Amazon Web Services Offer Advantages for Startups

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I have been spending time evaluating various solutions for hosting my company's web site. I have settled on using Amazon Web Services. AWS offers many interesting features for the web site I have planned.

AWS is a PaaS platform that charges by the amount of resources your application consumes in a month. The amount can be extremely small given that most things don't cost anything until you exceed a 1Gbyte limit. This is very nice because it allows you to "sample" the services without spending a lot.

Given that I want to explore mobile computing, one potential ability I want to offer are web based services. The web serve must have the ability to expand along with the potential success of that service. This is where AWS is really great. It offers the ability to scale vertically, by migrating to a bigger server, or horizontally, by enabling multiple servers. EC2 is the heart of this.

AWS provides for the capability of hosting a Java Web application using Elastic Beanstalk. Beanstalk allows for the deployment of services that scale automatically. Application are developed using Eclipse IDE and the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse.

Amazon offers multiple solutions for data storage on the back-end. The two big services are Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon SimpleDB. Amazon SimpleDB is a Key-Value Store that offers huge storage capabilities. Amazon also offers a more traditional database capability in Amazon Relational Database Service.

Amazon S3 allows for virtual unlimited storage that can be used with other AWS offerings. An example of this is using S3 and Amazon CloudFront as a content delivery network. Amazon also offers the ability to partition S3 storage and charge individual subscribers to your service.

This is just scratching the service. I will be posting more articles on using the various Amazon services as I implement my web site.

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