What is AWS and how can it help a web developer?

October 30,2020 - 5 min read
What is AWS and how can it help a web developer?

Amazon web services (AWS) is a cloud services platform which offers a range of functionalities that help businesses scale and grow. We are going to talk about AWS in detail, its features, use-cases etc. in this blog.

We are also going to discuss how AWS helps web developers achieve their goal. For those who don’t know, web developers are responsible for developing websites or web applications. There are different kinds of web developers like front end, back end and full stack developers. You can read about web development in this blog.

Apart from web development, there is another field in which AWS proves to be useful and that is web application development. You can read about web application in this blog.

Let’s begin our journey in understanding what AWS is and how it can help a developer by first comprehending the concept of AWS.

What is AWS?

According to the official website, AWS is the most comprehensively and broadly adopted cloud platform. It is clear from the definition that in order to understand AWS, we need to first understand cloud services. Hence, we would first study about the technology of cloud and then graduate to understanding AWS.

Earlier, businesses used to store their data on servers that they purchased. These servers had limited functionalities and organisations had to pay a huge price. Another disadvantage of servers back then was that if the business is projected to grow, it is ought to buy new severs in order to fulfil the growing demand. Cloud providers solve these problems to a huge extent. They provide various workloads, increased storage options, and enhanced security measures.

Now that we have garnered a basic overview on cloud service, let’s jump back to our main topic i.e. AWS. AWS is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. AWS allows you to run web and application servers in the cloud to host dynamic websites, store all your files securely on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere, use managed databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle or SQL Server to store information, deliver static and dynamic files quickly around the world using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), send bulk email to your customers and lots of other interesting functionalities. We would now look at the different AWS services, terminologies etc. Once we have the basic overview of the technicalities of AWS and understand what is AWS, we would then read about how AWS can help a web developer.

Before moving ahead, we would comprehend the meaning of the basic terminologies one could come across when talking about AWS. The first one in our list is Region. A region is simply a geographical area. Each region consists of two or more than two availability zones. Before you get confused, be clear that an availability zone is just a data centre. Another term is Edge location, they are basically content delivery network endpoints for CloudFront.

  • Let us discuss some of the AWS services. One of the most popular is EC2 which actually stands for Elastic Compute Cloud. EC2 are virtual machines in the cloud which you can rent on your computer. That means the user has the OS level control on these virtual machines. Another of the same league is LightSail. LightSail automatically deploys and manages compute, storage and networking capabilities that are required to run your applications. LightSail is the best especially if you are a beginner and have no experience with AWS. There are a lot of other technologies related to AWS like the ECS which stands for Elastic Container Service. It is basically a scalable container service that allows you to run Docker containers in the cloud. Other AWS technologies include EKS (Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes), Lambda etc.
  • When we talk about cloud technology, the pertinent question is about storage. The different types of storage options available are S3, EFS, Glacier. If you are boggled by the acronyms, we have tried to simplify it for you. S3 stands for Simple Storage Service. —It is a storage service of AWS in which objects can be stored like files, folders, images, documents, songs, etc. EFS, on the other hand, stands for Elastic File System. EFS Provides file storage for use with your EC2 instances. It uses the NFSv4 protocol. There are other storage options like Glacier and Storage Gateway.
  • The next important thing in websites are web applications ae databases. The different type of databases is RDS, DynamoDB, Neptune etc. RDS which stands for Relational Database Service allows you to run relational databases like MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle or SQL Server. Another type of database is DynamoDB which is a highly scalable, high-performance NoSQL database. Next popular database supported by AWS is Neptune which has been launched recently. Neptune is a fast, reliable and scalable graph database service.
  • I hope you have got a fair idea of AWS and its basic features. Before we jump to the role of AWS in web development, we would have a look at benefits of using AWS.

Advantages of AWS

  1. Easy to use

    AWS allows application providers, ISVs, and vendors to quickly and securely host applications of all kinds be it an existing application or a new SaaS-based application. The AWS Management Console or well-documented web services APIs could be used to access the Amazon Web Server’s application hosting platform.

  2. Flexible

    AWS is quite flexible as it enables the user to choose the operating system, programming language, web application platform, database, and other services of its own choice. AWS gives you a virtual environment that lets you load various software and services your application requires. The flexibility that AWS provides, eases the migration process for existing applications while giving options for building new solutions.

  3. Cost-Effective

    We discussed earlier that cloud services are much cheaper than the serves that were used earlier. With AWS, the user only pays only for the computing power, storage, and other resources that it uses. There are no long term contracts or up-front commitments in AWS.

  4. Reliable

    AWS is one of the most reliable computing infrastructures out there. Its reliability cannot be questioned because it supports the Amazon.com’s multi-billion dollar online business that has been honed for over a decade. AWS is a global player leading the cloud computing services when it comes to scalability, reliability and security.

  5. Scalable and high-performance

    Your application can scale up or down based on demand using AWS tools, Auto Scaling, and Elastic Load Balancing. AWS is backed by Amazon’s massive infrastructure; users have the access to compute and storage resources when you need them.

  6. Secure

    AWS is highly secure as it utilizes an end-to-end approach to secure and harden our infrastructure, including physical, operational, and software measures.

    >Now that we have understood AWS in the most comprehensive yet brief manner, let’s jump to our next topic i.e. how Amazon web services can help a web developer. We would begin by understanding what is web development, who is a web developer and how Amazon web services can help a web developer.

What is web development?

Web development is the process of building a website. The end result of a web development process is a full fledged website. The advent of web development began with a collection of static web pages which have now advanced to interactive websites that are capable of storing, manipulating and accessing user data.

Who is a Web Developer?

A web developer is a professional who is responsible for building a website or is responsible for building a part of a website. There are different types of web developers and each have their own role and responsibility in the team of web developers. There are front end, back end and sull stack developers. A front end developer ensures that the user has a smooth experience whereas back end developers are responsible for all the functionalities of the website that is hidden from the user. Web developers integrate all the different elements of a website and create an interface so that the users can easily can interact with the website and provide it with all required functionalities.

How can AWS help Web Developers?

You have understood the theory of web development and the typical roles of web developers. AWS helps web developers simply in hosting websites. Web developers can Host static websites using AWS Amplify in the AWS console. Developers can Set up continuous deployment, Amplify offers a Git-based workflow with continuous deployment, allowing developers to automatically deploy updates to your site on every code commit. Along with static websites, web developers can also build, deploy and host WordPress websites. Apart from websites, web applications can also be built. The demand for web application developers is growing day by day. With AWS, developers can also launch and run Node.js applications. Along with that, developer can also build applications using full-fledged stacks like MERN, MEAN and LAMP stacks. Amazon web services are of a great help to web developers. Emerging developers, growing businesses and even established organisations can avail benefits of Amazon web services.

We have covered the concept of AWS, its definition, its meaning, basic concepts and its advantages. We then understood how AWS can be helpful to web developers. However, if you feel we missed something important, you can reach out to us because we would be happy to have a fruitful discussion. Also, you can clarify doubts If you have any!

Also, if you really want to work with AWS, you have to first develop a website. Web development is one of the most lucrative careers out there! If you go on to make interactive, dynamic websites and host it on AWS, you can make a very good career and name for yourself. In order to pave your way as a professional web developer then you require technical training of top-notch quality.

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