allows businesses to run applications on the public cloud. Using the EC2 web interface, you can easily create instances of virtual machines and configure the scaling capacity of instances. You can also build apps to automate scaling according to your needs and peak periods. Its key features are:

  • Secure

Amazon EC2 provides a secure and robust network of resources. You even have the power to control which instances remain private and which ones have internet exposure. 

  • Inexpensive

You only pay for the resources you use. It consists of multiple purchase plans such as on-demand instances, spot instances, reserved instances, and many more. You can choose any of these plans based on your requirement. EC2 offers hourly rates. 

  • Flexible Tools

Amazon EC2 offers a number of tools for developers and network administrators to build failure resilient applications. You can also isolate yourself from common failure situations using these tools. 

  • Reliable

Amazon EC2 provides a highly reliable environment where you can replace instances. Service Level Agreement commitment is 99.9% for each Amazon EC2 region.

  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

Amazon Relational Database allows you to create, run, and manage relational databases in the cloud. This database functions with a relational model. The relational model is a technique of structuring information that uses tables with columns and rows. The top features of Amazon RDS are:

  • Availability

Amazon Relational Database Service allows you to access data anytime, anywhere. It provides high availability through a feature called Multi-AZ deployment. It maintains a redundant copy of your data in a different location. 

  • Scalability

It offers two different types of automatic scaling: Horizontal (adding more machines) and Vertical (adding more resources). It has a load balancer that can distribute requests even when the database is under increased demand. You can also add RDS instances to an instance class that can scale them simultaneously. 

  • Performance

Amazon RDS consists of a Performance Insights dashboard that allows you to analyze and troubleshoot the performance of your relational databases. It enables you to form metrics to get a clearer view of your business. The system provides two different types of storage: General Purpose SSD Storage and Provisioned IOPS Storage. 

  • Price

You only have to pay for what you need. It comes without any minimum fee. If you want to test out the service, you can use the free tier, which offers 750 hours of use with 20 GB of storage.

  • Virtual Private Cloud:

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a foundational AWS service in the compute and network AWS categories. VPC creates an isolated virtual network environment in the cloud for your AWS account. A VPC behaves like a conventional TCP/IP network that can be scaled based on your requirements. It defines your AWS resources needs such as IP addresses, subnets, routing, networking functionality, and security. 

Each Amazon account can host multiple VPCs. Since they are isolated from each other, you can duplicate private subnets among VPCs.

  • Auto Scaling

It is defined as a cloud computing technique that dynamically assigns computational resources. Providing you with recommendations that help you in optimizing your performance, costs, or balance between them. It simplifies scaling. 

AWS Auto Scaling helps you build plans that automate how groups of different resources respond to changes. AWS Auto Scaling monitors your applications to make sure that they are operating at your desired performance levels. It is free to use and allows you to optimize the costs of your AWS environment.

  • Simple Notification Service

Simple notification service (SNS) is a highly scalable, cost-effective, and flexible web service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and send a notification from the cloud. Amazon SNS enables you to group multiple users using topics. The topic here is an access point that sends duplicate copies of the same message to the users. There are two clients of SNS:

  • Subscribers

Web servers, email addresses, SQS queues, and AWS Lambda functions act as subscribers. They receive the notification or message from SNS over one of the supported protocols.

  • Producers

Also known as Publishers, they generate and send the message to the SNS which is a logical access point. 

With more than 100 products and services, you can start building on AWS using the free tier. These free tier offers do not expire and are available to all AWS customers. AWS has been on top for the last eight years, and its market is only growing. If you want to pursue a career in AWS, then it is the right time to enroll yourself in an AWS certification training program. 

Well-Architected Framework: 29 Bytes
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