AWS For Admins For Dummies
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Remember that you have only 12 months of your free trial in which to make decisions about which AWS (Amazon Web Services) services to use in your business. Twelve months may seem like a lot of time, but you'll find that it evaporates before your eyes as you try to juggle your day-to-day responsibilities, meetings, and other needs.

In short, making a good decision on what to try during the limited time you have is essential. You may ultimately decide that AWS won't meet your needs at all (as unlikely as that might seem, given all that AWS has to offer).

Focusing on the important issues during the trial period is the key to making AWS work for you. When thinking about AWS, you must consider these issues:

  • Cost: Determine whether AWS will perform the task for less money.
  • Speed: Decide whether the speed penalty of using the cloud outweighs the benefits.
  • Reliability: Ascertain the risk of using the cloud versus keeping the task in-house (the cloud may actually prove more reliable).
  • Security: Define the security requirements for your application and then decide whether the risk of using the cloud is acceptable.
  • Privacy: Specify the application's privacy requirements (especially the legal ones). Enduring a privacy breach when the data is housed on someone else's system can prove hard to manage and cause permanent damage to a company's reputation.
  • Flexibility: Consider whether the use of a cloud service will reduce flexibility to the point at which the application becomes unmanageable. In most cases, relying on the cloud reduces flexibility because the host reserves some configuration opportunities for in-house use only.
After you determine that using AWS poses acceptable risks and provides benefits to offset any negatives, you need to determine precisely which services to use. You may find that you can't support some services because of legal or speed requirements, even if you have a cost incentive for using those services. Work through the services one at a time before you begin experimenting; doing so will save time that you can use to better test the services that will meet your needs.

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John Paul Mueller is a prolific technical writer and editor with 101 books and 600 articles to his credit. His topics range from networking and home security to database management and heads-down programming, and his editing skills have helped more than 63 authors refine their manuscripts. Visit his blog at

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