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How Amazon Web Services boost app performance and cut business costs. World practices and Softensy expertise


Maryna Cherednychenko - July 23, 2020 - 0 comments

An enterprise app plays a major role in the company’s business. It digitizes the workflow and sets a productive dialogue between employees and customers. Given this, any system glitches are unacceptable. Even short-term failures may lead to a waste of resources and severe losses. To that end, system stability is vital. That is why many companies choose cloud hosting for their apps. 

Among many providers, Amazon takes a leading position. According to Statista, it takes 33% of the worldwide market. In the fourth quarter of 2019, their net sales rose to $87.4 billion. These data and our own experience prove that Amazon is the best choice for web hosting. In this article, we will consider the topic in more detail and share other companies’ success stories and our expertise.

 

Amazon takes leading position among cloud providers

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most extensive cloud-based platform with over 175 full-featured data centers around the globe. Amazon’s infrastructure is divided into Availability Zones with so-called server farms tied to specific regions. See its location diagram below.

 

AWS infrastructure

Amazon Web Service global infrastructure

 

Such a broad network of processing centers guarantees a smooth app operation. If one node fails, one of the backups comes into play instantly. It happens in a split second with no impact on user experience. Besides, the data centers across different countries help:

  • remove operating delay
  • strengthen fault tolerance
  • enhance app productivity

AWS is a cloud-based veteran with an excellent reputation. As a subsidiary of Amazon, it has been around for 14 years. During this time it has partnered with many companies, from large enterprises to small start-ups. Therefore, by choosing AWS, you can be confident in your partner’s reliability and robust support for your app.

Why opt for AWS?

When you are developing an app, you have two ways to organize data storage and processing. The first way is to deploy your own infrastructure; the second is to use third-party services.

The former option is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort. Besides, you will need significant investment to buy and maintain the equipment.

The latter option is faster and more efficient. All you have to do is choose the right equipment and pay a regular fee. Note, you pay only for the resources and time that you actually use. As a result, you get:

Ready ecosystem. No need to allocate servers or maintain them, no troubles with installation, maintenance, or administration.

Flexible scaling. You can set up app resources by changing the number of consumption units, e.g., bandwidth or memory, rather than individual servers.

High availability. Downtimes tend to zero because serverless apps have strong fault tolerance, automatically adjusted by the provider.

Resource-saving. There is no need to pay for idle resources. If the code doesn’t work, no fee is charged.

Advanced security. AWS guarantees a high level of protection with superior encryption and extra security layers.

 

AWS benefits

Why opt for AWS?

How to choose AWS products

Amazon is not just a cloud data deployment service, but a vast network of products for enterprises of various sizes and types of activities. If you are not sure what exactly you need, you may be a little confused when you see the variety of AWS assortments. But there is no need to worry. AWS has an excellently structured system. Therefore, you can easily find a necessary product by using proper filters. In this article, I propose looking through the services most often used for enterprise web apps.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides scalable computing resources and simplifies the process of doing calculations on the Internet. A simple interface allows you to access the computing power and configure it with minimal efforts. As a result, you get an accessible work area and reduce the server download time.

AWS Migration Hub helps track app migration processes performed by AWS services and various partner solutions. You can choose among many tools and pick up the most suitable ones, quickly identify and fix any issues that arise, and speed up migration projects. The Hub is free. You should only pay for selected tools and utilized resources. Besides, you can track migration status across all your apps.

Alexa for Business increases the efficiency of daily operations and allows you to make more work done. Alexa assists employees at workplaces, homes, and on the road. It takes on routine tasks – books meetings, connects new participants to the current session, schedules or reschedules meetings that have been added to their calendar, etc. Alexa uses the devices’ data, information on user accounts, and skills in your team to set up a productive workflow.

Amazon SageMaker is a feature-packed service that allows you to build, train, and deploy machine learning models. Traditional ML building is a complex path that is further complicated by the lack of necessary tools. SageMaker solves the problem by providing all the required components in a single toolbox. It takes over most of the work at every stage of ML building. It allows models to go to production faster with much less effort and expense.

In addition to the above services, Amazon provides tools for AI and VR, blockchain, and IoT apps. Also, you can choose instruments for analytics, integration, and support.

AWS customers: success stories

Companies from all over the world use Amazon services. They are small startups and large corporations that run different types of business. Let’s see how AWS improved KPI and boosted the economic numbers of global enterprises.

Coinbase

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency platform and the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. It serves more than 10 million users, offering currency conversion and storage in 190 countries.

Growing demand for bitcoin transactions made the company think about reliable technologies. They turned to AWS because of proven security and scalability. Having studied the service capabilities, they made an exchange mechanism using Amazon RDS and EC2. Also, they built a pipeline to analyze streaming data and connected Amazon Kinesis for real-time exchange analytics.

As a result, Coinbase got secure storage for customers’ funds and handy tools for business analysis.

Siemens

Siemens is a large European concern that works with electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, medical facilities, and communication technologies. Its staff numbers 377,000 people who speak 50 different languages.

The company pays great attention to in-house processes. It regularly conducts employee surveys to identify current areas of concern. Some years ago, Siemens was spending a lot of time and money to process and translate survey results. Now, they use Amazon services for process automation.

  • Amazon translate is in charge of neural machine translation. 
  • Amazon SageMake provides advanced ML tools
  • Amazon Comprehend activates NLP to set relationships in a text

Siemens achieved survey results to be delivered 75% faster and optimized the costs of their processing.

Aon Securities Inc.

ASI is a professional brokerage company that collaborates with insurance firms and offers different financial products. It helps insurance companies evaluate their investment products with resource-intensive modeling tools.

As the business grew, the company realized they needed more room to scale without creating an expensive data center. In particular, they needed powerful GPUs, which they call the rocket fuel of their industry.

Given this, the Amazon pay-as-you-go scheme seemed to be a perfect solution. AWS could quickly spin up vast numbers of GPUs for a fair price. That is why ASI owners decided to migrate to their environment and deprecate the existing data center. The services in use covered Amazon EC2, Amazon VPC, and Amazon EBS.

According to Peter Philips, the managing director of ASI, the use of AWS reduced the ten-day process to 10 minutes.

Softensy experience of migrating to AWS

At Softensy, we have also seen the true value of AWS. Just recently, we’ve migrated there a large project – mobile banking Ecobank, which we developed for a big Eastern European bank. The reason for migration was simple. We needed a bigger capacity and more scalability.

At some point, we realized that existing providers could not meet our requirements. The app often faced downtimes. Besides, we spent a lot of money on the current infrastructure.

For this reason, we rented an AWS virtual machine and a database. Shortly, we moved there testing, development, and production environments. Here are some services that we used:

AWS VPC and EC2 for the backend core helped us take the app production environment to a high-performance level.

AWS Virtual Private Gateway and Transit Gateway served to route traffic from a VPC cloud and set a connection between multiple accounts’ resources.

AWS Certificate Manager allowed us to utilize public and private SSL/TLS certificates required to protect network connections.

AWS Elasticache helped us boost app performance. We applied Redis and Memcached to shorten the response time to a split second.

AWS Cloudformation ensured safe scaling. If it detects errors during scaling, it rolls back and prevents any changes to the current infrastructure.

AWS Global Accelerator enhanced network performance by giving a static IP and routing user requests to the most healthy endpoints.

Final thoughts

AWS is not just a cloud platform but a set of tools with powerful capabilities. It provides reliable instruments to improve app performance and set robust data protection. AWS allows you to kill two birds with a stone. On the one hand, you get a strong technology base, on the other – save on equipment. Paying for the capacities you actually use, you get the resources that best suit your project.

If you want to move your project to Amazon, you need to select suitable services and prepare everything for migration. At Softensy, we have many times dealt with moving apps to AWS infrastructure. So, if you need knowledgeable assistance, contact us. We will help you change the IT environment in a fast and simple manner.

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