Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the leader in Cloud Services – has data centers all over the world, and more features within those services than any other cloud provider globally (1957 new features were released only in 2018), innovating in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Serverless Computing.
Amazon Web Services emerged 17 years ago to help developers practicing DevOps to rapidly and safely deliver software. We never forget our first encounter.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Amazon reported $7.43 billion in revenue from its cloud-computing business, up 45.3% from the same period a year earlier. For the full 2018 year, AWS brought in $25.7 billion, a 47% jump on the 2017 year.
Major enterprises such as Netflix, Instagram, Unilever, BMW and many more use AWS to run their applications.
Bottom line: no one ever imagined the way AWS would change the internet and our lives.
Why Use AWS?
AWS makes everybody’s life easier: developers, data scientists, business people, IT Operations Managers and many more. AWS allows you to get started on the right foundation, develop more efficiently and deploy faster to deliver more value to your customers.
AWS benefits at a glance:
- Easy to create resources
- Provides speed and agility
- Scalable and high-performance
Some of the Most Useful Services
Based on my experience and the conversations I had with clients and colleagues recently, these are the common challenges and AWS services that can help:
Challenge #1: What’s the best way to start creating a modern app for a team without DevOps engineers available?
Mobile applications require cloud services for actions that can’t be done directly on the device, such as offline data synchronization, storage, or data sharing across multiple users. AWS Amplify provisions and manages backends for your mobile applications. Amplify also automates the application release process of both your front-end and back-end allowing you to deliver features faster.
Challenge #2: Limited number of environments lowers productivity and morale
Solution: CloudFormation and Service Catalog
If you’re looking for a way to automate cloud deployments to gain more efficiency and reduce human error, CloudFormation is one of your options. This service enables you to deploy things like virtual machines, networks, databases, storage, users, permissions, custom applications, and security appliances on the AWS cloud platform using infrastructure as code.
AWS Service Catalog allows organizations to centrally manage commonly deployed IT services, and helps organizations achieve consistent governance and meet compliance requirements. End users can quickly deploy only the approved IT services they need, following the constraints set by your organization.
Challenge #3: Lack of CI/CD lowers productivity and velocity
Solution: CodePipeline and other Code* services
Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) help teams to be more productive when shipping software with quality built in: they can make discrete changes frequently, release those changes programmatically and deliver updates without disruption. You can build a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CodePipeline. This service automates the steps required to release your software changes continuously, enabling you to rapidly and reliably deliver features and updates.
Challenge #4: GDPR and reinventing the wheel
Since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across the European Union on 25 May 2018, AWS has offered services and resources to help customers comply with the requirements that may apply to their activities.
Cognito is a user directory, letting you easily add user sign-up and authentication to your mobile and web apps. Amazon Cognito also enables you to authenticate users through an external identity provider and provides temporary security credentials to access your app’s backend resources in AWS or any service behind Amazon API Gateway. Amazon Cognito works with external identity providers that support SAML or OpenID Connect, social identity providers (such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon) and you can also integrate your own identity provider.
There are many other Amazon Web Services that allow enterprises, start-ups, small and medium sized businesses to respond quickly to changing business requirements.
Resources to Start or Advance Your AWS Journey
AWS is a powerful toolkit designed to showcase the value of time well spend when coding.
For those of you who are passionate about AWS and interested in developing the set of skills in order to become a Cloud Developer, I have put together a collection of useful resources to help you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re someone who’s just getting initiated or who’s keen on leveling up, here is what I’m proposing:
1. Downloadable presentations & video recordings of AWS events I hosted that you can watch and replay at any time:
2. A series of AWS tech articles in which I share practical tips that you can apply into your own projects:
3. For a well-rounded AWS training, I personally recommend the following materials:
For the Romanian speakers who are interested in AWS and how to focus on code, here’s the replay of my PentaBAR on this subject.
AWS Mentoring as Part of Pentalog’s Continuous Learning Commitment
For all our colleagues interested in Cloud technologies, we at Pentalog have started a program addressing this topic. To date, there are already over 25 colleagues and counting enrolled in the AWS Cloud Mentoring Program where we share best practices and spread the knowledge about DevOps.
Our objective is to mentor our colleagues, help them get AWS certified, and start their cloud journey.
Some will join our new Customer DevOps service (our cloud center of excellence) that is focused on helping clients, teams and individuals have a better understanding and usage of DevOps practices and services while providing high quality Cloud-based solutions.
Using a dedicated DevOps culture, Agile methodology and results-driven leadership, Pentalog’s Customer DevOps Service provides a full lifecycle approach and a cultural change in IT focusing on providing solutions faster, more often, more reliably, and aligned with business requirements.
The team is comprised of senior DevOps Engineers and Cloud Solution Architects that ensure thorough vision and architecture are planned and delivered to our customers.
Feeling inspired? Join our growing team in Pentalog as a DevOps Engineer, AWS Developer or Cloud Specialist.