In a very short time, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become as ubiquitous in the cloud hosting world as its parent company is in the world e-commerce. This industry giant provides almost every kind of cloud computing solution you can think of, but it mostly targets big global businesses. Whether you need simple data housing, computing resources, or even platforms for machine learning or robotics applications, Amazon has it all.
It’s hard to do justice to this cloud computing powerhouse within the word count of a short review, but I’ll do my best.
Features and Ease of Use
Some of the many AWS key features that are worth mentioning are:
- Amazon CloudFront CDN (included for free with some services)
- High-performance block storage based on SSD technology
- Amazon Route 53 DNS
- More than 61 availability zones around the world
Despite AWS as a whole looking very complex, each of the individual services is easy to use. For example, Lightsail lets you spin up a VPS in just a few minutes, and you can choose to have almost any operating system or application installed on your instance. Amazon’s platforms also provide extensive API access so that developers can tweak their instances.
All the essentials – like SSL certificates, CDN, and DNS – are either included or can easily be purchased.
Pricing and Support
Despite being one of the world’s biggest cloud providers, with complex hosting and computing products, Amazon Web Services is surprisingly affordable. It adopts a basic resource leasing model whereby the price you pay depends on the resources you use and/or the length of time you use them for. Some products allow you to pay for a period of time – such as a month or a year – in advance.
Since Amazon understands how difficult it can be for customers to get their heads around new products and technologies, it offers some of the most generous free trials you will find anywhere. These various-length trials (anything from one month to twelve months) are available for over 60 products.
For something analogous to conventional hosting, you’ll probably be looking at Lightsail or Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Lightsail’s pricing starts very low compared to most other VPS hosting services, and it offers a one-month free trial.
To simplify things, Amazon provides price calculators on its AWS website so you can get accurate estimates of your total hosting costs. What is not so easy to calculate is the benefit you get by leveraging Amazon’s tremendous infrastructure that includes load-balancing, a CDN, and a global footprint.
It should go without saying that Amazon has always been known for superb support, and it has invested heavily in its AWS support. You can contact the company 24/7 via live chat, email, tickets, and telephone, but your level of support will depend on whether you’ve purchased a premium support package or you’re relying on the support that comes with your free plan. In the latter case, you’ll have to mostly make do with the extensive documentation, FAQs, and other resources.