Being in the IT industry, we all have gone through the long and tedious process of procuring new infrastructure for our data centers at one time or another. Let's be honest, it is not a task for the faint-hearted At a minimum, a brand new server can take weeks if not months to get delivered from its date of ordering, and this is too heavily dependent on a lot of external factors which, most of the time, are not in our control. Even if the new server comes in on time, there is the additional burden of prepping the rack, clearing space for the new resources, cabling, cooling, mounting, installation of software, configuration, and the list just keeps on going on for another mile. Putting the server and storage on one side, the same can also apply for networking, applications, software, and a whole lot of other things. But what if all this was to change? What if tomorrow, you could simply jump start your business or scale your application to thousands of servers, all with the simple click of a button? Seems farfetched, doesn't it, but in reality, this is possible today with a little help from something called as cloud computing.
Cloud computing has definitely evolved a lot over the years, and today it has become almost a mainstream part of our lives. Everything from storing large amounts of data, to having burst compute capacity at your fingertips and having enterprise software applications available on demand any time anywhere are just some of the key benefits that clouds provide today. At the helm of this new way of computing is Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In this chapter, we are going to look at some of the key features and benefits provided by cloud computing in general along with few interesting enterprise use cases. Later on, you will learn a bit more about Amazon Web Services and its core components, and finally have a look at how to sign up and get started with AWS.