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Amazon AWS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Amazon AWS is #2 ranked solution in top Infrastructure as a Service Clouds and PaaS Services. IT Central Station users give Amazon AWS an average rating of 8 out of 10. Amazon AWS is most commonly compared to OpenShift:Amazon AWS vs OpenShift. Amazon AWS is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 71% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is Amazon AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a collection of cloud computing services, also called web services, that make up a cloud-computing platform offered by Amazon.com. These services operate from 12 geographical regions across the world. The most central and well-known of these services arguably include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as "EC2", and Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known as "S3". Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity more quickly and more cheaply than a client company building an actual physical server farm.

Amazon AWS is also known as Amazon Web Services, AWS.

Amazon AWS Buyer's Guide

Download the Amazon AWS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Amazon AWS Customers

Pinterest, General Electric, Pfizer, Netflix, and Nasdaq.

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Amazon AWS pricing:
  • "When it comes to professional certification in AWS, I implore others to study hard before your exams because $300 is a painful waste of money if you fail."
  • "It's my understanding that our company is charged a few hundred dollars on a monthly basis."
  • "Looking at the primary market for AWS, I see that there's a lot of customers who have only mid-level performance requirements, because you will have all these normal applications such as online auction websites, gaming applications, voice applications, and so on. These are not, for example, large monitoring applications, financial independents, or brick and mortar companies. So AWS caters to about 40% of the market when it comes to general applications. As it happens, in many cases, you simply don't need the high-performance offerings from AWS, nor the innovative products from Google Cloud Platform, which can come with large price tags."

Amazon AWS Reviews

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GregGum
Chief Executive Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Flexible, scales well, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution scales very nicely."
  • "The pricing is something you have to watch. You really have to constantly optimize your costs for instances and things like that. That can become a job in itself to manage just from a budgeting standpoint."

What is our primary use case?

Customers can use it for the web-based management of the product. We also store and retrieve data for their network connections. Also, we use the AI/ML portion called SageMaker to calibrate the algorithms and basically drive automation into the customer's use case. Typically our use cases are in hotels, public transportation, convention centers - anywhere where you are sharing internet connections. For example, hotels, conventions centers - anything where you might have people jockeying for a shared internet connection with possible oversubscription or network congestion. We also have enterprise Work-From-Home users due to the pandemic and they need to continue to provide access to those remotely into their own data center, corporate network, and public cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Flexible fast way to bring up servers and network infrastructure with variable costs.

What is most valuable?

We use the AI/ML Sagemaker to help us build models. 

We use several feature services on AWS, including Lambda, S3 database, RDS database, Alexa Voice Services and Cognito Gateway. They are all excellent in terms of offering great functionality.

They're pretty good about taking customer feedback and are generally able to productize the requested feature.

The initial setup is straightforward, especially if using Lightsail to start.

The solution scales very nicely.

The stability is good with a large number of Availability Zones WW.

Technical support is helpful and responsive but you must pay for a tiered support plan to ensure response.

What needs improvement?

The pricing is something you have to watch. You really have to constantly optimize your costs for instance, storage, IP's and things like that. That can become a job in itself to manage just from a budgeting standpoint if you are a moderate to heavy user. However, that's true for Azure or GCP as well. 

If they did more automation on alerting you to cheaper pricing or automated volume pricing based on time/use or even porting you on to on-demand instances automatically, that would be kind of cool. That's something that I haven't seen yet. They could just automatically optimize for your workflow and put you onto a lower-priced instance to save you money.  you Maybe allow you to pick an economy setting, or a performance setting, by time of day etc. something like that. That would be great. Then you don't have to think about it as much as you do in the current iteration.

It would be interesting to have a cost optimized accounting service so that they would come in and help remediate and give suggestions on how to cut costs. I know it's probably antithetical to their bottom line, but that said, obviously, if you take the high road there, you're going to probably keep people, and keep people from switching for lower costs. A lot of times, they can architect a better solution or a similar solution for lower cost and that would lead to customer retention--or maybe a longer term retention discount if youve stayed with them for awhile. That would be helpful if they had that. They have solutions architects, to consult however, they're usually just trying to design the best technical solution as opposed to the most cost-optimized solution. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about four years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Services are pretty good stability-wise. They've got great redundancy. The one thing I would tweak them is when you're within the region or zone, they make it more difficult for you to do redundant zones, without carrying the IP addresses over seamlessly. That is a little bit of a sticking point, so you could have remote redundancy with the addressing there with it even outside of the AZ's. That would be a lot easier than having to go through the programming of it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. You can go from one small instance to GPU, very powerful instances, clusters. There is not any problem with scaling if you can afford it. If you've got the volume, you certainly can scale.

We have maybe a dozen or so customers that will use the product and then access the UI and the management system through the cloud. Then, of course, as developers, we have about 10 to 25 employees that have to use it to varying degrees to support the customers and do development.

How are customer service and technical support?

I like the tech support. It varies by level in that you've got to pay more to get the immediate response time. Generally, I'd say it's pretty good. Literally phone rings minutes after you log a trouble ticket. They're usually pretty good about escalations and helping. Out of AWS, Azure, and GCP, I'd give them the number two ranking. Azure has good support, however, it's expensive. GCP probably is number three I'd say, of the top three.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also occasionally use the Google Cloud Platform and Azure, although we tend to use AWS the most. GCP is a little bit cheaper overall, however, then you've got the cost of management that is typically a person so you do need to invest in that. 

We started with Amazon and we've pretty much stayed with them. We've switched to Google and done some work on Azure that was customer driven, however, pretty much our prime public cloud has been AWS.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex. It's pretty straightforward. 

It's pretty easy to get started. However, you do have to make an investment and learn the different cloud platform's nomenclature. Most of our guys now are cloud practitioners and architects now that they've taken the training. We had to bite the bullet even though we've been users for four years. There is an investment that you have to make on the OPEX side. That's the case for any of the public clouds. Although once you know one, you can pretty much pick up the other ones pretty quickly.

What about the implementation team?

In-house

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Have to watch price/billing creep, but there are tools to watch and monitor your usage and billing.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Azure. GCP

What other advice do I have?


We're a software development group building specialty LAN/WAN optimization solutions, so we don't use a lot of canned products per se.

We do tend to sue reasonably new software versions of the OS...whatever is the latest LTS selections.

If you already have your workload ready, that's helpful, as you can actually trial it under a free tier and then see what the cost is, and extrapolate what the ongoing cost is. In the end, that's what gets you. Being able to do some benchmark testing on how much it's going to cost for your particular workflow across the three public clouds is definitely something you probably want to do. Especially if you're going to scale, as, obviously, it can suddenly creep up to not just tens or hundreds of dollars a month, but thousands a month, depending upon what you're doing. I definitely would recommend doing some reference testing of your workflows before deciding on a solution.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. They're pretty solid. You've got all the services that you can imagine, and then some. There's a very broad breadth of products and services. We haven't had too many SLA issues for recovery or downtime. Maybe we've just been lucky or good so far...

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Erik Najera Ruiz
AWS Certified Solutions Architect y Cloud Application Developer at Honne Services
Real User
Top 20
Helps us migrate clients to the cloud with ease, and allows us to provide a wide range of cloud services that live in AWS ecosystem and can interact with on-premises data centers

Pros and Cons

  • "The AWS feature that I most enjoy is Lambda functions. I primarily use serverless components because they allow you to process things without having to compromise on resources like when running EC2 instances or virtual machines. With minimal effort, you can scale up an unlimited number of processes, even concurrently, to process things. I frequently work with web APIs, so I use Lambda a lot in this area."
  • "Recently we had a long conversation about functionality that is missing in Alexa — in Mexico, specifically. Alexa for Business is a service and platform that Americans can use to make a call to an Amazon Echo device or a telephone via the app. But in Mexico, we are not allowed to use that technology. This is a significant disadvantage of AWS for those living in Mexico."

What is our primary use case?

I am an AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate as well as a Certified Cloud Practitioner, and I am currently pursuing the development specialty. I mainly use AWS to develop cloud solutions for clients.

As a Solution Architect Associate with focus on development, my clients typically ask me to help them personalize AWS services as they pertain to the client's business. For example, I will often work with AWS SQS queues, ETL jobs, APIs and storage, and other services offered by AWS in the cloud.

Generally, my work has more to do with development rather than architecture, and other AWS services that I use include EC2, S3, Lambda, API Gateway, Amazon Connect, Alexa, DynamoDB, ECS, and EKS.

My daily activities are essentially focused around implementing AWS services for clients who want to migrate their existing computing infrastructure to the cloud. For example, if a data center is on-premise, our solution is to bring that data center to the cloud. This kind of migration includes moving all the applications that a company uses to the cloud in progressive steps. We also work to enhance their applications with extra code and the advanced features that the AWS cloud offers, like Lambda for instance. 

The clients that I work with — which include large organizations like universities — also use cloud providers other than AWS, including 3Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. I, however, specialize only in AWS and Azure.

How has it helped my organization?

Here is an example of how AWS has helped one of our clients: With Amazon Connect, we can track all activity in the past and in real-time, so we can know how many calls are in progress and if there are any problems. With a student payment system, for example, if a student has a problem because their credit card was rejected, we're able to trigger an SMS notification to somebody so they can contact the student to make a payment with a different form.

The university is thus able to offer a streamlined payment service with automatic fallback options (e.g. receiving payments with a card reader in person) and all of this is automated thanks to AWS Lambda, which lets us handle customized metrics automatically and in real time.

What is most valuable?

The AWS feature that I most enjoy is Lambda functions. I primarily use serverless components because they allow you to process things without having to compromise on resources like when running EC2 instances or virtual machines. With minimal effort, you can scale up an unlimited number of processes, even concurrently, to process things. I frequently work with web APIs, so I use Lambda a lot in this area.

What needs improvement?

Recently we had a long conversation about functionality that is missing in Alexa — in Mexico, specifically. Alexa for Business is a service and platform that Americans can use to make a call to an Amazon Echo device or a telephone via the app. But in Mexico, we are not allowed to use that technology. This is a significant disadvantage of AWS for those living in Mexico.

I also think that Amazon Rekognition could be improved. For example, I have used Rekognition to label things like trucks, buses, etc. Then we put a camera in front of a bus, so that we can send notifications if the bus driver overtakes another car on the wrong side of the road. However, it seems that Rekognition's machine learning doesn't yet have the capabilities needed to make this kind of labeling and recognition system work properly. Thus, we've had to resort to alternative solutions.

And in terms of how easy it is to learn, Amazon doesn't have the most friendly educational platform. It is very obtuse, in fact. I have wasted a lot of time and effort studying through the official channels, so now I mostly use Udemy courses instead. They are very practical and much simpler, but I would still prefer to learn from the official educational platform if it were improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using AWS for about five years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of AWS is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I work with AWS Lambda all the time and I never have any problems with scaling. Recently, Lambda launched a new billing system, which is cost per millisecond. Before, we would get cost per hundred milliseconds, as the minimum, and now if we use only 10 milliseconds, then the cost for 10 milliseconds is exactly how much we have to pay. So that's great, because now I can scale my functions with a precise cost calculation.

How are customer service and technical support?

I currently have several issues with Amazon Connect because we can only obtain two telephone numbers by default. With this scenario, there was a very difficult process to let Amazon know that we are not working for ourselves in our console, and that we offer our services as a third party, in terms of SaaS and IaaS, to our customers.

I'm not directly involved in the creation of accounts, and I just use them once they are created on the company or client's side. But in Amazon Connect, when we needed to add more users, the time response from Amazon was two or three days. We are subscribed to the developer support plan, and I think two or three days is a lot of time.

How was the initial setup?

Either my company or the clients usually have the console already set up when I start work on it, so there's not much in the way of setup that I can comment on.

What about the implementation team?

With the AWS projects that I lead for clients, it's basically just me that works on deployment, implementation, and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When it comes to professional certification in AWS, I implore others to study hard before your exams because $300 is a painful waste of money if you fail.

With AWS products, there is a steep learning curve and I think there are so many aspects because it is really an ecosystem. If you are committed to reducing costs, or increasing performance, or optimizing in any manner, you have to know the solution really well.

I think the best way to achieve this is by experience, but if you don't have any experience, studying hard is the next best thing to do.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The two alternatives I've considered are Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. However, because I am only certified in AWS, I don't know the difference between, for example, Microsoft functions in Azure and AWS Lambda functions in a commercial sense.

In a technical sense, though, AWS seems to be more comprehensive in the programming languages that it supports. For example, with AWS Lambda functions I can program in Python, PHP, Go, and many others, but with functions in Azure, you are limited to fewer options.

To our client, it's neither here nor there, because they're typically not involved in the actual development, but if you use Azure architecture then you're going to be limited to the programming languages that Microsoft supports.

What other advice do I have?

If you want to take advantage of all the benefits that AWS offers, then it's best to take the time to learn how the entire ecosystem, and each part of it, works. 

I would rate Amazon AWS a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Advance Consulting Partner
Learn what your peers think about Amazon AWS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TB
Data Scientist at iOCO
Real User
Top 20
Scales well, works fast, and offers great price forecasting

Pros and Cons

  • "The price forecasting and billing dashboard by service, with billing budgets and alerts, have helped us shut down resources that were accruing costs that we no longer needed, saving us money."
  • "I don't have complaints. Previously, we asked for more end-to-end workshops, examples, and tutorials and these have been added and improved."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is to set up an end-to-end application to deliver a business case involving data ingestion, processing, transformation, and checking, followed by outputs to other functions and processes in AWS and also to external systems.

We are using Step Functions as a core automation tool and it offers great power through its simplicity. It is quite easy to use, although there is a learning curve when using the Step Function scripts. Once mastered, after a week or so, the flows can be built quickly and effectively, allowing us to link a custom business process to multiple other AWS service automatically. 

That done, most business cases can be delivered easily and quickly, all in a serverless and cost-effective way. 

How has it helped my organization?

AWS has improved my organization by:

- saving us time, cost, and difficulty by allowing us to use serverless services

- enabling us to assemble complex applications with the minimum of boilerplate and plumbing

- allowing us to pay-as-we-go, so we can rapidly prototype, test, and then deploy to a production application setup

We can run advanced demos with our own data very quickly, showing potential clients the value of our services when we assemble apps for them.

We can show customers clear cost benefits and clearly effective solutions when assembling AWS services together. 

What is most valuable?

The security has great IAM, roles, and carefully partitioned permissions that allow us to fine-tune control across our applications. External intrusion attempts will never get past application boundaries, which increases trust.

The composition of apps has everything wrapped according to function and applications. We can assemble services as we go. This speeds delivery times by orders of magnitude.

The price forecasting and billing dashboard by service, with billing budgets and alerts, have helped us shut down resources that were accruing costs that we no longer needed, saving us money.

What needs improvement?

The service's power lies in its simplicity. It is great in that respect. 

The UI is constantly being improved and the billing dashboard has been improved.

Previously, we asked for more end-to-end workshops, examples, and tutorials and these have been added and improved. 

Recently, AWS has been adding improvements across services, documentation, tutorials and we have now got workshops with real-world scenarios which are tremendously useful It makes me a very happy user. 

AWS and the cloud is a space for constant learning and AWS has increased their output in that respect. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using AWS since 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. The only errors I encountered were my own. Some services took a few minutes to refresh and propagate across my environments, and once these had propagated, the solutions were rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent. At no point have I hit scalability limits with AWS services and features. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service and tech support were excellent a few years ago when I needed them.

My general process is to explore and check options and run from a tutorial or AWS workshop. If this doesn't get me results, I then do a web search, and I generally find either further AWS docs or a specific example I can use to solve my issue. Within the last few years, my colleagues and I have been able to deliver as required. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did previously use a different solution when building AWS Lambda cloud functions. I could compare them directly with Azure Functions and Google Cloud and have found that the AWS Lambda solution is simpler, clearer, deploys quicker, and is generally much more simple and effective to use.

In terms of documentation, AWS is the clear leader. Their end-to-end examples and workshops are much more effective.

AWS services in many cases are deployed to AWS after being validated in Amazon.com's operations. This is evident in the ease-of-use and simplicity of many of the service features, and also in the excellent options offered for more complex services like AWS Forecast, where, for example, a checkbox and drop-down allows the user to add holidays for the country they work in when doing forecasts.

AWS has a stronger focus on business solutions than either GCP or Azure, and in many of the solutions, I have used. This is why in many cases I have switched from using other clouds, to AWS. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup in AWS is a whole service in and of itself. To set up AWS applications, AWS offers a full service, CloudFormation, with some added features that allow us to automate the deployment of the full solution stack.

This makes setup complex, in that one must modify the CloudFormation template one requires and validate it. An external resource was required to check the templates. 

Once this is done, the full solution stacks are automatically deployed. 

What about the implementation team?

I handled the initial setup in-house and by myself.

What was our ROI?

A recently deployed Step Function automation fulfilled all the needs of a workflow automation engine while remaining below the free operation per month, so we were able to deliver a fully automated application approval process without paying for any workflow automation engine license fees or any server hardware or infrastructure costs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would advise others to work from an architecture overview. 

Be aware of the very powerful schema-less data services in the cloud. They can help remove the need for data warehouses - e.g. multi-TB datasets - can be read, joined, queried and made to output daily reports within minutes, on temporary clusters, and that cost less than USD1000 per month. This is compared to the hundreds of thousands of USD for data warehouse licensing costs, plus the schema design time and ongoing DevOps they require.

Moving to serverless operations in the cloud frees up your people to deliver business services rather than spend days and days on administering data centers and the associated concerns that come with them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also looked at Azure and it was deemed less reliable than AWS as AWS has not had as many outages and uptime concerns as Azure has had of late. Azure Function Apps, Data Factory, Managed SQL.

Besides Azure, I looked at GCP and VMs, Cloud Functions, Speech-to-Text transcription, BigTable, and BigQuery.

What other advice do I have?

Empower your in-house people to start building and running their workloads in AWS. 

Let them learn as they go. There are multiple online courses for a few dollars that can assist with specific, individual AWS services, as well as running through the AWS workshops. 

Incentivize AWS certifications. Involve your tech people with business solution prototyping. 

Tag your resources, name them well, and set budget thresholds. Assign people to tune the resources being used. Incentivize communications and publish the AWS services and features being used to deliver your business capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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GD
Lead Architect - Expert Enterprise Data Solutions at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good storage and API gateway but needs a metadata framework

Pros and Cons

  • "The storage on offer is excellent."
  • "Their metadata management in AWS needs improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We are primarily using the solution as real-time streaming to our data-lake. We also have microservices publishing to APIs. It's a customer 360 application. 

We also used the product for migration from on-prem Hadoop to AWS EMR.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to spend about $57,000 on-perm with another solution. Then we lifted and shifted to AWS. It came down in cost to about $33,000 while maintaining the same inner software with Apache Kafka. However, we then got into ECS Fargate, and that brought costs down further to about $22,000. When we removed ECS, we moved into a serverless Lambda for 45 million, and our billing is now $8000 per month. It's an amazing amount of savings.

What is most valuable?

The solution's API Gateway is very good.

The storage on offer is excellent. 

Recently they improved a lot in the analytics that they have on the backend. 

It's great that the product is completely serverless. 

The implementation for end-to-end, for Lambda serverless implementation, is excellent. I do run about 16 million messages per day with their Lambdas, for my API microservices.

The initial setup is not difficult.

What needs improvement?

We get a lot of exception errors, and we're working with AWS to figure out how to fix that. when we lift and shift . We get a lot of alerts. 

As our serverless Lambda is maintained by AWS, in a certain aspect,  we need to gain some more visibility into what is going on when problem happens with AWS serverless 

Their metadata management in AWS needs improvement. They need a centralized metadata management tool, where it can be integrated with  outside metadata tools  with the API. We really need a central metadata framework.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years. It's been a while at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. there are no bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. That said, initially, we did have a few problems, however, everything has ironed out. It's great now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, the product is very good. The Lambdas and the serverless architecture are very good on AWS. If a company needs to expand, it can do so with ease.

We have a lot of APIs, and we'll run them on my customer 360. There are six departments that use the product. We have about 1,000 users currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past and have not been satisfied for the most part. Azure's technical support is much better. AWS often can't help us resolve our issues. But they brought some good consultants basing on our request and helped us . The account Manager always there when he took over this account .  

 i recommend IAAS AWS , for IPAAS ( integration as platform service) and Hybrid cloud Azure

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've also planed for  Azure. We've found Azure to be much more helpful when dealing with issues than AWS has been. I prefer them over AWS in support , application development  and integration as platform. But AWS has great products like S3 , API gateway , transit gateways , route 53 . AWS has  more OS options than AZURE and database offerings. their EMR is good with spark and python but not well supported for Scala and HBase. AWS serverless offerings are very good with out any major problems which includes ECS with fargate and EKS . But we got a good support from account manager

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. When we lifted and shifted faced lot of problems on EMR. Moved to ECS, as well as serverless Lambda, it's was that difficult then. That said, we had to think about how we run our Lambdas, and what problems we are facing or might face.

We're also facing a few problems due to the fact that we use encryption, HCM. When we initially started loading this data, batch data, a lot of Lambdas came, and our limit in HCM is only about 5,000 a minute, however, it quickly jumped up to 20,000 which made it so that we could not load, and errors came up. We had to turn to AWS to get assistance. We just ask them if we can have space over a few days for 20,000 and then they scale it back to 3,000. they helped us 

In terms of the implementation strategy, ours took about eight months. The lift and shift happened within 3 months. Then, we took another four months as we had a lot of problems with our scale-up programming due to multiple issues - for example, libraries, EMR, AWS doesn't have. We faced some problems when we had to change our code according to AWS, or we have to bring in those libraries on our own. So that's where it took time, maybe four months.

For ECS, it took about 30 days to move everything we needed to. 

We don't have a lot of staff to maintain the product. We have about eight people who are capable of doing so. For example, we have someone on infrastructure, who is an architect and we have an enterprise architecture team. I have four developers, two for API and two for Lambda, and one is a systems admin. 

What about the implementation team?

Initial setup environment helped by AWS free . We were able to handle every aspect of the implementation in-house. We didn't need any consultants or integrators. We used our systems manager so that all of our deployments - including environments and keys - can be stored on our SSM. A lot was automated as well.

What was our ROI?

excellent in covid -19 situation . 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We saw a lot of cost savings when we switched over to AWS. It can really save a company a lot of money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Azure and AWS 

What other advice do I have?

I'm a user and  implementer.

The solution is on the cloud; it's always the latest version. It's constantly being updated, and we're always using the latest version.

We use both public and hybrid clouds as deployment models.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MB
Manager, Technology at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Extremely cost-efficient, easy to upgrade and expand storage with greatly improved interfaces

Pros and Cons

  • "Easy to upgrade, easy to expand storage and change your EC2 types."
  • "IAM only gives you one chance to capture your key."

What is our primary use case?

General use cases of AWS are for those needing a managed cloud instance without the bulk costs for a legacy server. We are customers of Amazon and I'm the technology manager. 

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit to the company is immense financial savings and the fact that you're able to see your monthly costs before buying anything. The AWS monthly calculator enables you to select your database, servers, volumes, and see how much everything will cost on a monthly basis. You can figure out what you'll be paying, so it enables a comparison; it's usually a third to half the cost of using an on-prem system.

What is most valuable?

Amazon is easy to upgrade, easy to expand storage and change your EC2 types. Each of those things usually takes at most five minutes to do, whereas on a legacy system you have to actually buy a new system or new hardware and have downtime for installation. Even then it may not be configured the same way and you might end up with a widespread outage. The advantage of using AWS is that all the testing's been done so you have proof that it works. We still do a cursory check, but they don't put anything out there that hasn't been vetted. Plus all the Atlassian tools are on AWS as well. The cloud instances they provide have a very robust network because there are over 160,000 companies that use the tools. Backups are really easy to access as are the automated backups of the VMs and the volumes. We're able to create a new volume from a backup in about two minutes, attach it to the server and view the data side by side to compare the old to the new. It takes 10 minutes total to get all the access needed.

I've had very positive experiences with AWS and it's gotten a lot better over time with their improved interfaces. Everything's all interconnected now and within its own framework. We pull in other tools to the OS such as Docker but AWS provides tools like Yum that enable quick installation of things. It's typically part of the OS. 

What needs improvement?

While the IAM security key is very secure, they only give you one chance to capture your key. If I'm already logged in and have an email address online, it would be better if it were sent in an encrypted manner to email so that you don't lose the key. I might create the IAM and then perhaps forget to capture it off the screen and then when I do need it, I realize I don't have it and have to create another profile.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about 12 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any problem with stability. We do multiple zone backups and multiple zone data and we haven't had any problems or slowdowns. We've had dealings with countries like India, where things are generally slower but with AWS there haven't been any issues. There's no wait time.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. I like the EFS expandable storage because it expands and contracts, you don't have to do anything with it and it's really inexpensive. Somebody may use it for temporary storage where they drop a terabyte of data that they need to give to a customer and then it shrinks back down when they're done with it. It expands and contracts as needed and that's also reflected in the cost.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very fast, very efficient and very knowledgeable. Even when I've asked questions and they didn't know the answers, they were able to find someone within 15 minutes that was able to help.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. The main thing is getting the security protocols set up in the proper order, otherwise it won't work. You have to go in and set up the main group and make sure to share it to your database. They've improved their documentation and it's a lot better but still lacks a little in some areas. If you've deployed before, setup takes a couple of hours, otherwise it might take up to a day. It's a lot faster on cloud; if you're working on-prem you have to jump through a lot of hoops because each team has its own security. 

They have scripting tools on AWS which allow you to set up your framework and you can use it as a template. We use an AWS architect for implementation and to make sure all the security is set up. And then we have a DevOps team that manages the OS updates. That's a team of three handling over 100 servers, VMs basically. Once a month they do the non-production patching with the production patching the following week. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing fees are only applicable if you're using Red Hat or an Oracle database. You have to pay for both of those. If you're using Postgres or MySQL, there are no costs for the actual database application. There are no fees for individuals using Oracle Java, but businesses pay a license. We use an OpenJDK that is vetted by Atlassian so if you don't want to buy Java you can use the OpenJDK.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to do some homework, read as much as you can about the setup before you dive in. If you take an hour to review the setup and then put together your own process so you know all the steps required and you use a checklist, it simplifies things. Have some kind of system, whether it's a spreadsheet or a Confluence page where you're documenting the steps and keeping track of where you're at. 

Whenever I'm asked to do something, I can find a tool on AWS that I can vet for our customers, and for that reason, I rate Amazon AWS 10 out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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BW
Director of Platform and Information Security at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Perfect for startups and easy to implement but offers a confusing amount of tools

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers a low footprint. We don't have to come up with a data center ourselves. We basically don't have to own any hardware. We just rent a slice of their platform and we have everything we need."
  • "They should really consolidate and make things simpler rather than offer you hundreds of random options. The way everything is arranged really forces users to figure out everything on their own and then, on top of that, to calculate the total costs. There's an infinite number of combinations even just with cost calculations. It's just too much."

What is our primary use case?

We're building an application and host on Amazon. We are a startup company, so it's in a very early development stage. We're trying to build a particular application for multiple customers. The idea is if you have a VPC for each customer you can segregate each client with their own isolated environment. That's what we're building. We're going to build one application that can be personalized for each client. 

How has it helped my organization?

The fact that we as a startup don't have to invest in expensive hardware and a place to house it is very helpful for our small business. It saves us money in the long run in overhead costs and allows us to stay streamlined. There's no heavy investment on the outset and we're really just renting the exact amount of what we need.

What is most valuable?

AWS is a cloud platform. There are hundreds of tools within it. The cloud handles the updates so we never have to worry about looking for the latest version of the solution.

The solution offers a low footprint. We don't have to come up with a data center ourselves. We basically don't have to own any hardware. We just rent a slice of their platform and we have everything we need.

What needs improvement?

The biggest area for improvement is the fact that there are a vast amount of tools. The best way to describe it is this: you have lots of Lego pieces, hundreds of Lego pieces, but they all do something specific. However, it's very difficult to understand the purpose of these tools, how are they fit into our environment, our design ideas, etc. To assemble all of these tools, to make them fit into the architectural vision of the company, is very difficult. This is especially true for a startup that doesn't have unlimited resources for research and study. We cannot comprehend the vast amount of information that Amazon produces.

The pricing is very confusing.  

They should really consolidate and make things simpler rather than offer you hundreds of random options. The way everything is arranged really forces users to figure out everything on their own and then, on top of that, to calculate the total costs. There's an infinite number of combinations even just with cost calculations. It's too much. 

For how long have I used the solution?

While the company has been around for three years and has used the solution since its inception, I have only worked here for three months and have a total of three months of experience with the solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. AWS is quite reliable and we haven't had issues. There haven't been bugs, glitches, or crashes. It works well and as expected.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

AWS is extremely scalable. It's designed to be. The sky really is the limit. Users and organizations can expand as much as they like.

We're a small company right now. We're still in the startup phase. We have about 20 people at the moment. We have a dozen developers directly on it now. That said, you probably only need two people for development and maintenance.

We do plan to expand in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Personally I haven't used their support yet. I cannot give more info. I've only been at the company for three months and haven't faced any issues that required me to reach out to technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are just a startup so the company is young. The founders made the choice to use the database and they've used it since day one. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is both really straightforward and complex. At first, it's simple. However, as you get deeper into the solution and work in all kinds of variations or all kinds of scenarios, things get really complex. The more you have to consider the more complicated it can get. The complexities multiple quickly.

We use Terraform to provision the best infrastructure, which makes our platform really easy to manage in terms of our implementation strategy.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation ourselves. We didn't need to hire on an integrator or consultant to assist us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The calculating of costs is quite difficult. There are all kinds of variables to consider and it's all very unclear.

It's my understanding that our company is charged a few hundred dollars on a monthly basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My understanding is that this product was used from day one. I don't think other options were considered. However, I was not at the company when AWS was implemented.

What other advice do I have?

We're a startup company. It's a very small company with only 20 people. Everything we use is cloud-based. We're simply a customer of AWS. We don't have a special relationship with the company.

I'd warn others considering using the solution that the environment is vast and complex, and a company will need a lot of tools at their disposal for research and to understand the product. If there are people within the organization who already have experience with the architecture or with similar solutions within the AWS environment, that will help make implementation successful. It's important to bring people who have previous AWS architecture experience into the organization.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. It does do everything we need it to do, however, as a small company, figuring it out is a big effort. Making it more streamlined or straightforward in the future would probably give it higher marks.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IW
Cloud Architect at a legal firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Flexible with good functionality and is constantly adding new features

Pros and Cons

  • "The product has a lot of new functionality."
  • "The problem with AWS is you have to keep up with the technology. If you don't stay up to date with the technology and its latest changes then you won't know what to use in your infrastructure."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for POCs, different experiments, or IoT devices.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility of the solution is excellent.

The ease of use is great. You can bring something up very easily and tear it back down just as easily. 

Our first system is about to be released. It's our flagship and it's going really well.

The solution scales up extremely well.

They're spinning up and going faster. Anything and everything would you ask for in terms of your feedback they take back and build it and the next thing you know the feature you wanted is available.

The product has a lot of new functionality.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement, however, they're building out new products. 

The problem with AWS is you have to keep up with the technology. If you don't stay up to date with the technology and its latest changes then you won't know what to use in your infrastructure. For example, as soon as you finish building one thing, then they've already updated to something new. They're always continually updating, rebranding, and rebuilding. 

They tend to oversell before a product is ready.

The solution needs to have more security features continuously added to it.

It would be ideal if they could continue to build a more hybrid collaborative solution - something that allows users to be on-prem, on cloud, or wherever they need to be to build. I'm looking for more AWS to Microsoft (or AWS to Linux) authentication solutions.

There are a lot of management requirements. You need to manage every aspect surrounding the solution, and it can sometimes be a lot.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years. We've used it over the last 12 months. We have a lot of experience with the solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Every system has bugs and glitches, however, for the most part, I haven't had any problems with it. In maybe out of 10 years, I might've seen servers fail three times in my life. Their durability is almost perfect. The stability is excellent. You can rely on their product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales up very well. You can easily expand to however big you like. There doesn't seem to be much of a limit. It's very easy to do so as well.

If you scale something up and if you already have your scripts, your JSON, your LAN, and scripts running, and it sees the joint unit, then it brings it right back down. For example, it only uses what you need. If you build in it according to AWS's best practices, then you have a lean mean machine. If you're using their best practices, you'll be fine. 

We are using the solution more for POC purposes, and therefore there are only three people on it currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would them a nine out of ten as a rating. However, the problem we have is not with AWS. Rather, we don't allow them to touch our infrastructure. We've got a lot of security issues and protocols. It's not an AWS issue, it's the way the corporation is built, and that's due to the fact that what we do is highly sensitive.

We would need to ask for specific professional services if we did run into issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have experience with Microsoft as well. 

The difference is that Microsoft is everybody's house and everybody's corporation. AWS is more for if you want to do something new. If you want to just test something new and if you don't have the money, if you just want to learn, you can do something for almost nothing. You can just spin up something and just spin it back down and pay zero. They're moving into what they call this Self-Service Arena now, so then that way you can start building infrastructure. For example, your developers or your designers can actually go in and have a space that they can play in. That's one of the problems that people have with development. People need spaces, where they can go in and build stuff to try.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's very straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing can be very difficult to determine due to the fact that there is so much selection.

What other advice do I have?

We are an AWS customer.

We're using the latest version of the solution. It's always updated, as it's on the cloud and is constantly the latest.

I'd recommend the solution to others. We've been pretty happy with it in general.

I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten due to the fact that they're very flexible. They can be overzealous and challenging at times, however, they really believe religiously in their product, and you can go find many people that know how to use AWS. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Technical Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Plays well with MuleSoft CloudHub and gives us access to proven infrastructure, tools, and technologies

Pros and Cons

  • "The reason I like AWS is that they have a large market share and a large presence. When it comes to our use case, a big positive is that MuleSoft and AWS are working together very well. So instead of competing against each other, they're meshing together."
  • "There have been some issues in the past when it comes to file integrations in AWS's cloud products. However, there are now alternative solutions out there that are helping to integrate them all."

What is our primary use case?

We use Amazon AWS together with MuleSoft's CloudHub, because CloudHub is an extension of Amazon VPC. As part of that, when we set up the infrastructure and everything, we will be interacting with Amazon products. And with big customers, we have data in the private cloud and within that private cloud we have the MuleSoft CloudHub which is connected through the organization's private cloud to a specific geographical AWS public cloud. Regarding security, we also have a number of layers there, too.

As an example, we have seen approximately 300 ETFs developed for different areas, e.g. for United Arab Emirates and other customers. And the internal customers are also using AWS. All in all, there are approximately 10,000+ users who are using it, and things are going pretty well.

What is most valuable?

The reason I like AWS is that they have a large market share and a large presence. When it comes to our use case, a big positive is that MuleSoft and AWS are working together very well. So instead of competing against each other, they're meshing together.

What needs improvement?

There have been some issues in the past when it comes to file integrations in AWS's cloud products. However, there are now alternative solutions out there that are helping to integrate them all.

One thing is that sometimes it becomes a problem when troubleshooting our tools because when you have some things local and some things remote on a foreign server, it can get complicated. We find that sometimes it's a challenge to gather the necessary information from logs and such because you need the proper agreement to capture those details. 

In the future, I would like to see Amazon move more into local clouds, by capturing more of the small market. Nowadays, spending a lot of money is not on the list of priorities for many companies, especially considering what's going on in the world. We want to leverage whatever amount is available and still get all the benefits of new AWS cloud offerings.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Amazon AWS for a couple of years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The infrastructure of AWS is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

AWS is very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never worked with technical support personally because we have a lot of network engineers to handle that. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When it comes to pricing, not all applications require that much performance. That's the reason why other cloud markets are also catching up, because the two predominantly high-performance platforms, AWS and GCP, are almost the same.

Looking at the primary market for AWS, I see that there's a lot of customers who have only mid-level performance requirements, because you will have all these normal applications such as online auction websites, gaming applications, voice applications, and so on. These are not, for example, large monitoring applications, financial independents, or brick and mortar companies. So AWS caters to about 40% of the market when it comes to general applications.

As it happens, in many cases, you simply don't need the high-performance offerings from AWS, nor the innovative products from Google Cloud Platform, which can come with large price tags.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, AWS is pretty good and I can definitely recommend it because it's a proven product. When you're solving big problems, you want — first and foremost — proven infrastructure, technology, tools, and mechanisms. Then slowly, you'll be able to remove dependencies by moving to others as needed. So for project initiation and everything, you get to rely on something which is rock solid and proven in the industry with a long track record.

I know AWS can be an expensive option, but it doesn't have to be out of budget if you choose the appropriate level of product for your performance requirements. They can provide high-performance computing resources, while at the same time catering to the mid-level market with lower performance offerings. 

Previously, in the initial days of AWS, back in 2005/2006, there were some concerns about security and such things, but nowadays there is not much to worry about because a lot of those concerns have been taken care of. Recently, there has been another shift in attitude towards them, because not everybody is a big fan of public cloud because of what is happening in the world with respect to data privacy and everything.

Regardless, the three big names of Microsoft, Google, and AWS are really grabbing the market, and IBM is also catching up well. Because of the data privacy concerns, however, I do see some customization in European countries who are interested in interacting with the cloud market at a more local level.

I would rate Amazon AWS an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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