AWS is a cloud infrastructure provider, among other things, that can help your business grow and scale in the cloud without the huge capital expenditures, growing pains, development and engineering costs. AWS can be utilised by any business that has applications or website on the internet. Whether it be a public facing website, an e-commerce platform or a private intranet application, they can all be deployed onto AWS to leverage the benefits of the cloud.
We are hoping that we can share some of the knowledge with SMB owners so to better understand how they can leverage cloud technologies and how that helps their business. We focus primarily on AWS, so this blog series will be using terminology based on the AWS services, but these services have competing products in Azure, GCE, Rackspace, etc. and so everything can be replicated on either provider, though we highly recommend AWS, the industry leader in cloud services.
We want to start with a concept of architecture. This concept is new to most small/medium business owners, and I specifically mean small and medium businesses, who either run their own servers locally or in a data center provided by a third party, or a VPS. These servers are setup with their respective services and a single server does a job, or multiple jobs. Why do you put everything on a single server? Should you? Now, you may decide that the added expense of having redundancies might not be worth it, especially for non-critical business services. If you have client facing websites or services, and rely on these to provide a service then you should absolutely be architecting these with fault tolerance in mind.
There are so many benefits to getting away from this old methodology to how your business servers are architected. Most of the time, these features aren’t known about, or the misconception that it’s too expensive or too hard to implement. With modern day technologies and automation, creating this sort of architecture is easy enough to do, and makes it affordable to small businesses, especially when you combine this with AWS Free Tier. You can run and operate a completely robust, redundant and scalable web application for less than half the price of a dedicated server.
Some of the benefits include:
Is usually an excuse I hear often as to why they hadn’t investigated highly available options in the past. With Spot Instances, you are able to rent unused infrastructure from AWS at a fraction of the price. Using these instances in an autoscaling group is an effective way to be able to respond to increases in traffic without blowing the budget.
Disaster recovery & backup
Disaster recovery & backup options become infinitely more affordable, easier to implement and action due to the benefits of the cloud. There are many different techniques and processes that you can put in place to get the most from your DR and backup processes. There is no, one size fits all for DR and backup, and it really depends on a few different aspects as to which solution will work best for you. 33Technologies is more than happy to assist you with this, if this is something that you would like to investigate or at the very least, to start planning.
Redundancy is one of the best features of cloud and well architected services. It allows your application to tollerate a failure of an entire server and still maintain application integrity and uptime. The more redundancy the better, but some is better than none. Most of the time infrastructure ‘self heals’ in case of failure. As long as you are utilising all of the availability zones in your region, then you can rest assured that your application is not reliant on a single server or service.
Auto scaling allows your application to scale horizontally, it effectively allows you to increase the amount of traffic that your application can serve, reactively based on the load. This services spins up new servers, adds them into the load balancer and then handles the removal of the server from the load balancer and deletes the server so you aren’t being charged any more. This in conjunction with Spot Instances can provide an extremely cost effective scaling policy.
Security is always a concern for everyone, and AWS has also provided amazing tools for protecting yourself against attacks. Having secure infrastructure is easy to do, and there are hundreds of best practice processes that are recommended by AWS, that if followed will allow you to utilise everything cloud has to offer whilst maintaining high security standards.
Amazon Web Services provides a lot of tools that can help a business of any size to reap the benefits of the cloud without the huge costs involved of deploying your own ‘cloud’. We have consultants here at 33Technologies that help businesses of all sizes to tailor their cloud experience, so that they can get the absolute most from it. Our customers are seeing huge reductions in their capital expenses, and trading them for more manageable operational expenses. These op-ex are scaling based on the demand and requirements of their services, so they aren’t paying for unnecessary compute or storage resources.
We will be continuing on this series about AWS under this same category. If you’d like to read more, please continue to our Blog to find more about how AWS can benefit your business. Or if you’d like, reach out to us and schedule a free consultation to see how AWS can benefit your business.