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5 Tips to Get Started with AWS


AWS is fantastic for scaling up fast, but it can also be challenging to get started with. It’s a broad set of services with access points that are not always intuitive. Even though you may know how to use EC2 or S3 and understand what they do, how do you actually get started? This post shares some best practices that we use at Heroku every day to get started with AWS faster and more effectively. These tips will help you become more productive when using AWS services such as EC2, S3, Lambda, and many others. Read on to learn how to easily start working with AWS services so you can focus on building great applications instead of spending time learning APIs and user interfaces.


Create a basic deployment pipeline with Cloud Formation

Cloud Formation is a service that helps you manage the complex and often tedious aspects of configuring and managing infrastructure. Using a simple JSON template, you can create multiple clusters and environments in Amazon Web Services for your application (such as dev, staging, and production). Cloud Formation also allows you to create a “deployment pipeline”, where new changes to your application are applied to the Dev cluster first and then automatically promoted to the Staging and Production clusters after a configurable amount of time. If you’re used to Heroku’s “spend less time on ops and more time on app” philosophy, Cloud Formation will feel like home. On Heroku, you can create an application, install an add-on, and be up and running in a few clicks. With Cloud Formation, you can use a simple JSON template to create a cluster of servers, attach an Amazon S3 bucket, and configure a load balancer. You can then use the AWS console or API to create user accounts, configure security groups, and attach the Elastic IP address to the load balancer.


Leverage the Heroku command-line tool

The Heroku CLI is a Ruby command-line tool that can do everything from managing app dependencies to executing commands across multiple apps to configuring your Heroku account. When starting to use AWS, the Heroku CLI can help you create and manage AWS resources, configure Amazon S3 buckets, and easily create Cloud Formation stacks. The CLI’s functionality is context-aware, so it only performs tasks applicable to the current app, S3 bucket, or stack. For example, when managing EC2 instances with the Heroku CLI, the create-instances command only enables you to create instances that are managed by AWS Autoscaling, whereas the create-standalone-instances command enables you to create standalone instances. Although the Heroku CLI can be used to execute any AWS API call, it does have some limitations. Some AWS services that have complex authentication methods, such as Amazon S3’s new endpoints for Object Storage, are not well supported by the CLI. In those cases, you can use the CLI to create a command that uses the REST API to authenticate and call these services.


Be diligent about tracking costs

AWS services are almost all pay-as-you-go. Even though many services are free to use, you still need to track costs diligently to avoid surprise bills from AWS. AWS services support a wide variety of cost tracking tools, but AWS provides detailed usage reports with the services themselves. The usage reports provide a summary of the service’s bill and the estimated cost for the next month. These estimated costs are not very accurate, so be sure to use a third-party service or manually track costs in a spreadsheet. When manually tracking costs, consider using different AWS accounts for different projects so that you can see all of the costs in one place. AWS has a free tier that gives you a certain amount of usage each month. When you exceed your free tier, AWS will show you a bill and charge you accordingly. At the end of the month, be sure to check the usage reports to see what the charges were and record that amount in your spreadsheet.


Use a language runtime and development environment you’re used to

When starting out with AWS, it’s tempting to try out a service that you’ve heard great things about but have never used before. While this is fine to try new things, as a general rule it’s better to use services that you’re already familiar with. For example, when starting out with Amazon S3, it’s better to use the same tools and workflows that you’ve been using with a different user name. That way, you can focus on learning and using S3 instead of learning a new tool and workflows. When using AWS services, be sure to choose a language runtime and development environment that you’re comfortable with. This will help you focus on the task at hand instead of struggling with the syntax of an unfamiliar tool.


Track AWS resource usage and growth over time

One of the most important best practices for working with AWS is tracking usage and growth over time. AWS bills based on actual usage, so it’s important to track resource usage and growth over time to ensure bill accuracy. AWS provides detailed usage reports for the services themselves, but it’s up to you to track usage across AWS accounts, services, and regions. This can be done manually or with a third-party tool, such as Cloudability or Cloud auditing and cost management are essential for any company that uses AWS, regardless of size. These tools help you track usage and growth over time across multiple AWS accounts, services, and regions. This information can be used to predict future costs, understand which AWS services are used by which teams, and monitor which services are growing in usage.


Summing up

AWS is a fantastic tool for any company or individual looking to scale quickly. However, it can be challenging to get started with AWS since it's a broad set of services with access points that are not always intuitive. This post shares some best practices that Heroku engineers use every day to get started with AWS faster and more effectively. These tips will help you become more productive when using AWS services such as EC2, S3, Lambda, and many others. When starting out with AWS, it's important to create a basic deployment pipeline with Cloud Formation, leverage the Heroku command-line tool, be diligent about tracking costs, use a language runtime and development environment you're used to, and track AWS resource usage and growth over time. These tips will help you become more productive when using AWS services so you can focus on building great applications instead of spending time learning APIs and user interfaces.



Amazon Web Services (AWS) Explain completely





Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud platform offered by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN), has become a giant component of the e-commerce giant's business portfolio, accounting for about 13% of Amazon's total revenue as of Q2 2021, and is the primary profit driver for Amazon.

What Is AWS Exactly?

  • AWS is made up of many different cloud computing products and services.
  • The highly profitable division of Amazon provides servers, storage, networking, remote computing, email, mobile development, and security. AWS has over a third of the market at 32.4%, with Azure behind at 20%, and Google Cloud at 9%.

Cost Savings

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is trying to move companies away from physical computing technology and onto the cloud.
  • There's no upfront cost to build a storage system and no need to estimate usage. AWS customers use what they need and their prices are scaled automatically and accordingly.

Scalable and Adaptable

  • Since AWS's cost is modified based on the customer's usage, start-ups and small businesses can see the apparent benefits of using Amazon for their computing needs
  • AWS is great for building a business from the bottom up
  • For existing companies, Amazon provides low-cost migration services so that your existing infrastructure can be seamlessly moved over to AWS

Security and Reliability

  • Amazon Web Services is much more secure than a company hosting its own website or storage
  • It has dozens of data centers across the globe that are continuously monitored and strictly maintained
  • The diversification of the data centers ensures that a disaster striking one region doesn't cause permanent data loss worldwide

Criticism of AWS

  • Critics say Amazon is abusing its control of the market share by engaging in anticompetitive behavior
  • Open-source database makers claim Amazon is copying and integrating software that was originally created by other tech companies
  • Elastic has filed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging that Amazon is violating trademark laws

Bottom Line

  • Amazon Web Services is a cash cow for Amazon