Five AWS services to use in your next project!

AWS icon services

Cloud is a word that got a totally different meaning to it ever since computing power grew massively over the years (Did someone whisper Moore’s law?). Anyway, as computing and the need to scale your applications or website grows, challenges to maintain it comes with it and it’s natural to look for easy solutions to handle them. Although there are a good number of cloud service providers in the market, for the past few years AWS has been the front-runner and has its base in almost all the sectors, and is still the widely used cloud service provider. AWS has a plethora of services to provide for all types like Compute, Networking, File storage & databases, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, and so on.

We will look at five AWS services that could be a game-changer in your next massive project.

S3 Glacier deep archive

AWS glacier deep archive services

This service is part of file storage and data transfer services and is mostly used when users would not need the objects for a long time. It goes with the name of the service ‘archive’ which essentially means it’s for long-term retention. Many AWS customers collect and store large volumes (often a petabyte or more) of important data but seldom access it. In some cases, raw data is collected and immediately processed, then stored for years or decades just in case there’s a need for further processing or analysis. In other cases, the data is retained for compliance or auditing purposes. Here are some of the industries and use cases that fit this description:

Financial – Transaction archives, activity & audit logs, and communication logs.

Health Care – Electronic medical records, images (X-Ray, MRI, or CT), genome sequences, and records of pharmaceutical development.

Media & Entertainment – Media archives and raw production footage.

The new Glacier Deep Archive storage class is designed to provide durable and secure long-term storage for large amounts of data at a price that is competitive with off-premises tape archival services. Data is stored across 3 or more AWS Availability Zones and can be retrieved in 12 hours or less. You no longer need to deal with expensive and finicky tape drives, arrange for off-premises storage, or worry about migrating data to newer generations of media. Also, your existing S3-compatible applications, tools, code, scripts, and lifecycle rules can all take advantage of Glacier Deep Archive storage.

You can specify the new storage class when you upload objects, alter the storage class of existing objects manually or programmatically, or use lifecycle rules to arrange for migration based on object age. You can also make use of other S3 features such as Storage Class Analysis, Object Tagging, Object Lock, and Cross-Region Replication. The existing S3 Glacier storage class allows you to access your data in minutes (using expedited retrieval) and is a good fit for data that requires faster access. To learn more about the entire range of options, read Storage Classes in the S3 Developer Guide. If you are already making use of the Glacier storage class and rarely access your data, you can switch to Deep Archive and begin to see cost savings right away.

You can use this service when you realise you don’t need certain data to be accessed frequently but still would want it stored somewhere as part of your project.

AWS OpsWorks

AWS Opsworks services

Another AWS service that could benefit you is AWS Opsworks, which is under the Management & Governance services of AWS. We all have been in that situation where server management is beyond a headache.

AWS OpsWorks is a configuration management service that provides managed instances of Chef and Puppet. Chef and Puppet are automation platforms that allow you to use code to automate the configurations of your servers. OpsWorks lets you use Chef and Puppet to automate how servers are configured, deployed and managed across your Amazon EC2 instances or on-premises compute environments. OpsWorks has three offerings, AWS Opsworks for Chef Automate, AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise, and AWS OpsWorks Stacks.

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate is a fully managed configuration management service that hosts Chef Automate, a suite of automation tools from Chef for configuration management, compliance and security, and continuous deployment. OpsWorks also maintains your Chef server by automatically patching, updating, and backing up your server. OpsWorks eliminates the need to operate your own configuration management systems or worry about maintaining its infrastructure. OpsWorks gives you access to all of the Chef Automate features, such as configuration and compliance management, which you manage through the Chef console or command line tools like Knife.

AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise

AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise is a fully managed configuration management service that hosts Puppet Enterprise, a set of automation tools from Puppet for infrastructure and application management. OpsWorks also maintains your Puppet master server by automatically patching, updating, and backing up your server. OpsWorks eliminates the need to operate your own configuration management systems or worry about maintaining its infrastructure. OpsWorks gives you access to all of the Puppet Enterprise features, which you manage through the Puppet console. It also works seamlessly with your existing Puppet code.

AWS OpsWorks Stacks

AWS OpsWorks Stacks is an application and server management service. With OpsWorks Stacks, you can model your application as a stack containing different layers, such as load balancing, database, and application server. Within each layer, you can provision Amazon EC2 instances, enable automatic scaling, and configure your instances with Chef recipes using Chef Solo. This allows you to automate tasks such as installing packages and programming languages or frameworks, configuring software, and more.

Do check AWS Opsworks for your next project during the deployment and scaling out phase!

AWS Database Migration Service (DMS)


Another AWS service that’s widely used is the AWS Database Migration Service which falls under the Database Services & Utilities. AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) helps you migrate databases to AWS quickly and securely. The best part of this service is that the source database remains fully operational during the migration, minimizing downtime to applications that rely on the database. This Service can migrate your data to and from the most widely used commercial and open-source databases.

AWS Database Migration Service supports homogeneous migrations such as Oracle to Oracle, as well as heterogeneous migrations between different database platforms, such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server to Amazon Aurora. You can also continuously replicate data with low latency from any supported source to any supported target. For example, you can replicate from multiple sources to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to build a highly available and scalable data lake solution. You can also consolidate databases into a petabyte-scale data warehouse by streaming data to Amazon Redshift. 

Here are some benefits of DMS;

  • Minimal Downtime – AWS Database Migration Service helps you migrate your databases to AWS with virtually no downtime. All data changes to the source database that occur during the migration are continuously replicated to the target, allowing the source database to be fully operational during the migration process. After the database migration is complete, the target database will remain synchronized with the source for as long as you choose, allowing you to switch over the database at a convenient time.
  • Low cost – AWS Database Migration Service is a low-cost service. You only pay for the compute resources used during the migration process and any additional log storage.
  • Reliable – The AWS Database Migration Service is highly resilient. It continually monitors source and target databases, network connectivity, and the replication instance. In case of interruption, it automatically restarts the process and continues the migration from where it stopped.
  • On-going replication – You can set up a DMS task for either one-time migration or ongoing replication. An ongoing replication task keeps your source and target databases in sync. Once set up, the ongoing replication task will continuously apply source changes to the target with minimal latency. All DMS features, such as data validation and transformations, are available for any replication task.

DMS should definitely come to your rescue before you begin your project when you would like to back your data.

AWS Code Commit

AWS code commit

AWS CodeCommit is a secure, highly scalable, managed source control service that hosts private Git repositories. It makes it easy for teams to securely collaborate on code with contributions encrypted in transit and at rest. CodeCommit eliminates the need for you to manage your own source control system or worry about scaling its infrastructure. You can use CodeCommit to store anything from code to binaries. It supports the standard functionality of Git, so it works seamlessly with your existing Git-based tools. It is indeed a blessing for developers as it emphasizes development more than wanting to manage infrastructure and setup. Some benefits of AWS code commit include;

  • Fully managed – AWS CodeCommit eliminates the need to host, maintain, back up, and scale your own source control servers. The service automatically scales to meet the growing needs of your project.
  • High availability – AWS CodeCommit has a highly scalable, redundant, and durable architecture. The service is designed to keep your repositories highly available and accessible.
  • Faster development cycle – AWS CodeCommit keeps your repositories close to your build, staging, and production environments in the AWS cloud. You can transfer incremental changes instead of the entire application. This allows you to increase the speed and frequency of your development lifecycle.

Do look into using code commit as it makes the end-to-end development cycle seamless, especially if you have the majority of your services on AWS.

AWS Marketplace

AWS marketplace

AWS Marketplace is an AWS service that is a catalog of third-party software offerings that makes it easy to launch pre-defined solutions onto your AWS account from these vendors. It enables qualified partners to market and sells their software to AWS Customers. AWS Marketplace is an online software store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run on AWS.

AWS Marketplace is designed for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and Systems Integrators (SIs) who have software products they want to offer to customers in the cloud. Partners use AWS Marketplace to be up and running in days and offer their software products to customers around the world.

For example, let’s say you are building an E-commerce website that is hosted on AWS and would want to integrate a customer engagement feature into your website. As an alternative to building it from scratch yourselves, you could browse the AWS marketplace to see if any solution is available off the shelf and start using it in just a few clicks. You end up saving time and in the long-run cost as well. There are of course certain requirements to be a partner or a seller. You can read them here.

Do take a look at the AWS marketplace if you think there could be off-the-shelf applications that could benefit your current application and the end consumers.

So, there you have it. Five AWS services that could benefit you hugely in your upcoming AWS-integrated application. Until next time, happy reading and creating!

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