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Amazon Web Services: A Beginner Friendly Overview

Akshay Sharma Hacker Noon profile picture

@akshaysharmaAkshay Sharma

At Postman, I work as a Software Engineer. I enjoy cooking, traveling, watching Netflix while I’m not at work.

As a web developer, I’ve had a lot of experience with Amazon Web Services. But I never had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate its goods or gain a thorough understanding of AWS capabilities. The following guide will provide you a quick overview of AWS products.


Internally, the initial version of Amazon Web Services was out in 2002. Amazon began transferring its retail services to the internal cloud in 2003. By the end of 2010, Amazon had completed the transfer of all of its services.

Computing, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, and IoT are among the 165 services available today. The services are continuously growing.


AWS spans across 22 geographical areas throughout the globe. In the infrastructure-providing competitors, AWS has a 48 percent market share. These geographical regions are isolated from one another.

There are two or more availability zones in an AWS region. One or more data centers that are physically separated and segregated from other availability zones make up an availability zone.

A worldwide low-latency, private network links the geographical areas and availability zones together. If something goes wrong in one AWS region, it will not impact other region’s resources.

Services Overview

AWS services are available on a global or regional basis. The services are either administered at a single location, globally throughout the world, or in many geographical zones.

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), for example, is a worldwide service. Users are created and managed in one location rather than in several regions, although deployments of virtual servers happen in different areas like Mumbai or North Virginia.

A user has complete freedom to deploy his resources in any part of the planet.

Compared to localized services, global services are limited; the following lists few global services.

  1. AWS IAM
  2. Amazon S3
  3. AWS Direct Connect
  4. Amazon Route 53
  5. Amazon CloudFront
  6. AWS WAF & Shield

Example of global and regional services,


Assume we have two offices, one in San Francisco and the other in Banglore. Andrew is the administrator of EC2 resources in the us-east-1 region. Since he has a single user account, he can log in using IAM.

If Andrew transfers to the Banglore office, he will continue to log in with IAM and access the EU-west-1 EC2 instance. Each of these instances also can share a global storage system, such as Amazon S3 or Amazon RDS.

Pricing Overview

There are three fundamentals for AWS pricing

  1. Compute:
    Pay as you go means you only pay for the time of processing that the services provide. Amazon EC2, Amazon ECS, Amazon RDS, Amazon EMR, and AWS Lambda are examples of AWS compute.
  2. Storage:
    pay for the amount of the data you put on AWS. Example of storage are Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Glacier, Amazon EBS, Amazon EFS
  3. Data Outbound:
    If you wish to recover data from AWS storage, you’ll have to pay a fee. If you wish to pull data via AWS S3 to any service, for example. You will not have to spend on data that flows between availability zones.
    Outbound data transmission is tallied across services and charged at the rate for outbound data transmission.
    a) On-demand — No long-term commitments or upfront payments, suppose you launch an EC2 instance, you pay as you use.
    b) Dedicated Instances — Normally EC2 runs on hardware that is shared among a number of other AWS customers. In some cases, you want to run your instance on dedicated hardware. This is expensive.
    c) Spot Instances — AWS sometimes has spare capacity trying to encourage people to use it at a very low cost but it has no commitments. The disadvantage of this is your instances may get shut down.
    d) Reservations — You can commit to certain terms say for 1 or 3 years with a discount. Here you can pay monthly costs, or partial upfront or completely upfront.


AWS delivers quick-to-assemble building pieces that can accommodate any demand. AWS offers a comprehensive range of highly available services designed to work together to help you create scalable applications.

Out of many services, we will be talking about few Important services in the blogs ahead. AWS Compute, AWS Storage, Networking, Databases, Load balancers, Auto Scaling, and so on.

Stay tuned!

Also published at: https://towardsaws.com/guide-to-amazon-web-services-9ef3aa7b5d47

Akshay Sharma Hacker Noon profile picture
by Akshay Sharma @akshaysharma. At Postman, I work as a Software Engineer. I enjoy cooking, traveling, watching Netflix while I’m not at work.Read my stories


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