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Understand the Advantages of Using the Cloud

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you will be able to:

  • Explain the challenges that lead to over- and under-provisioning of on-premises infrastructure.
  • Explain the benefits of using cloud computing infrastructure.

Why Use the Cloud?

Blocks on an atom

Suppose that instead of using the cloud, you run your cat photo app in your own data center with infrastructure that meets customer demand, even during peak times. You market the app well and you receive a phone call from someone asking to talk about it on a popular TV show that will air the next day. Good news!

Although this is exciting, you’re still anxious: Will your infrastructure be enough to support the increased customer demand? What if the system goes offline precisely at the time where it needs to shine?

To ensure your infrastructure can handle the increased demand, you try to provision more infrastructure capacity in advance. However, when this infrastructure is not being used, it’s just sitting there consuming power and depreciating in value. This is often referred to as over-provisioning.

More than that, how can you be sure that over-provisioning will handle the spike in traffic? If your cat photo application goes viral on social media after the interview airs on TV, you have a massive peak of unexpected requests.

When facing unpredictable scaling situations like this, the on-premises allocated hardware is often not enough, resulting in an under-provisioned architecture, which leads to service disruption.

An arrow going diagonally up

Running this application in the cloud eliminates the worries of over-provisioning and under-provisioning. You can spin up new resources and add capacity at a moment’s notice. With cloud computing, if your application goes viral, you can scale your resources to match demand and only pay for what you use.

Discover the Six Benefits of Cloud Computing

There are the six main advantages to running your workloads on AWS.

Pay as you go. Instead of investing in data centers and hardware before you know how you are going to use them, you pay only when you use computing resources, and pay only for how much you use.

Benefit from massive economies of scale. By using cloud computing, you can achieve a lower cost than you can get on your own. Because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the cloud, AWS can achieve higher economies of scale, which translates into lower pay as-you-go prices.

Stop guessing capacity. Eliminate guessing on your infrastructure capacity needs. When you make a capacity decision prior to deploying an application, you often end up either sitting on expensive idle resources or dealing with limited capacity. With cloud computing, these problems go away. You can access as much or as little capacity as you need, and scale up and down as required with only a few minutes notice.

Increase speed and agility. IT resources are only a click away, which means that you reduce the time to make those resources available to your developers from weeks to just minutes. This results in a dramatic increase in agility for the organization since the cost and time it takes to experiment and develop is significantly lower.

Stop spending money running and maintaining data centers. Focus on projects that differentiate your business, not the infrastructure. Cloud computing lets you focus on your customers, rather than on the heavy lifting of racking, stacking, and powering physical infrastructure. This is often referred to as undifferentiated heavy lifting.

Go global in minutes. Easily deploy your application in multiple Regions around the world with just a few clicks. This means you can provide lower latency and a better experience for your customers at a minimal cost.

Wrap Up

With the AWS Cloud, you can run a secure, reliable, and scalable application without the headache of managing hardware. In the next unit, you learn about AWS global infrastructure.

Resources