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AWS Complex Platform

Navigating AWS Complexity

Amazon’s Web Services is a very complex platform. Streamlining and optimizing production workflows can be challenging for inexperienced users. However, the benefit of learning grants options for better efficiency, reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness for operations run on AWS. While complexity can be difficult to navigate, it's not impossible. With the right level of expertise, AWS complexity can be navigated with ease.

Understanding the Cloud

The Amazon Cloud is still fairly complex and difficult to understand.  Though Amazon does provide learning tools and means by which developers can acquire certification, there is a reason certified experts are considered as valuable as they are.  It is possible to set up an AWS environment poorly and it’s our job to help clients safely navigate the cloud to establish a safe and profitable network.  There are several ways that AWS users ease the struggle of maintaining cloud infrastructure.

Well-Architected Framework

Well-Architected Framework is a set of guidelines for best practices on the platform.  These standards are to enforce best practices for designing and operating an environment in methods that are reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective for long-term functionality.  These standards specifically fall under a number of pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance, and cost optimization.  Our services even include providing an extensive review of how well an environment abides by these standards and how to steadily improve.

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Automation using CloudFormation

CloudFormation is a service on AWS that allows the templatization and easy replication of existing AWS infrastructure and resources.  These templates take all the settings and define them as variables.  The templates can then be used to repeatedly procure new cloud resources with consistency and no errors.

AWS Management and Governance

AWS also has multiple services designed to help with governance and safety regulations.  Services like AWS Organizations, AWS Control Tower, and AWS Config are all designed specifically for security management, including AWS account management, enforcing governance policies, tracking changes in configuration, and gateway control.  These help keep potential intruders out and organize entry points into the environment.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment or CI/CD is the cycle of constant upkeep for an application’s lifecycle.  AWS also incorporates several services that aren’t specifically limited to CI/CD, but can be implemented to bolster the CI/CD cycle.  AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS CodeDeploy can help automate basic upkeep tasks such as testing, deployment, and monitoring to accelerate the cycle and ensure better consistency for better quality.

Serverless Architecture

AWS has multiple innovations on offer to its customers, including serverless computing.  Because of the serverless nature of services like AWS Lambda and AWS Step Function, this helps to reduce operational overhead, makes operations much more flexible and capable of adapting to increased traffic, and helps reduce costs in the long run.

Monitoring, Oversight, and Security

Keeping awareness of everything in an environment lets users know if all the services are working as intended and prevents infiltration.  AWS services like CloudWatch and CloudTrail let users build dashboards that log the health and access records for an account with options for alerts to the continued health and performance.  Services including Identity Access Management (IAM), Key Management Service (KMS), and a Well-Architected Framework are critical to maintaining good security and controlling which users have access.

Cost Optimization

AWS does run on a very flexible payment model.  Individual resources are priced and rates are dependent on use.  Though this typically results in overprovisioning, AWS does have systems implemented that are designed to analyze and optimize resource use as much as possible.  Tools like AWS Cost Explorer and AWS Budgets can help plan budgets, anticipate changes in the budget, and set alarms if costs go above allowed thresholds.

Third-Party Tools

Some developers do have a preference for either their own solutions to use for the cloud or third party tools.  AWS does provide a number of solutions for helping to bridge the gap between external services and internal ones.  Even if AWS doesn’t have what you need, there are plenty of third-party vendors from the AWS Partner Network (APN) who can offer a number of their own solutions and services.

Training and Certification

AWS does offer training and certifications for development teams to build their expertise in AWS.  There are several training resources and certification programs that can help developers learn.  Not only does this help to advance personal careers, but can help developers attune their skills and know more about AWS’ internal complexities.

How to Adapt

Mastering Amazon Web Services (AWS) demands a distinctive and specialized skill set to extract the full spectrum of benefits it offers. While AWS has the potential to be streamlined, resilient, and highly efficient, its intricate nature makes it susceptible to suboptimal implementations if not approached with the requisite expertise. Given its robust suite of services, AWS provides unparalleled flexibility and scalability, but the challenge lies in harnessing these capabilities effectively.

The ease with which AWS can be implemented poorly underscores the importance of having a comprehensive understanding of its services and configurations. A lack of expertise may result in an environment that falls short of its potential, leading to inefficiencies, increased costs, and potential security vulnerabilities. Precise knowledge of AWS architecture, services, and best practices is vital to navigate the intricacies and ensure an optimal setup that aligns with an organization’s unique requirements.

Furthermore, the dynamic nature of business goals and technological advancements necessitates a continuous and vigilant assessment of the AWS environment. Regular evaluations are essential to ensure that the setup not only adheres to current best practices but also evolves in tandem with the ever-changing goals of the company. This iterative approach helps organizations stay ahead of the curve, adapting their AWS infrastructure to meet new challenges, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and remain in sync with the evolving industry standards.

In essence, AWS represents a powerful tool, but its effective utilization requires ongoing commitment and expertise. Companies that invest in the specialized knowledge needed to navigate AWS intricacies are better positioned to capitalize on its potential, creating an environment that is not only streamlined, resilient, and efficient but also adaptable to the dynamic landscape of business objectives and technological advancements.

Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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