Getting Started with AWS

Getting started with AWS can be daunting. For beginners, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This article introduces readers to AWS, the benefits it offers, and lists the key services available to users.

What is Cloud Computing?

Before talking about AWS, it is important to first define cloud computing. Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet. Cloud computing enables users to access resources such as computing power, storage, and databases without the burdens of buying, owning, and maintaining physical infrastructure. 

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services(AWS) is the world leader in the cloud computing sector, with over 16 years of experience catering to the needs of businesses across industries. It has become the world’s most broadly adopted cloud platform with millions of customers ranging from individuals and startups to large enterprises and government agencies. 

What are the Benefits of AWS?

Benefit #1 – Cost-effective

With AWS’s pay-as-you-go pricing model, users only pay for the resources they need and only for the time they are in use. This makes cost management straightforward, predictable, and easy to track. Users get to avail the latest IT resources without having to bear the costs of procuring, installing, and maintaining infrastructure.

Benefit #2 – Flexibility

AWS gives its users complete control and choice of OS, programming language, web application platform, database, and other services. The flexibility provided by AWS services  offers seamless migration of existing applications to the cloud, while also opening up the possibility of building new solutions.

Benefit #3 – Scalability and Elasticity

AWS makes scaling effortless for its users. With tools such as Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing, applications can be scaled up or down based on demand. Backed by AWS’s robust and immense global infrastructure, users always have immediate access to almost limitless resources when they need them.

Benefits #4 – More Services & Features

Compared to other cloud providers, AWS provides a more robust pallet of services and features to choose from. Included in these services are conventional infrastructure technologies such as compute and storage, but there are also services that take advantage of burgeoning technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT.

Benefit #5 – Reliability & Performance

AWS’s unmatched experience, reliability, and performance provide a solid foundation for users to depend on and build robust and sustainable applications at any scale. Security or performance concerns are minimized, allowing users to focus their time on building optimized environments.

Benefit #6 – Security

AWS’s core infrastructure has been built to satisfy the security requirements of military, global banks, and other high-profile organizations. AWS supports 98 security standards and compliance certifications. All services within AWS that store customer data offer data encryption. 

What Services Does AWS Offer?

This section lists the major categories of AWS services. 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. For a complete and up-to-date list of AWS services, readers can visit the AWS Cloud Products Page.


Instances (Virtual machines)Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute)Secure and resizable compute capacity (virtual servers) in the cloud
Amazon EC2 Spot InstancesRun fault-tolerant workloads at massively discounted prices
Amazon EC2 Auto ScalingAutomatically add or remove compute capacity to meet changes in demand
Amazon LightsailEasy-to-use cloud platform offering everything needed to build an application or website
Amazon BatchFully-managed batch processing at any scale
ContainersAmazon ECS (Elastic Container Service)Highly secure, reliable, and scalable way to run containers
Amazon ECS AnywhereRun containers on customer-managed infrastructure
Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR)Easily store, manage, and deploy container images
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)Fully managed Kubernetes service
Amazon EKS AnywhereCreate and operate Kubernetes clusters on on-premise infrastructure
AWS FargateServerless compute for containers
AWS App RunnerBuild and run containerized applications on a fully-managed service
ServerlessAWS LambdaRun code without thinking about servers. Pay only for the compute time consumed
Edge & HybridAWS OutpostsRun AWS infrastructure and services on-premises for a truly consistent hybrid experience
AWS Snow FamilyCollect and process data on rugged or disconnected edge environments
AWS WavelengthDeliver ultra-low latency application for 5G devices
VMWare Cloud on AWSPreferred service for all vSphere workloads to rapidly extend and migrate to the cloud
AWS Local ZonesRun latency-sensitive applications closer to end-users
Cost & Capacity ManagementAWS Savings PlanFlexible pricing model that provides savings of up to 72% on AWS compute usage
AWS Compute OptimizerRecommends optimal AWS compute resources for workloads to reduce costs and improve performance
AWS Elastic BeanstalkEasy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services
EC2 Image BuilderBuild and maintain secure Linux or Windows Server images
Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)Automatically distribute incoming application traffic across multiple targets
Source: Compute Services – AWS Whitepaper

AWS offers the broadest and deepest functionality for compute among all cloud service providers. The following table provides a list of AWS compute services. 


AWS storage is used by millions of customers across the globe to increase agility and reduce storage costs. The following table provides a list of AWS storage services.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)Object storage built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere
Amazon S3 GlacierLow-cost archive storage in the cloud
Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)EC2 block storage volumes
Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)Fully-managed file system for EC2
Amazon FSxLaunch, run, and scale feature-rich and highly-performant file systems with just a few clicks
AWS BackupCentralized backup across AWS services
AWS Snow FamilyPhysical edge computing and storage devices for rugged or disconnected environments
AWS Storage GatewayHybrid storage integration
AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery (DRS)Scalable, cost-effective application recovery to AWS
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS offers fully-managed purpose-built database services supporting diverse data models including relational, key-value, in-memory, ledger, document, time series, graph, and wide column databases. The following table provides a list of AWS database services.

Amazon DynamoDBManaged NoSQL database
Amazon AuroraHigh performance managed relational database
Amazon RedshiftFast, simple, and cost-effective data warehousing
Amazon RDSManaged relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and MariaDB
Amazon ElastiCacheIn-memory caching service
Amazon DocumentDBFully managed document database
Amazon NeptuneFully managed graph database service
Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra)Managed Cassandra-compatible database
Amazon TimestreamFully managed time series database
Amazon MemoryDB for RedisRedis-compatible, durable, in-memory database service for ultra-fast performance
Source: AWS Cloud Products


Containers are small packages of software that contain the necessary elements to run in any environment. AWS offers multiple tools for developing applications with containers including container registry, orchestration, and compute services. Users can securely store and manage their container images, leverage orchestration that manages when and where containers run, and use flexible and powerful compute engines to power containers. The following table provides a list of AWS container services.

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)Highly secure, reliable, and scalable way to run containers
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)The most trusted way to run Kubernetes
AWS Elastic Container Registry (ECR)Easily store, manage, and deploy container images
AWS FargateServerless compute for containers
AWS App2ContainerContainerize and migrate existing applications
AWS CopilotThe easiest way to launch and manage containerized applications on AWS
Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWSManaged OpenShift in the cloud
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS developer tools help build, test, and deploy applications with ease. The following table provides a list of AWS developer tools.

AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)Line Interface Unified tool to manage AWS services
AWS CodeBuildBuild and test code
AWS CodeCommitStore code in private Git repositories
AWS CodeDeployAutomate code deployments
AWS CodeArtifactSecure, scalable, and cost-effective artifact management for software development
AWS CodePipelineRelease software using continuous delivery
AWS CodeStarDevelop and deploy AWS applications
AWS CloudShellCommand line access to AWS resources and tools directly from a browser
AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK)Model cloud infrastructure using code
AWS Cloud Control APIManage AWS and third-party cloud infrastructure with consistent APIs
AWS Cloud9Write, run, and debug code on a cloud IDE
Amazon CodeGuruFind your most expensive lines of code
AWS Device FarmTest Android, iOS, and web apps on real devices in the AWS cloud
Amazon CorrettoProduction-ready distribution of OpenJDK
AWS Tools and SDKsTools and SDKs for AWS
AWS Fault Injection SimulatorImprove resiliency and performance with controlled experiments
AWS X-RayAnalyze and debug applications
Amazon CodeCatalyst (Preview)Unified software development service for faster development and delivery on AWS
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS offers one of the most comprehensive and functional range of media services to help media companies create, transform, and deliver high-quality digital content. The following table provides a list of AWS media services.

AWS Elemental MediaPackageVideo origination and packaging
AWS Elemental MediaConvertConvert file-based video content
AWS Elemental MediaLiveConvert live video content
AWS Elemental MediaConnectReliable and secure live video transport
AWS Elemental MediaTailorVideo personalization and monetization
AWS Elemental MediaStoreMedia storage and simple HTTP origin
Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS)Build engaging live stream experiences
Amazon Elastic TranscoderEasy-to-use scalable media transcoding
AWS Elemental Appliances & SoftwareOn-premises media solutions
Amazon Kinesis Video StreamsProcess and analyze video streams
Amazon Nimble StudioAccelerate content creation in the cloud
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS offers a selection of services that facilitate business operations. The following table provides a list of AWS business services.

Amazon ChimeFrustration-free meetings, video calls, and chat
Amazon Chime SDKReal-time messaging, audio, video, and screen sharing
AWS WickrProtect enterprise communication with end-to-end encryption
Amazon WorkDocsSecure enterprise document storage and sharing
Amazon WorkMailSecure email and calendaring
Amazon ConnectOmnichannel cloud contact center
Alexa for BusinessEmpower your organization with Alexa
Amazon HoneyCodeBuild mobile & web apps without programming
Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)High-scale inbound and outbound email
Amazon PinpointMultichannel marketing communications
AWS Supply Chain (Preview)Mitigate risks and lower costs with an ML-powered supply chain application
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS offers a wide range of security services to help users protect their data and cloud environment of unwanted exposures. The following table provides a list of AWS security services. 

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)Securely manage access to services and resources
AWS Certificate ManagerProvision and manage SSL/TLS certificates with AWS services and connected resources
AWS DetectiveInvestigate potential security issues
Amazon Security Lake (Preview)Automatically centralize your security data with a few clicks
AWS Network FirewallDeploy network security across your Amazon VPCs with just a few clicks
AWS ArtifactOn-demand access to AWS’ compliance reports
AWS ShieldDDoS protection
Amazon CognitoIdentify management for your apps
AWS Firewall ManagerCentral management of firewall rules
AWS Audit ManagerContinuously audit your AWS usage to simplify how you assess risk and compliance
AWS Secrets managerRotate, manage, and retrieve secrets
Amazon Verified Permissions (Preview)Fine-grained permissions and authorization for your applications
AWS Directory ServiceHost and manage active directory
AWS Security HubUnified security and compliance center
AWS WAFFilter malicious web traffic
Amazon Key Management Service (KMS)Managed creation and control of encryption keys
AWS CloudHSMHardware-based key storage for regulatory compliance
AWS Single Sign-On (SSO)Cloud single sign-on (SSO) service
AWS Resource Access ManagerSimple, secure service to share AWS resources
Amazon GuardDutyManaged threat detection service
Amazon InspectorAutomated and continual vulnerability management for Amazon EC2 and Amazon ECR
Amazon MacieDiscover and protect your sensitive data at scale
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS provides a broad selection of data analytics services to help businesses address all their data analytics needs including data storage, data movement, data lakes, big data analytics, streaming analytics, business intelligence, and machine learning (ML). The following table provides a list of AWS analytics services. 

AWS GlueSimple, scalable, and serverless data integration
Amazon AthenaQuery data in S3 using SQL
AWS Data PipelineOrchestration service for periodic, data-driven workflows
Amazon DataZone (Preview)Unlock data across organizational boundaries with built-in governance
Amazon FinSpaceStore, catalog, prepare, and analyze financial industry data in minutes
AWS Lake FormationBuild a secure data lake in days
Amazon EMRHosted Hadoop framework
Amazon CloudSearchManaged search service
Amazon KinesisAnalyze real-time video and data streams
AWS DataExchangeFind, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud
Amazon QuickSightFast business analytics service
Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK)Fully managed Apache Kafka service
Amazon OpenSearch ServiceSearch, visualize, and analyze up to petabytes of text and unstructured data
AWS Clean Rooms (Preview)Match, analyze, and collaborate on datasets without sharing or revealing underlying data
Amazon RedshiftFast, simple, cost-effective data warehousing
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS offers the deepest and most purpose-built set of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services. The following table provides a list of AWS machine learning services. 

Amazon MonitronReduce unplanned equipment downtime with predictive maintenance and machine learning
TensorFlow on AWSOpen-source machine intelligence library
Amazon Lookout for MetricsAutomatically detect anomalies in metrics and identify their root cause
Amazon DevOps GuruML-powered cloud operations service to improve application availability
Amazon SageMakerBuild, train, and deploy machine learning models at scale
Amazon LexBuild voice and text chatbots
AWS DeepComposerML enabled musical keyboard
Amazon TextractExtract text and data from documents
Amazon HealthLakeSecurely store, transform, quert, and analyze health data in minutes
AWS Deep Learning ContainersDocker images for deep learning
Amazon PersonalizeBuild real-time recommendations into your applications
Amazon Lookout for VisionSpot product defects using computer vision 
Amazon Fraud DetectorDetect more online fraud faster
AWS PanoramaImprove your operations with computer vision at the edge
Amazon KendraReinvent enterprise search with ML
Amazon ForecastIncrease forecast accuracy using machine learning
Amazon CodeGuruFind your most expensive lines of code
AWS InferentiaMachine learning inference chip
AWS DeepLensDeep learning enabled video camera
Amazon TranscribeAutomatic speech recognition
Apache MXNet on AWSScalable open-source deep learning framework
AWS Deep Learning AMIsDeep learning on Amazon EC2
Amazon TranslateNatural and fluent language translation
Amazon Elastic InferenceDeep learning inference acceleration
Amazon Augmented AIEasily implement human review of ML predictions
Amazon Lookout for EquipmentDetect abnormal equipment behavior by analyzing sensor data
PyTorch on AWSFlexible open-source machine learning framework
AWS DeepRacerAutonomous 1/18th scale race car, driven by ML
Amazon SageMaker Ground TruthBuild accurate ML training datasets
Amazon RekognitionAnalyze image and video
Amazon PollyTurn text into life-like speech
Amazon ComprehendDiscover insights and relationships in text
Amazon OmicsTransform omics data into insights
Amazon BedrockBuild and scale generative AI-based applications using Foundation Models (FMs)
Source: AWS Cloud Products


AWS provides two key blockchain services that help simplify and accelerate the development of blockchain and ledger applications.

Amazon Managed BlockchainCreate and manage scalable blockchain networks
Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB)Fully managed ledger database
Source: AWS Cloud Products

Conclusion & Where to Get Started

AWS has cemented its position as the clear market leader in the cloud computing sector. An increasing number of companies across multiple industries are recognizing the importance of the accessibility, flexibility, and cost benefits that AWS provides.

Readers interested in learning more about AWS can visit the Getting Started with AWS guide to gain additional insights, deploy their first applications, and gain access to the AWS community.

Before migrating to the AWS cloud, companies may need to assess whether they have the necessary expertise to effectively navigate the world of AWS and the vast range of possibilities it offers. The easiest solution for most businesses is to partner with an AWS-recognized partner like TrackIt to ensure that the right solution is deployed with the right choice of services that match their exact requirements.

About TrackIt

TrackIt is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Tier Services Partner specializing in cloud management, consulting, and software development solutions based in Marina del Rey, CA.

TrackIt specializes in Modern Software Development, DevOps, Infrastructure-As-Code, Serverless, CI/CD, and Containerization with specialized expertise in Media & Entertainment workflows, High-Performance Computing environments, and data storage.

TrackIt’s forté is cutting-edge software design with deep expertise in containerization, serverless architectures, and innovative pipeline development. The TrackIt team can help you architect, design, build and deploy a customized solution tailored to your exact requirements.

In addition to providing cloud management, consulting, and modern software development services, TrackIt also provides an open-source AWS cost management tool that allows users to optimize their costs and resources on AWS.

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