AWS For Admins For Dummies
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Even though AWS (Amazon Web Services) has a lot to offer, you still need to consider how it answers your specific needs. This consideration goes beyond simply determining whether you really want to move to cloud-based services, but also taking into account other offerings that might serve your needs just as well (if not better). You should compare AWS with other cloud services.

You may choose to use AWS as part of your solution rather than as the only solution. Of course, this means knowing the areas in which AWS excels.

Comparing AWS to other cloud services

You have many ways to compare cloud services. One of the ways in which companies commonly look at services is by the market share they have. A large market share tends to ensure that the cloud service will be around for a long time and that many people find its services both useful and functional. A recent InfoWorld article points out that AWS currently corners 70 to 80 percent of the cloud market. In addition, AWS revenues keep increasing, which lets Amazon continue adding new features while maintaining existing features at peak efficiency.

Large market share and capital to invest don't necessarily add up to a cloud service that fulfills your needs. You also need to know that the host can provide the products you need in a form that you can use. The AWS product list includes all the major IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS categories. However, you should compare these products to the major AWS competitors:

Of the competitors listed here, Google Cloud Platform comes closest to offering the same feature set found in AWS. However, in looking at the Google offerings, you should note the prominence of machine learning services that aren't found in AWS. On the other hand, AWS has more to offer in the way of the Internet of Things (IoT), applications, and mobile services.

Each of the vendors offering these services is different. For example, Joyent offers a simple setup that may appeal more strongly to an SMB that has only a few needs to address and no desire to become involved in a complex service. Microsoft, on the other hand, has strong SQL database-management support as well as the connection with the Windows platform that businesses may want to maintain. The point is that you must look at each of the vendors to determine who can best meet your needs (although, as previously stated, most people are voting with their dollars on AWS).

Defining target areas where AWS works best

In looking at the services that AWS provides, you can see that the emphasis is on enterprise productivity. For example, Google Cloud Platform offers four enhanced machine learning services that you could use for analysis purposes, but AWS offers only one. However, Google Cloud Platform can't match AWS when it comes to mobile service, which is an area that users most definitely want included for accessing applications. Unless your business is heavily involved in analysis tasks, the offerings that AWS provides are significantly better in many ways. Here are the service categories that AWS offers:
  • Compute
  • Storage and content delivery
  • Database
  • Networking
  • Analytics
  • Enterprise applications
  • Mobile services
  • IoT
  • Developer tools
  • Management tools
  • Security and identity
  • Application services

About This Article

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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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