Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Guide to Amazon Web Services for Corporate IT Managers | ITworld

A Guide to Amazon Web Services for Corporate IT Managers | ITworld

February 16, 2010, 01:05 PM —

Amazon may be the world's largest bookstore, but in the past eight years it has quietly built up a series of more than a dozen cloud-based computing services as part of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) product offerings. Some of the services are older and better known, such as renting online storage using Simple Storage Service (S3) or setting up virtual supercomputers to work on knotty CPU-intensive computations using the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). But there are others that are newer that serve important niches, such as the ability to stream videos using CloudFront, tie Amazon's resources with your own data center with its Virtual Private Cloud service, bring up database servers with SimpleDB and Relational Database Services, and the ability to automatically add or subtract computing resources as they are needed with its Auto Scale and Elastic Load Balancer features. (See the summary chart for the complete list of all AWS services and links to more information.)

AWS certainly isn't the only cloud-computing vendor around: Google has its App Engine, Microsoft's Live and Azure are both coming of age, and Rackspace is one example of a managed services provider that is offering more Web services. What makes AWS fascinating – and perhaps the gold standard of cloud computing -- is seeing how it continues to evolve and complement its core offerings with additional services that can be knitted together to provide a very robust offering for IT managers that previously haven't given the cloud much of a second thought. And while it is challenging to evaluate cloud services because they are always being tweaked, enhanced, and augmented, now is the time to take a closer look at what Amazon offers.

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