Since 2006, Amazon has been offering Amazon Web Services, AWS for short. Since then, AWS has become the leader in the area of cloud computing. The high profit has also made AWS one of Amazon's most important offerings, which is why the company is very interested in constantly adding new services to the cloud and improving existing ones. With low prices and an hourly billing Amazon has put the competition under pressure. Clients include large IT companies such as Spotify, Netflix and Ubisoft. Now AWS offers over 90 different services, divided into 20 categories.

Amazon Web Services provide users with services such as network infrastructure, storage, or processing power that are easily accessible 365 days a year over the Internet. Any online user is using cloud services in one way or another. Whether you're checking emails or watching a movie on Netflix, in most cases you're using a cloud service. Many companies are already using data storage in the cloud to facilitate their employees' access.

What are the advantages of using AWS?

One of the biggest benefits of using Amazon Web Services is the potential cost reduction. When AWS handles most of your IT, it can save you not only staffing costs but also hardware costs. In addition, you will be billed monthly for AWS services (based on your exact hourly usage), which is significantly cheaper than purchasing and maintaining your own hardware. You do not need your own maintenance specialists for the hardware, because they are provided by Amazon Web Services. Not only does Amazon provide regular updates of the technology behind AWS, but it also takes care of protection against possible outages and attacks.

Why you should switch to AWS as an online store owner

AWS offers the advantage of high flexibility compared to classic shared hosting. Shared hosting is the least expensive method of sharing a server and its resources with several other users. In doing so, the hosting provider determines for himself which hardware is in the computer and how much resources are allocated to you, as a customer you have no influence on it.

Another option of classic hosting is "dedicated hosting". The customer rents directly a vServer (more precisely an EC2 instance) in one of the many global computer centers of Amazon, whose resources he does not have to share with other users. However, in this case, the shop owner himself is responsible for maintaining and securing the server, which can quickly become a major challenge without professional help.

Amazon Web Services gives you total control over the vServer you rent (in the form of an EC2 instance). So it is possible to expand your shop or your website with appropriate software for larger visitor capacities in order to cope even with the largest number of visitors. Amazon has a worldwide infrastructure, so no visitor to your site will experience long load times when using Amazon's own CDN (Content Delivery Network) CloudFlare. While traditional hosting providers are mostly limited in their tools, Amazon Web Services offers many different services that are not limited to web hosting alone. Therefore, with AWS you are always on the safe side as your business grows or changes. So you can avoid changing to another provider, if you need more than just web hosting, because AWS has everything under one roof.

Especially in terms of security and accessibility, AWS clearly stands above traditional providers. Many of these providers are aimed primarily at smaller or private customers, where it is not so bad if the service fails once and is unreachable. However, since Amazon Web Services is aimed at professional companies, it is very important to ensure constant accessibility and security. So AWS comes with a built-in firewall and an excellent backup and recovery service. Hardware and data recovery is many times faster and more reliable than with other providers. Advanced backup services for static customer data of all kinds are also available to Amazon Web Services customers: Amazon S3 and Glacier. Amazon Web Services promises a longevity and resiliency of at least 99.99% to 99.999999999% of the data. Many AWS database services even have automatic backup capabilities.

Amazon EC2 vServer

With AWS vServer EC2, short for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, the user gets full control over the virtual server machine, including root access. There are many different hardware configurations in terms of CPU, RAM, storage space and network configuration. Many large companies use this AWS service, including Siemens and Nordstrom, because they not only value accessibility, but also need a website capable of handling heavy traffic. Operating multiple EC2 instances in two data centers is also an option here. EC2 instances provide an extensive list of tools for professional online shop owners. Customers can then freely decide which software and protection mechanisms should be used on the system.

One of the biggest strengths of EC2 is the ability to add or remove resources in conjunction with a load balancer and auto-scaling - this is done automatically after appropriate configuration by a professional administrator in the backend of the cloud settings. In order for settings to be made only by the respective authorized administrators, users can be provided with corresponding rights. There are pre-defined user groups for this, but new ones can be added as well. In addition, AWS provides multifactor authentication, which is available both as a hardware and a software variant.

Furthermore, there is the option to use preset operating system templates, so-called AMIs (Amazon Machine Image). An AMI is used to install an already proven software environment within an EC2 instance.

All EC2 instances can be rented on an hourly basis. This is especially advantageous if the number of visitors changes greatly. For example, auto-scaling can be used to connect additional EC2 instances at high capacity times in order to automatically release them later. You will not be bound by long-term contracts and there are no costs in advance. You only pay for the capacities you actually use.

Conclusion

The Amazon Web Services are basically interesting for anyone who wants to run a professional online store or a much visited website. It does not matter if you have IT skills or not - we at Storepace take care of all the settings and the complete maintenance of your IT environment in the cloud without a long contract commitment. Adding other AWS-Services is also not an issue. If you want to make sure your store or website has high availability, then AWS and Storepace are in the right place.