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AWS Tips

How To Use Amazon Web Services Successfully

Get the most out of AWS without making costly mistakes or overlooking hidden features.

Whether you want to learn how to create Instagram ads or how to run a business, having a guide definitely helps. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) can be confusing, and similarly requires a guide to help you out, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been using it for a while. Luckily, there are many ways to learn more about AWS, including books, blog posts, video tutorials and community support groups. This guide will help you get the most out of AWS without making costly mistakes or overlooking hidden features that can save you time and money.

How to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) Successfully

Recognize AWS’ strengths

Many business owners, who are new to cloud computing, struggle with AWS and its costs. While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a less expensive solution, it’s worth spending some time considering whether you can use AWS effectively. Just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use AWS; many successful businesses choose AWS for its wide range of services and features that make your job easier in terms of scalability, flexibility and security. Recognizing these strengths is key to getting more from your investment with Amazon Web Services.

Understand your workload requirements

A few years ago, if you wanted to use cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services, you had to be pretty tech-savvy. But now AWS offers cloud computing solutions that are easy-to-use and highly available, which makes it ideal for any business owner looking for a new way to cut costs or make more revenue. First, understand what your workload requirements are. If you’re trying to save money and improve efficiency, consider transitioning from your current in-house data centre over time by migrating some of your workloads (such as applications) into AWS’s cloud. One key piece of advice? Don’t go full steam ahead; instead, consider shifting no more than 10 percent of your resources each year so you can monitor how well everything is working.

Select the right AWS service for your needs

If you’re a business owner thinking about using Amazon Web Services (AWS), you need to be sure that you select services that are right for your specific needs. If, for example, you’re a startup just looking for web hosting, it makes little sense to pay for services that will sit idle. On the other hand, if your business is already operational and is searching for a more scalable solution than what you can currently offer yourself, it’s important to think about how AWS can help. Among other things, businesses are turning toward AWS as a way of migrating applications from older servers and modernising their infrastructure as well as speeding up development time by using SaaS products such as QuickSight (business intelligence) and OpsWorks (server automation).

Pick the Right AWS Region or Availability Zone

When you create a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) account, AWS gives you a choice of where your infrastructure will be created and stored. You may choose an AWS region—basically a group of data centres located in a specific geographic area—or an AWS availability zone, which is within an individual region. Generally speaking, pick an availability zone over a region when it comes to running mission-critical workloads such as databases and message queues; availability zones generally have more resources per customer than regions do. 

Perform Due Diligence on All Options – There are Always Tradeoffs

One of Amazon’s biggest selling points is its vast and ever-expanding network of services. Whether you want your site hosted, managed, or even coded from scratch, Amazon has you covered. Unfortunately, that also means there are thousands upon thousands of products and vendors who can provide you with nearly any tool or service imaginable for practically any budget—and that means it’s worth spending some time doing due diligence before making a decision. In some cases, you might find a comparable product or service offered by a third party at a significantly lower price point; in others, it might be better just to spend more up front. The key is knowing what your options are and why they exist before committing too heavily to one way of doing things.

Understand AWS Service Restrictions and Limits

If you’re new to AWS, it can be easy to make costly mistakes when using Amazon EC2 and other services. That’s because AWS services often have restrictions and limitations that you need to take into account—or else run afoul of Amazon’s rules. For example, you must verify your identity before signing up for an AWS account. Further, some services are only available in certain regions and tiers. To avoid unexpected expenses, read each service’s page carefully; review each service’s documentation; and experiment with free test accounts until you know what limits apply (and how they work). Even then, consider amassing some extra credits or a few months’ worth of free tier usage before running any serious production workloads.

Monitor Your Environment with CloudWatch Logs, Metrics, and Automated Alerts

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS customers use CloudWatch in different ways, such as automating hourly billing alerts or setting up production monitoring. Either way, CloudWatch helps you manage your AWS environment by tracking metrics and log files over time so you can identify problems before they turn into full-blown issues. In addition, CloudWatch supports Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling Groups for custom alerting based on metrics and events in an auto scaling group.

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