Learn About the Advantages of Cloud Computing

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • State the advantages of cloud computing.
  • Describe AWS’s security value proposition.

This unit is all about helping you understand how AWS can help you remove obstacles to innovation like high costs and complexity, and make your business thrive. Let’s dive in.

Stop Spending Money Running and Maintaining Data Centers

Maintaining an on-premises data center is expensive and complex. Whether you own or rent data center facilities, you still need to manage investments such as servers, storage, networks, and IT staff, to name a few.

Cloud computing essentially moves the traditional data center to the cloud and reduces or even eliminates the need to manage those elements mentioned above. In other words, cloud computing enables you to focus on your customers’ needs without the heavy lifting of running data centers.

The AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator compares the cost of running your applications in an on-premises environment to AWS. A link to the TCO Calculator is available in the Resources section at the end of this unit.

Trade Capital Expense for Variable Expense

With AWS, you pay only for the computing resources that you need, for as long as you need them, with no licensing dependencies. Think about the ability to scale with this approach.

  • Spin up one virtual server or a thousand.
  • Computing resources can be used for a few hours, or 24/7.

AWS accommodates use cases that require only a small amount of resources to enterprise sized projects without upfront capital expense. There are no complex agreements, termination clauses, or hidden fees involved. You pay only when you consume computing resources, and you pay only for how much you consume.

Stop Guessing Capacity

Before cloud computing, you had to build data centers based on guessing your infrastructure capacity needs. If the design didn’t plan for enough resources, your customers would suffer the consequences through apps that wouldn’t work, websites that couldn’t open, and services that were unavailable. If you overplanned and exceeded the capacity needs, you ended up paying for idle resources that you didn’t really need.

a comparison of servers, with overestimated server capacity not being fully used, and underestimated server capacity showing servers overheating

AWS provides elasticity, giving you the ability to provision the amount of resources that you actually need. You can quickly deploy new applications, instantly scale up as the workload grows, and shut down resources that are no longer required, scale down the workload, without having to plan for a worst-case scenario. This reduces costs and improves your ability to meet your users’ demands.

a line graph showing Scaling on demand, with application demand and instance running generally in line with one another

Benefit from Massive Economies of Scale

Because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the cloud, providers such as AWS can drive economies of scale that are otherwise difficult to replicate. The scale and operations of the AWS Cloud supports lower costs and higher efficiency than those in on-premises data centers. This translates into lower pay-as-you-go prices becoming available to you.

Increase Speed and Agility

There are only so many hours in a day, and your time is best spent focusing on your business and adding value to your customers instead of waiting for resources to become available. 

With AWS, new IT resources are just a click away. You can spin up servers in minutes. Then, when servers aren’t needed anymore, you can shut down servers in the same amount of time. This reduces the time it takes to make those resources available to you from weeks to just minutes. This increases the agility in which you can experiment and try new ideas, bringing innovation back into your organization.

Go Global in Minutes

Putting your data centers where your customers are can be a costly proposition, especially if they are located all over the globe. AWS enables you to easily deploy your system in multiple regions around the world with just a moment’s notice. This ensures lower latency and a better experience for your customers at minimal cost.

Keep Your Data Safe

At AWS cloud security is a top priority. AWS gives you complete ownership and control over your data through simple point-and-click tools. This includes the ability to determine where to store your data, secure it in transit or at rest, and manage access to AWS services and resources.

From the design of the data centers to the services, AWS starts from the ground up with security in mind as a focus.

AWS data centers:

  • Use electronic surveillance and multifactor access control systems.
  • Are staffed 24/7 by trained security guards.
  • Adhere to strictly regulated access procedures.
  • Are designed to tolerate system or hardware failures with minimal customer impact.

Take a digital tour of an AWS data center, including a review of the physical and environmental controls in place. Check out the Resources section at the end of this unit.

Meet Compliance Requirements

AWS maintains security and data protection in the cloud by managing dozens of compliance programs in its infrastructure. When services are built, AWS works with regulators to ensure that compliance requirements are met so that you can start off on a stronger foundation. By operating in an accredited environment, you reduce the scope and cost of audits that you need to perform.

Wrap-Up

When you use the AWS Cloud, you clear away obstacles to innovation like high costs and long-term contracts. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services across categories including compute, storage, and database, to name a few. 

In the next unit, get introduced to the services that make up the AWS Cloud.

Resources