For most businesses, cloud migration can be a massive boon. According to Forbes, 74% of CFOs say that cloud migration had the single most measurable impact on their business, and Analytics Week shows that 67% of enterprise infrastructure will be on the cloud by 2020. Making the switch to cloud services is mission-critical for companies looking to tap into the full potential of their data and maintain a high availability and reduced server stress.
Today, we’re going to look at why Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a superior cloud option for businesses looking to take advantage of cloud migration.
Why the Cloud?
Making the switch from traditional servers to cloud services may seem daunting at first. But, relying on physical infrastructure to maintain your IT ecosystem can be expensive, time-consuming, and susceptible to failures. First, physical servers need to be purchased en masse, since you will need significantly more server space than you consume daily for high-traffic events. Second, you have to hire IT professionals to maintain the servers. Third, your physical servers may “go-down” under pressure, and you’re left with one (or a few) fail points.
With the cloud, you can rapidly scale your servers, avoid significant IT spend, and ensure that you have significantly reduced failure rates. There’s a reason that 96% of IT professionals use cloud services at their place-of-business. They are cost-effective, scalable, and ultimately a superior option to physical servers.
Switching to the cloud is necessary. Switching to AWS is smart. Most businesses will use either Microsoft (Azure), AWS, or Google. While all of these are fantastic options, we tend to recommend AWS to the majority of our clients. AWS has the lion’s share of cloud usage for a reason; it’s the easy-to-use, rapidly scalable, and it has a robust app pipeline available. Let’s dive into 5 unique features that make AWS our top choice.
Availability Zones and Regions Reduce Server Latency
AWS’s cloud architecture is designed to reduce latency and remove single point-of-failure frames. To do this, AWS utilizes availability zones and regions. An AWS Region is a set of availability zones that is mapped to a physical geographic location. So, each region contains a set of availability zones. Each region is also completely independent and has isolated workloads. This means that each region uses its own power supply, water supply, unique resources, etc. In doing this, AWS ensures that data never leaves a particular region, ensuring compliance and data safety within a geographically contained area.
AWS Availability Zones are data centers within a region — a.k.a the servers. To be clear, AWS Availability Zones are often comprised of multiple data centers (up to 5), but no two Availability Zones share the same data center. So, this means that latency is reduced, and there are multiple points-of-failure to ensure that your cloud architecture rarely crashes (99.95% uptime guaranteed.)
The AWS server map looks something like this.
Region > Availability Zone > Data Centers > Servers
Elastic Load Balancing & Autoscaling Provide Reliability and Scale
A common problem for cloud services during the initial cloud “boom” was dealing with server capacity across multiple instances. So, if you ran an eCommerce store and you had peak hours at 5:00 p.m., the cloud service may try to bottle all of that traffic into a single instance, resulting in latency and lag for all users.
To circumvent this issue, AWS uses elastic load balancer. The AWS elastic load balancer distributed traffic evenly across multiple instances, performing health checks at the same time. This means that during peak hours, all of your traffic will be split evenly across all of your cloud instances, resulting in significantly reduced stress on a single EC2 (or server instance.)
Of course, another issue causing server latency was scale. For many businesses, the question of scale is directly related to ROI. For example, an eCommerce store preparing for Black Friday traffic using traditional servers will have to make an up-front purchase of servers. But, after Black Friday ends, the store is left with servers they don’t need for typical traffic. Server scaling has always been an expensive and painful process. AWS removes those pain points. With autoscaling, AWS will automatically scale your servers up and down with traffic and only charge you for the server capacity that you use. So, instead of purchasing all of those servers that you only need for one day, AWS will scale your servers up and only charge you for that one day worth of increased server capacity.
RDS Multi-Az Shields You From Server Failures
With 99.5% uptime on your server load is fantastic, but some companies (especially enterprise-level) need fail-safes to ensure that their service goes uninterrupted. AWS also offers Multi-AZ or Multi-Availability-Zones. This works by making a copy of your entire database and sending it to a separate availability zone. So, if the Availability Zone hosting your server fails or you need minimized latency during system maintenance, your services will automatically be transferred to the copied database and services will resume on another availability zone.
Amazon RDS or Relational Database Services is a service that allows rapid international scaling and operations. So, if your an enterprise and you need global server loads, RDS makes this easy, fluid, and scalable by utilizing services like Multi-AZ to transfer loads between multiple regions rapidly.
Aurora Cuts Costs and Complexity
Many businesses use a blend of MySQL technology. This includes Java-based web apps, Linux services, and Apache services. These MySQL services require a specialized cloud service to run at optimal speed and reduced cost. Amazon Aurora costs about 1/10 of other Amazon instances (EC2, etc.) and hosts all MySQL apps.
This means that businesses running MySQL-based apps receive the benefits of the open source nature of MySQL and the reduced costs associated with that. Using RDS, Amazon scales Aurora databases across multiple availability zones, and stores all data in 10GB chunks. This means that you receive superior speed without the need for complex architecture.
Cloudfront CDN Supercharges Your Server Speeds
Sending data, videos, and applications to users at speed is mission-critical for businesses that want to remain competitive in the data-driven world. In fact, research shows that 79% of customers will never return to a website if they experience loading issues.
To combat this, AWS released Cloudfront CDN, which is a content delivery network for apps, videos, and data. Cloudfront works alongside all other AWS services (like elastic load balancer) and delivers content at rapid speeds with reduced latency, ensuring that your customers receive their videos and applications quickly.
s3 for Statistic Assets Unlocks The Power of Your Data
Servers aren’t just for your customers; data storage is a crucial part of choosing the right cloud environment. All of those rich statistics, behavioral data points, and app information need to remain intact and safe from deletion. AWS S3 stores all of that data in a highly-configurable environment that has 99.999999999% durability.
With unique features like elastic load balancing, Cloudfront CDN, and s3, AWS has the ability to deliver a consistently fast and scalable experience. Aurora gives businesses options for their MySQL data, while RDS, Multi-AZ, and the region/AZ architecture ensure that your servers have reduced downtime and rapidly deployable resources.
Between all of these features (and plenty more) AWS our favorite cloud solution on the market for growth-stage, small, medium, and enterprise-sized businesses
Are you ready to make the switch to the cloud?
To learn more about AWS or to find out how AWS can reduce your costs and server failure rates, contact us.