Amazon Web Services (AWS): A Primer

Far from its origins as an online book store, Amazon is now one of the largest tech corporations to lead the industry. It isn’t just an e-commerce site and logistics company that handles Amazon shipping straight to your designated location. In fact, one of their most popular services (aside from its online retail arm) is AWS or Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services (more commonly known as AWS) is Amazon’s IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, that provides programmers with the tools they need to utilize cloud computing and virtualized computing resources over the internet. Held in as high regard as their Amazon package delivery system.

Although there are numerous IaaS’ available in the market, AWS is the largest, with the Amazon-led service occupying a 47% share of the IaaS public cloud services market. Because of its importance in today’s digital landscape, being AWS-certified can rake in a hefty salary, with AWS Solution Architects at high demand all across the country, and is in fact, one of the highest-paid certification categories in America.

To help you on your AWS certification journey, we’ve compiled a list of basic and common questions that you might encounter on AWS exams and interviews:

What is AWS?

AWS, or Amazon Web Services, is Amazon’s IaaS solution for cloud computing. AWS works by providing programmers with a fast and efficient cloud computing platform that uses small blocks to implement different types of applications in the cloud. Because of the way these blocks are integrated, sequenced, and deployed, they make the IaaS scalable depending on the necessity of the user.

What are the Main Components of AWS? 

AWS has 6 main components:

Simple Email Service

It’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s an email service that allows you to send mail via a restful API call or regular STMP.

Route 53

AWS’ Domain Name Service, or DNS, that’s available as a web service.

Simple Storage Device (S3)

More commonly known as S3, this is a commonly used storage device service that AWS offers as part of their Identity and Access Management services.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

More commonly known as EC2, this is an on-demand computational resource that’s used for application hosting. Because of its on-demand nature, EC2 is favored by most programmers whenever workloads are uncertain.

Elastic Block Store

Also known as EBS, this is an AWS service that allows users to store a constant volume of data that’s integrated with EC2, which means that users can store persistent data here. Provides users with block-level storage in 18 AWS regions including North and South America, the Asia Pacific, and the EU. By using EC2, the EBS is able to process throughput intensive workloads and transactions at any scale.

Cloud Watch

A service that allows AWS users to watch over critical areas of their cloud computation.

Aside from these 6, AWS also offers these components:


A content delivery network service that’s offered by AWS. CloudFront speeds up dynamic and static web content distribution such as image files, .css. .html, and .js. CloudFront distributes this content with high transfer speeds and low latency.

Identity and Access Management (IAS)

Stands for Identity and Access Management, this is an AWS service that allows users to manage access to other AWS services and other resources in a secure setting. This can be used to both create and manage AWES users, groups, and be used to set permissions in allowing and denying access to other AWS resources.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

VPC, or Virtual Private Cloud, allows AWS users to launch their AWS resources on a private virtual network. VPC allows users to set permissions and other network configurations according to their needs.

Does Amazon Support Region-Based Services on all AWS Services?

Unfortunately, Amazon does not provide region-specific usage on all AWS services. However, most AWS services are region-based. Only CloudFront, Route 53, and IAM, are global.

Why Do Users Prefer AWS?

Because of the way Amazon constructed AWS and how it accesses cloud computation, not to mention its ease-of-use, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to access the cloud and not have to worry about databases, cybersecurity, or servers.

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