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AWS Architecture Explained: Function, Components, Deployment Models & Advantages

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18th Jun, 2021
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AWS Architecture Explained: Function, Components, Deployment Models & Advantages

AWS is one of the most sought-after and popular cloud computing services used in the market. It has a widespread client base of over a million spanning 190 countries in the world. The clientele includes 2,000 government organizations and over 17,500 non-profit organizations. It is estimated that more than one-third of internet users access websites or applications powered by AWS. 

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The market share of AWS (32% worldwide) in the cloud computing industry is staggering, which is far ahead of its competitors — Azure (19%) and Google (7%). AWS had a 53% adoption rate in 2020, surpassing Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, and its revenue grew by 32% in Q4 2020! As per reports, Amazon recorded a whopping revenue of $13.5 billion in Q1 2021 alone. 

Naturally, knowledge in AWS is currently one of the most sought-after skills in the tech industry. So, here’s deep-diving into the AWS architecture to learn about its importance, advantages, pillars, and deployment models.

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AWS – A Brief Description

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a secure, on-demand platform for cloud computing that offers a comprehensive service including storage of databases, delivering content and APIs to individuals, businesses, companies, and government. The cloud computing web service also provides a wide range of infrastructures, tools, and building blocks of computing. 

It helps in handling massive traffic for the storage of videos and data. EC2, one of the structures in AWS, facilitates the users to use a wide variety of virtual machines of various configurations based on their requirements. 

AWS Architecture

EC2, a.k.a, Elastic Compute Cloud, is considered the foundation of the AWS Architecture. This helps the users to handle various virtual devices with different specifications as per their demand. 

S3 or Simple Storage Services in AWS architecture is used to retrieve or store information (data) through data types with the help of Application Programming Interface calls. This service does not involve the use of any computer element. 

How does the AWS Architecture work?

These important processes happening inside the AWS structure explain how the AWS architecture works: 

  1. The users send a request to the AWS server through email for registering or transferring the domain. 
  2. The request, along with the required information, will be transferred to Amazon API Gateway.
  3. The gateway channels the user information to the AWS lambda function.
  4. AWS Lambda function creates an email and sends it to the third-party server using Amazon SES.

The processes involve the use of multiple codes constituting a program that processes the user information and sends it to the API Gateway. 

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What are the components of AWS structure?

1. Amazon API Gateway

This is a mode of accessing data, logic, and functions. The gateway provides an API endpoint to the AWS Lambda function. It also helps in back-end services like managing tasks and codes on Amazon EC2 or any web application. API has good scalability and allows the developers and managers to have secure APIs. 

The key highlights of Amazon API Gateway are: 

  • Easy monitoring of API activity.
  • A robust control on security.
  • Hassle-free servers.
  • The users need to pay only for what they use.
  • Efficient performance on both small and large scales. 

2. AWS Lambda

Lambda function procures all the necessary information from the API gateway and runs the back-end codes. It provides a quick update whenever there is a new upload to the Amazon S3 bucket. 

Lambda compute service takes care of scaling the capacity and administering the infrastructure to run the loaded codes. A visual update can be seen in the form of a real-time matrix and logs on Amazon cloud watch. 

The only effort it takes to make Lambda functional is writing the codes. It is cost-efficient as the users are asked to pay only for the duration for which their codes are run. It is pretty simple to use, and there is no need to learn an additional programming language. 

3. Amazon SES

Amazon’s SES (Simple Email Service) helps users send emails with minimum infrastructure and maximum delivery. It collaborates with AWS Management Console to enable easy monitoring of the e-mail sending process. Amazon SES develops a parameter to process the request through Receiver ISP if the receiver’s email address is valid. 

If the email id is invalid, ISP sends a message to Amazon SES, which in turn returns the message to the sender.

4. Load Balancing

 This component improves the performance and efficiency of the application and the server. It functions as a network appliance to increase the efficiency of the architecture in traditional applications. It also provides Elastic load balancing by distributing the traffic to EC2 through various sources in the architecture. 

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5. Elastic Load Balancing

This helps reduce and increase the load balancing capacity by streamlining some of the traffic and backing sticky sessions to provide enhanced routing services. 

6. Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is essentially used to deliver the contents directly to the websites. The contents delivered by Amazon CloudFront can be dynamic, stationary, or streaming that makes use of global network locations. The users can request the content based on the location.

7. Security Management

Security groups are the feature in the architecture that acts as an in-built firewall to provide the architecture with adequate security.

It specifies the ports, protocols, and the range of source IPs to the EC2 system. The security group can be configured through subnets or IP addresses which also limits its access to EC2.

8. Elastic Cache

The web service in the architecture manages the memory cache in the cloud. The cache plays an important role in managing the memory and efficiently reducing the service loads. By caching the information in the database, it improves the performance of the architecture.

9. Amazon RDS

Amazon RDS or Amazon Relational Database Service assists the delivery of access similar to MySql (Microsoft SQL Server). 

Importance of AWS architecture

Here’s why the AWS architecture is crucial:

  • AWS architecture is created using efficient drawing tools and pre-built icons in Amazon. 
  • AWS architecture guarantees commendable services conforming to web technologies. 
  • AWS resources are available globally thus, catering to the needs of the clients in any corner of the world. 

Advantages of the AWS architecture

The following list highlights the advantages of AWS architecture:

  1. The scalability of the architecture makes it possible to render its services to small-scale and large-scale businesses.
  2. Greater compatibility and speed offer quick solutions. 
  3. It is easy to use, even for beginners. They can create and use websites or applications on AWS.
  4. The payment for using AWS does not require any contract or bond. 
  5. AWS offers service 24/7 and 365 days a year. In case of server failure, the applications that are in use and their services will be kept intact by shifting them to a new server. The reliability of AWS service is relatively high.
  6. The storage capacity offered by AWS is unlimited. The users are not asked to pay even a penny extra for additional storage.
  7. Storage, data backup, and data restoration are provided conveniently by AWS. 
  8. The clients are given access to their information from any corner of the world once they register on the AWS cloud service platform.

Types of Deployment models in AWS

There are four deployment models offered by AWS:

  1. Public Cloud: It is used when the deployment on a network is made open for public users. This is mainly used by companies that have dynamic and constantly growing demands. 
  2. Private Cloud: Private cloud is more secure than the public cloud. It is used by the companies where the data needs to be backed internally with firewalls. The data is subsequently hosted internally or externally based on the company’s requirements. 
  3. Community Cloud: This cloud model is shared by different companies or organizations that share the same location or community. The cloud is shared manually. Banks, for instance, use the community cloud setup. 
  4. Hybrid Cloud: Hybris cloud is a combination of both public and private clouds. The resources are provided through internal or external providers. The organizations that need high scalability and security go for a hybrid cloud that allows them to interact with their clients on the public cloud while having their data in a private cloud.  

Pillars of AWS Architecture

1. Excellence in Operation: The operational excellence pillar includes development support, providing operation insights, and efficiently delivering business needs. To achieve operational excellence, the following design principles are followed.

  • Carrying out operations as codes.
  • Performing small, frequent, and reversible changes in the cloud.
  • Frequent streamlining of operations.
  • Foreseeing and preparing to face failures.

2. Security: This pillar can secure data, systems, and assets. This helps in the efficient utilization of cloud computing services to enhance security. Design principles of security pillar are: 

  • Having a strong foundation for identity
  • Better traceability
  • Securing all layers 
  • Having an automated system for security at key places
  • Data protection at transit and transfer.
  • Cordoning off the data from public access.

3. Reliability: This pillar includes the workload’s ability to carry out its functions in an error-free and consistent manner. The operational ability is scrutinized, and the workloads are assessed regularly. Design principles of the reliability pillar are: 

  • Automated failure recovery
  • Frequent scrutiny of recovery procedures
  • Limiting or stopping guessing capacity

4. Performance Efficiency: The computing resources are used effectively to meet the demands of the system and to maintain efficiency keeping up with the changes in demands and evolution of new technologies. Design principles of performance efficiency pillar are: 

  • Use of serverless architecture.
  • Going worldwide in a short time
  • Revamping advanced technologies

5. Cost Optimization: The pillar nests the capacity of running systems to deliver the business needs at the lowest possible price. Design Principles of the cost optimization pillar are: 

  • Enforcing financial management in the Cloud.
  • Developing a consumption model
  • Scrutinizing and cutting down expenditure.

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To conclude

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AWS’s serverless architecture deploys applications without the need of the users’ servers. AWS applications do not require any manual management, scaling, or provisioning. The AWS platform does the back-end operations for developing and maintaining the applications. The above features make it a boon for start-ups and small-scale businesses where spending potential is limited. 

If you would like to learn more about the AWS serverless architecture and its applicability in Machine Learning and AI, we recommend taking up an online course to master the skill. upGrad’s online Executive PG Programme in Machine Learning and AI, a 12-month course offered in association with IIT Bangalore, can help you achieve excellence in the domain. The course is designed for engineers, software and IT professionals, data professionals looking to level up in their careers in ML & AI. 

Reach out to us if you have any questions. We’ll be happy to help!


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Are there any disadvantages of using Amazon SES?

Although Amazon SES makes a lot of work easy, the fact that it is super technical makes it less user friendly. You won't be able to store email lists on Amazon SES. For many users, the lack of template builders has proven cumbersome. If you wish to send emails from any email address associated with your domain, you must first register your domain with AWS, which is again a little inconvenient.

2Mention some advantages of using AWS CloudFront?

AWS CloudFront provides a very fast data transfer rate, which allows you to save time. The AWS Web Application Firewall is a 7-layer security system that is embedded into every CloudFront edge site throughout the world, making it highly encrypted and secure. CloudFront also works in tandem with AWS WAF and AWS Shield Advanced to help protect your apps from a variety of sophisticated threats, including DDoS assaults. With Amazon CloudFront, you have a variety of options for streaming media. It's also free to use for the first 12 months.

3Is Amazon RDS user friendly?

Amazon RDS provides various computing and storage options, which enables the user to decide which one suits their needs. RDS also allows you to set up several read replicas to serve read requests from both application and database users on the same RDS instance. The database and transaction logs are automatically backed up by the RDS. Thus, undoubtedly, Amazon RDS is user friendly, but it also comes with certain challenges. In your RDS DB instance, you can only create a total of 30 databases. Additionally, Amazon RDS does not enable expanding storage on a SQL Server DB instance currently.

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