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What is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and how does it work?

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Everyone working online on a PC and even smartphone users to an extent have heard the word cloud computing or cloud storage at least once in the past few years. In simple words, cloud computing is the availability of computation, resources and storage on-demand anywhere in the world. The user has to pay for the resources used or a fixed base price for a specific number of services.

Cloud computing differs from other forms of services, as it does not require you to have the required tools and services on your system. Instead, these are remotely available and can be accessed via the internet. Several tech companies provide a cloud computing platform such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud Services and Adobe Creative Cloud, among others.

Here we discuss what AWS or Amazon Web Services is and how it works, alongwith a list of all the available AWS products and the pricing.

Also read: What is Google Drive? Everything you need to know

Amazon Web Services

AWS is a cloud computing service that provides a flexible, reliable, scalable, easy-to-use cloud platform for companies, developers, and users who want to use and learn the cloud technology. It provides a combination of infrastructure, platform, and packaged software as services.

The cloud service was launched in 2002 by Amazon Inc to provide API and development tools, which later expanded to business and governance tools for companies.

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Photo by Christian Wiediger

AWS currently provides tools for computation, storage, analytics, databases, migration, networking, content delivery, development, management, game development, Internet of Things, AR & VR, customer management, AI, desktop and app streaming, mobile services, business productivity, application services, security, identity, and compliance.

List of AWS Services and Tools

Here is a list of all the products and services offered by AWS.

  1. Amazon Athena: Athena is a query service that helps you to analyse data in the Amazon S3 platform.
  2. Amazon CloudSearch: CloudSearch enables you to set up a simple search solution for a website or an application.
  3. Amazon Elasticsearch Service: It offers open-source Elasticsearch APIs, integrations with Logstash, manage Kibana, and other AWS services. Elasticsearch service also enables you to operate Elasticsearch with zero downtime.
  4. Amazon EMR: EMR provides a Hadoop framework to process data across dynamically scalable Amazon EC2 instances. It can securely handle a broad set of big data use cases, including log analysis, web indexing, data transformations.
  5. Amazon Kinesis: This service makes it easy to collect and analyse real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights. It also gives the option to choose the tools that work best for your application.
  6. Amazon Redshift: It provides you with a fast, scalable data warehouse that makes it simple to analyse all your data across your data warehouse and lake.
  7. Amazon Quicksight: Quicksight helps you deliver insights, create and publish interactive dashboards, including ML insights to everyone in your organisation.
  8. AWS Data Pipeline: Data Pipeline helps you process and move data between different AWS compute and storage services.
  9. AWS Glue: Glue helps you extract, transform, and load (ETL) service, making it easier for customers to prepare and load data for analytics.
  10. Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka: It is an open-source platform for building real-time streaming data pipelines and applications that use Apache Kafka to process streaming data.
  11. AWS Lake Formation: This service collects and catalogues data from databases and object storage, move the data into your S3 data lake. It also cleans and classifies data using machine learning algorithms and secures access to your sensitive data.
  12. AWS Data Exchange: Data Exchange service for AWS customers to find, subscribe to and use third-party data in the cloud.
  13. Amazon EventBridge: EventBridge is a serverless event bus that connects applications using data from your apps, SaaS apps, and AWS services.
  14. AWS Step Functions: It lets you coordinate multiple AWS services into serverless workflows so you can build and update apps quickly. 
  15. Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS): SQS lets you can send, store, and receive messages between software components at any volume. It is efficient and works without losing messages or requiring other services to be available.
  16. Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS): SNS is a pub/sub messaging service that enables you to decouple microservices, and provides topics for high-throughput, push-based, many-to-many messaging.
  17. Amazon MQ: MQ is a message broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that helps you to set up and operate message brokers in the cloud.
  18. Amazon AppSync: AppSync provides you with a flexible API to access, manipulate, and combine data from one or more data sources for application development.
  19. Amazon Sumerian: Sumerian helps you in creating and running virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications quickly.
  20. AWS Cost Explorer: This tool helps you to analyse your AWS cost and usage.
  21. AWS Budgets: Budgets can help you by setting custom budgets that alert you when your costs or usage exceed your budgeted amount.
  22. Reserved Instance Reporting: It gives you a deeper dive into your reserved instances (RIs).
  23. AWS Cost and Usage Report: It records AWS usage for each service category used by an account and its IAM users in hourly or daily line items.
  24. Savings Plans: Saving plans is a flexible pricing model that provides customers with savings of up to 72% on usage.
  25. Amazon Managed Blockchain: It helps you to set up, deploy, and manage scalable blockchain networks.
  26. Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB): It is a ledger database that tracks every application data change and maintains a history of changes.
  27. Alexa for Business: This tool enables organisations to use Alexa as their intelligent assistant.
  28. Amazon Chime: Chime is a communication service that lets you meet, chat, and place calls in the organisation.
  29. Amazon WorkMail: WorkMail is a business email and calendar service for existing desktop and mobile email client applications.
  30. Amazon WorkDocs: WorkDocs is an enterprise document storage and sharing service. You can easily create, edit, and share content, and access it from anywhere on any device.
  31. Amazon Connect: It is a cloud-based contact centre service to deliver better customer service at a lower cost.
  32. Amazon Pinpoint: Pinpoint helps you to personalise and send targeted messages to your customers across different channels.
  33. Amazon Simple Email Service (SES): It is an email sending service designed to send marketing, notification, and transactional emails.
  34. Contact Lens for Amazon Connect: It is a tool for contact centre analytics that is powered by machine learning.
  35. Amazon Elastic Container RegistryEasily: RegistryEasily helps store, manage, and deploying container images.
  36. Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS): Itis a highly secure, reliable, and scalable way to run containers.
  37. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS): As per Amazon, it is the most trusted way to run Kubernetes on your system.
  38. AWS FargateServerless: FaragateServerless provides a platform to perform computation on containers.
  39. Amazon EC2: It provides virtual servers in the cloud as per your requirement. It can be easily configured and is very flexible.
  40. Amazon EC2 Auto ScalingScale: This tool helps you to adjust compute capacity to meet demand.
  41. Amazon Lightsail: Lightsail enables you to launch and manage your own virtual private servers. It is one of the easiest ways to start your own servers.
  42. AWS BatchRun:  If you are looking for a tool to batch jobs, this service will do it for you. It can batch tasks at any scale efficiently.
  43. AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Beanstalk can run and manage web apps developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python or any other language.
  44. AWS LambdaRun: This service lets you code without thinking about managing servers. You can run your code for any machine virtually.
  45. AWS OutpostsRun:  OutpostsRun provides you with a solution for running AWS infrastructure on-premise.
  46. AWS Serverless Application Repository – It enables you to deploy and publish serverless applications for any machine anywhere.
  47. AWS WavelengthDeliver: With the upcoming latest technology of 5G, applications need to updated as well. This service helps to develop ultra-low latency applications for 5G devices.
  48. VMware Cloud on AWSBuild: This service enables you to build a hybrid cloud without custom hardware according to your needs.
  49. Amazon Aurora:  It is a high performance managed relational database service offered by Amazon and fully managed by Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).
  50. Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility): DocumentDB is a fully managed document database that supports MongoDB.
  51. Amazon DynamoDB: It is a managed NoSQL database which can provide single-digit millisecond performance.
  52. Amazon ElastiCache: ElastiCache is an in-memory caching service that can run popular open-source compatible in-memory data stores.
  53. Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service: This service enables you to manage and run Cassandra-compatible databases on the cloud.
  54. Amazon Neptune: Neptune is a fully-managed graph database service that enables you to work with highly connected datasets.
  55. Amazon RDS: It is a managed relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and MariaDB on the cloud. It is easily scalable and easy to use.
  56. Amazon RDS on VMware: This service helps you to automate on-premises database management/ VM environment using RDS technology.
  57. Amazon Timestream: Timestream enables to manage time-series database for IoT devices and operational applications storing data according to time intervals.
  58. AWS Database Migration Service: It helps you to migrate databases with minimal downtime without affecting the source databases.
  59. Amazon Corretto: Corretto is a production-ready distribution of open-source JDK platform compatible with the JavaSE platform.
  60. AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK): This tool provides you with the capability of modelling cloud infrastructure using code according to your needs. You can create tools by codes and run them on the cloud.
  61. AWS Cloud9: Cloud9 is a cloud IDE providing the facility of writing, running, and debugging code.
  62. AWS CodeBuild: This service enables you to build and test code on the cloud.
  63. AWS CodeCommit: It provides the facility of storing code in private Git repositories. It enables your team to work on the code project together remotely.
  64. AWS CodeDeploy: It automates the code deployment process and makes it easier to provide updates.
  65. AWS CodePipeline: CodePipeline ensures the release software using continuous delivery and automates your building, testing and deployment phase.
  66. AWS CodeStar: This service enables you to develop and deploy AWS applications on the cloud platform.
  67. AWS Command Line Interface – It gives you a unified tool to manage and automate AWS services using the command line scripts.
  68. AWS Device Farm: This service provides test Android, iOS, and web apps on real devices in the AWS cloud. It provides virtual machines to test your codes.
  69. AWS Tools and SDKs: It provides tools and SDKs for the AWS platform helpful in development.
  70. AWS X-Ray: It enables you to analyse and debug your applications on the cloud platform.
  71. Amazon WorkSpaces: It provides you virtual Windows or Linux desktop in the cloud which can be scaled to thousands of desktops.
  72. Amazon AppStream 2.0: This service enables the streaming of desktop applications securely to a browser.
  73. Amazon WorkLink: WorkLink provides you with the facility to enable mobile access to internal websites.
  74. Amazon CloudWatch: Clockwatch provides with monitoring resources and applications, optimising and troubleshooting your device.
  75. AWS Auto Scaling: Auto Scaling helps you optimise and monitor all your applications such that you always have the best resource.
  76. AWS Chatbot: ChatOps for AWS is an interactive agent that makes it easy to monitor and interact with your AWS resources.
  77. AWS CloudFormation: Using a common language helps to create and manage resources with templates.
  78. AWS CloudTrail: CloudTrail can be used to not only track your activity, enables risk and governance auditing. Tracking your activity helps your viewing event history and also simplifies security analysis, etc.
  79. AWS Compute Optimizer: This tool identifies and optimises your AWS resources and helps in the reduction of cost.
  80. AWS Config: This tool allows the simplification of auditing and helps to track resources inventory and changes.
  81. AWS Control Tower: It helps you to set up and govern a secure, compliant multi-account environment.
  82. AWS Console Mobile Application: This is the mobile application for the AWS console which can be used on the go.
  83. AWS License Manager: This tool helps you to track, manage, and control licenses of the products.
  84. AWS Management Console: It is a Web-based user interface used for cloud management and to access and manage your AWS.
  85. AWS Managed Services: It is an infrastructure operations management for AWS that helps to reduce your overhead and risk by automating everyday activities.
  86. AWS OpsWorks: OpsWorks lets you automate operations using Chef and Puppet.
  87. AWS Organisations: It is used for the central governance and management of your accounts as you can automate the creation of accounts, groups, etc.
  88. AWS Personal Health Dashboard: This tool helps you to monitor the health of the AWS services you use.
  89. AWS Service Catalog: Catalog helps you to create, manage catalogues and use standardised products approved by AWS on the cloud.
  90. AWS Systems Manager: This simplifies your resource and application management and is also used to gain operational insights and take action on them accordingly.
  91. AWS Trusted Advisor: This tool can provide you with guidance, optimise performance and security for your cloud.
  92. AWS Well-Architected Tool – Well-Architected Tool provide a consistent approach and high and efficient application infrastructure to review and improve your workloads.
  93. Amazon Elastic Transcoder: Transcoder can quickly and cost-efficiently be used on any application for media transcoding.
  94. Amazon Kinesis Video Streams: This tool helps in the processing and analysis of video streams.
  95. AWS Elemental MediaConnect: MediaConnect provides a reliable and secure live video transport service.
  96. AWS Elemental MediaConvert: It is a transcoding service used for creating a video on demand.
  97. AWS Elemental MediaLive: This tool can convert live video content into a broadcast-quality live stream easily.
  98. AWS Elemental MediaPackage: It creates video streams in a format accessible for TVs, Phones, among others, and does the video packaging as well.
  99. AWS Elemental MediaStore: It provides effective storage for the long term and gives performance consistency.
  100. AWS Elemental MediaTailor: MediaTrailor helps you in video personalisation and monetisation by inserting personalised ads efficiently.
  101. AWS Elemental Appliances & Software: This tool provides you with on-premises media solutions.
  102. AWS Migration Hub: This tool provides a single interface where you can track all the AWS migration of your applications.
  103. AWS Application Discovery Service: It lets you discover on-premises applications to streamline migration for your applications.
  104. AWS Database Migration Service: This service lets you migrate databases with minimal downtime without affecting the workflow.
  105. AWS DataSync: It is a simple, fast, online data transfer available on the AWS platform.
  106. AWS Server Migration Service: This service helps you to migrate from on-premises servers to AWS.
  107. AWS Snow Family: This service helps you to transport data from devices into and out of AWS physically.
  108. AWS Transfer for SFTP: This service helps in transferring files in and out of Amazon S3 using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
  109. CloudEndure Migration: This service helps you in automating your mass migration to the AWS cloud.
  110. AWS Amplify: Amplify service lets you build and deploy mobile and web applications efficiently. It provides a simple framework and backend to support your application.
  111. Amazon API Gateway: This service helps in building, deployment, and management of API.
  112. Amazon Pinpoint: This service offers personalised user engagement across channels on your built applications.
  113. AWS AppSync: It lets you power your apps with the right data from many sources, at scale.
  114. AWS Device Farm: This service lets you test Android, iOS, and web apps on real devices in the AWS cloud.
  115. Amazon VPC: It provides you with the facility of creating isolated cloud resources on which you can run your own AWS resources.
  116. Amazon CloudFront: It is a global content delivery network which can deliver data, videos, applications, and APIs securely.
  117. Amazon Route 53: Route 53 enables you to get a scalable domain name system (DNS) that can allow a connection between user requests to AWS infrastructure.
  118. AWS App Mesh: App Mesh enables you to monitor and control microservices on your AWS network across multiple infrastructures.
  119. AWS Cloud Map: It is a service discovery for cloud resources that keeps track of application resources and their addresses.
  120. AWS Direct Connect: Direct Connect is a dedicated cloud tool for network connection to AWS from your office or your data centre.
  121. AWS Global Accelerator: This service improves the application availability and performance that you offer to your user base.
  122. AWS PrivateLink: PrivateLink provides you with a secure access service between applications hosted on AWS.
  123. AWS Transit Gateway:  Gateway enables you to connect Amazon VPC and account connections through a single gateway.
  124. AWS VPN: VPN needs no introduction! This service allows you to access your network resources on the cloud securely.
  125. Elastic Load Balancing (ELB): This service distributes the incoming traffic across multiple targets and offers three types of load balancing.
  126. Amazon Braket: This service offers quantum computing to developers and enterprises. It allows you to explore and experiment with quantum computing.
  127. Amazon Quantum Solutions Lab:  This service allows you to collaborate with quantum computing experts across the globe at a low cost.
  128. AWS RoboMaker: This service allows you to develop, test, and deploy robotics applications on the cloud.
  129. AWS Ground Station: This service gives you a fully managed ground station without worrying about the infrastructure.

Also read: Top 7 Amazon alternatives in India

Pricing and Plans

AWS has a low-cost pricing and different plans that you can select according to individual preferences.  AWS also has a free tier system that offers more than services in three different formats.

Free Tier

AWS offers a 12-month Free Tier service, an Always Free offer, and short-term trials. It allows the user to experience the AWS ecosystem without paying and optimise their workflow accordingly. The 12-month free tier offers free services up to 12 months with specific usage limits for each service.

The Always Free offer provides you with a monthly usage limit of services, just like our internet data packs on our smartphones, but is free for a lifetime. Once you exceed the limits, you are charged depending on your usage.

The short-term free tier is for a specific period or till the one-time usage limits of services get used up. After this period gets over, you will be charged according to the pricing plans of AWS.

Check out the free services offered by AWS here.


Amazon charges you according to how much resources you use. There are no specific or fixed charges of AWS, and you just pay according to your usage. After you use the free tier bandwidth of services, you are charged according to the pricing policy of AWS.

You can find the pricing policy AWS here.

I hope this article helps to find the best tools and services offered by AWS for your usage and shoot up your productivity.

Also read: Top 7 Amazon alternatives that deliver in USA

Akshit Kansal

A BTech student whose interest lies in automobiles, tech, music, coding and badminton.

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