Using the Amazon cloud is a challenge, partly due to the overwhelming number of terms that must be understood to just get your servers up and running. Below is a taxonomy break-down that you can use as a reference for getting started with the Amazon cloud.:
- Cloud Computing: A self-service environment for the creation of highly-scalable applications, with the immediate availability of compute power and granular levels of billing.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): A set of services delivered by Amazon that can be used to meet your needs for a cloud-based application.
- Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): A service, accessible through either a console or an API, that allows you to launch, stop, start, terminate and otherwise manage the servers leased from Amazon’s datacenter.
- Elastic Block Storage (EBS): Effectively a hard-disk that stores your server image.
- Simple Storage Server (S3): An HTTP based solution for the storage and retrieval of data, typically used as a file hosting solution that is scalable and which does not need to run off servers that you own and run.
- CloudFront: A Content Delivery Network (CDN) that is associated with S3, and allows you to distribute your data to physically distinct datacenters around the world, thereby placing files closer to your users and improving their ability to retrieve files quickly.
- SimpleDB: A non-relational data store that is highly-scalable and tuned to manage large volumes of abstract data attributes (key/value pairs), made accessible to developers via a basic API.
- Relational Database Service (RDS): A relational database (MySQL) that is hosted and managed by Amazon, and made available to developers that do not want to manage their own database platform.
- Elastic Load Balancer (ELB): A load-balancer is a solution that distributes traffic evenly to the cloud servers that you own, with intelligence to avoid dead and overworked nodes.
- Regions: Compute power you use from Amazon (EC2 and EBS volumes) runs in a physical datacenter, whereby there are currently 5 datacenter regions you can use; Northern Virginia, Northern California, Ireland, Singapore and Tokyo.
- Availability Zones: Each physical region is further broken data into zones, whereby a zone is an independent section of a datacenter that adds redundancy and fault tolerance to a given region.
By Simon Ellis
LabSlice now offers consulting services for EC2 migration: http://LabSlice.com/Contact.