Why Is AWS Best for Your Tech Startup?
Why Is AWS Best for Your Tech Startup?
Is AWS your best bet for your startup's cloud migrations? With its extensive market influence and range of services, it just might be.
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According to Forrester, the total global cloud market will grow from $146B in 2017 to $178 Billion in 2018. Experts believe this will continue to grow at a 22% annual rate.
Amazon Web Services or AWS, along with a few other competitors, will capture 76% of the market by end of 2018.
AWS has already managed to generate 49% more revenue in the first quarter of 2018.
Do you know why AWS as well as cloud platforms, are experiencing such exponential growth? Because companies, from large enterprises to ambitious startups, are moving to cloud and AWS is one of the best options out there.
This article covers why switching to AWS is best for your startup in case you haven’t migrated yet.
What is AWS?
If you’ve been living under the rock, here is a brief description. AWS, or Amazon Web Services, is a cloud computing platform that offers a mix of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services.
Why both SMBs, as well as giants like Netflix, adore AWS? Firstly their pay-as-you-go model is very flexible and goes easy on your pocket. Secondly, Amazon team doesn’t compromise with quality and constantly improves the services.
The full list of benefits is actually quite longbut we'll discuss that later in the article.
Services AWS Offers
AWS offers many cloud-based services and software which are reliable, affordable and easily scalable. Whether you are looking for databases, computing power or development platform, AWS have solutions for your need.
The list of AWS services is so long that it isn’t possible to cover all those in this article. Here are few popular AWS services:
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Amazon Elastic Compute cloud service provide computing powers to users and lets them run applications. Your development team can create instances of virtual machines and configure capacity scaling of those instances as per their requirement. You control your resources and pay for exactly what you have used.
EC2 is very affordable. Its free version for new AWS customers includes 750 hours of Linux and Windows t2.micro instances each month for the first year. On-demand instances come with $0.12/hr on Windows and $0.085/hr for Linux. Reserved instances cost you around $227/year.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
Amazon S3 is a cloud-based object storage where you can collect, store and analyze data on a massive scale. This data could be collected from any source — IoT devices, website, apps and corporate apps. Amazon S3 stores such data in a secure way and offers users flexible ways to manage data for cost optimization and access.
New users usually receive 5GB S3 storage in the Standard Storage class and 15GB of data transfer out each month for a year.
Amazon Elastic Map Reduce
If you need to do some data-intensive tasks like data mining or simulation, then Amazon EMR is for you. Based on Hadoop framework, this service allows you to process a large amount of data very efficiently and it is both scalable and secure.
The hourly rate depends on the instance type used, hourly rate range from $0.011/hour to $0.27/hour ($94/year to $2367/year). If you have large data processing requirements, you may be eligible for lower pricing.
Amazon CloudFront is a web service that speeds up the distribution of your content. It usually caches instances of each object on different CDN location and cut down delivery time drastically. Cloudfront is designed to work in sync with S3 and Ec2 services. Like other AWS services, CloudFront is reliable and easily scalable as well. Prices start at $0.15 per GB transferred up to 10TB per month. If you are a first-time user then you will receive 50GB Data transfer out and 20,00,000 HTTP and HTTPS requests each month for the first year.
Amazon SimpleDB is a NoSQL database which helps admins to store data with minimal database management. Unlike any relational databases, you can just store data through the web without worrying about schema and SimpleDB takes care of the rest. For this also, you only pay for service you use (like data storing), not for anything else (you don’t pay for making the request).
Now let’s talk about why you should go for AWS instead of hiring your own team.
AWS Reduces Costs
Startups usually have not-so-deep pockets and each dollar counts. And setting up the basic infrastructure isn’t very cheap. Moreover, scaling becomes an issue without burning a lot of cash, when your business starts growing fast.
AWS saves the day here.
According to a research conducted by Rackspace, cloud services like AWS can cut down infrastructure cost by 23%. And respondents have revealed also, when they reinvested that saved money elsewhere, their net profit improved by 22%.
Long story short, AWS saves your initial investment and indirectly increase profit at the same time.
Cloud platforms like AWS, are great for collaborating without compromising security and quality. If you have a remote team, your members can access files from anywhere without any issue. With services like virtualization and content sharing, you can literally run your business from the cloud.
According to an HBR study, when your employees are working from their preferred location their productivity goes up 13.5% and you can save $1900 per employee.
If you are using AWS, you can safely allow your employees to work remotely without hurting your business. In return, you will get a more productive team and more cash to invest in other crucial areas of business.
Security and Disaster Recovery
A stolen device with confidential data can cost you millions even your business. And if you get hit by a disaster and get your data damaged, leaked or lost, it can cost you greatly and often requires third-party intervention.
For a startup that could prove to be a crippling blow.
When you use AWS services, you can access data from anywhere even if your device got damaged or stolen. Are you afraid that your data may fall into the wrong hands? No problem. You can just remotely wipe your data from your devices, thanks to cloud technology.
AWS has numerous data centers. When one of these fails, another one takes the load within seconds. Amazon maintains the infrastructure, 24/7. If early warning thresholds are crossed on AWS systems, configured alarms go off automatically.
As far as backup is concerned, AWS is very reliable and safe. According to the Aberdeen Group, small companies are twice likely to keep cloud backup to save up-front investment and third-party involvement.
Another important aspect of IT security is, your platform and tools should remain updated all the time. If you want to install updates, you need investment and experts who can take care of those. With AWS, you can relax here, too. AWS updates platforms and tools on its own and you get maximum protection and performance.
This is probably the best reason for going with AWS services. Amazon has adopted a freemium model — you can try their services first without paying anything. Later when your business scales, you can pay for cloud-based services as per your requirement on the monthly/yearly basis. This “pay as you go” model reduces the burn rate, as well.
Cloud computing based Amazon services also help to cut down labor cost. AWS platforms take care of things that usually requires some expert level human resources. Not to mention, with cloud computing you can afford to have a remote team which further reduces the cost.
Moreover, AWS allows you to pay for exactly what you use. No hidden cost. No charges for services you don’t need. This is better than setting up your own system as startups grow quickly and often those expensive hardware and software licenses become obsolete.
Who Is Using AWS?
Amazon cloud had over one million users in 2016. It’s 2018, so l will let you do the math here.
And this large number of users include numerous startups, SMBS, and industry giants. What is their experience with AWS? Well, there are a few cases so that you can judge it yourself.
Netflix, one of the most well-known users of AWS, joined the cloud platform in 2009.
According to Business Insider, huge demand from Netflix pushed AWS to its limits at that time. But the Amazon team, instead of throwing the towel, managed to evolved AWS from another cloud platform to an enterprise level set of services.
By mid-2015, Netflix shut down its last data center and moved completely on AWS platform. This certifies AWS’s capability of meeting enterprise level requirement.
If you are not familiar with the name, Unilever is one of the biggest names of the household products industry. They have their business spread across most countries around the world. Because of the width of their business network, they migrated to the AWS platform to support their 1700 digital web properties.
This change has sped up the times take to roll out a new campaign for websites (from two weeks to two days).
Unilever also relies on a cloud-based backup and data recovery system of AWS.
GE Oil and Gas
GE Oil and Gas has has migrated 350+ apps to AWS platform so far. And according to their internal report, this helped them to reduce the cost of ownership by 50%.
Another key reason behind GE’s preference is AWS’s capability of handling a massive amount of data reliably. The oil and gas division process a large amount of pipeline inspection data. AWS technology helps to store, process and transfer that data and improve overall performance.
Met Office is UK’s national weather service. They are in the weather forecasting and prediction industry.
In 2016, they launched a hybrid app based on the AWS platform. Thanks to AWS, Met Office was able to react faster to demands for data during extreme weathers. For example, during the Hurricane Katia, Met office received a 200% increase in traffic.
Evidently, by switching to AWS, Metlife managed to save more lives and properties.
G4S is a UK-based security company. They reduced their data center cost to half after moving to AWS.
Apart from these, brands like Adobe, Airbnb, Harvard Medical School, McDonald's, Lyft and others are using Amazon cloud.
As you have read above, AWS has a lot to offer. It is safe, reliable, affordable and indirectly saves money. Unlike large companies, startups don’t start with an unlimited supply of cash. That’s why opting for AWS services can lessen the burden.
The purpose of this isn’t a blatant promotion of AWS. There are other options like Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure which have their own merits. You can go for in-house data centers, but with the added pain of maintaining the infrastructure yourself.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.