Amazon Web ServicesIn this report, we will limit our focus on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is a cloud computing service provided by the well-known company Amazon, in accordance to their development of cfncluster (“cloud formation cluster”); a structure that underlies a system of arrangement and maintenance of high performance clusters on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Moreover, It is one of the first companies launching the feature of pay-as-you-go cloud computing service that provides their users with compute, storage or throughput as needed. (Margaret R.
, 2017)Services and OperationsAmazon Web Services provides a large number of services, including those for compute, databases, infrastructure management, application development, and security. Not only that Amazon Web Services has multiple services more than can be found elsewhere, but they are also iterating at a faster quip. The phase of innovation of Amazon Web Services is continuing to expand.
Not only they provide more services, but they also have a lot more depth and features within each of those services. Some of their main services include: 1- ComputeAmazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which provides effective servers for compute capacity. The EC2 offers multiple types, with the variation in capacity and size, customised for particular workload types and applications, such as memory-intensive and accelerated-computing jobs.2- StorageAmazon Simple Storage Service (S3), which provides measurable object storage for data backup, archival and analytics.
3- Databases, data managementAmazon Relational Database Service, which includes options for Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB and a proprietary high-performance database called Amazon Aurora. 4- Management & MonitoringAn admin can manage and track cloud resource configuration via AWS Config and AWS Config Rules. With AWS Trusted Advisor, those tools can help an IT team to avoid erroneous configured and unnecessary expensive cloud resource spread.5- Security & GovernanceThere is a range of cloud security services that AWS provides. One of them is the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), which allows admins in organizations to manage and define users when accessing resources. 6- Big data management, analyticsTypes of customers:More than a million customer uses AWS Cloud solutions to deliver flexibility, scalability, and reliability. Customers of all types and sizes from Start-ups which use AWS for the needs of their apps, Enterprises which use AWS to deliver IT innovation globally with reduction of costs, and Public Sector organizations (Government & Education) which use AWS for agility improvement with the reduction of costs.
Some examples of these popular organizations are Vodafone, Expedia, Adobe, Airbnb, Next-door, Dropcam, FDA, UCAS, PBS, etc… In what regions:Amazon Web Services provides operations of their services from multiple of data centers spread across regions in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Each of these regions holds between two to five availability zones that are apart from one another. Regions are connected to one another through the internet.
Each availability zone holds one or more data centers. (Margaret R., 2015) AWS outages:”If “almost-always available” is good enough for your service, then there’s no need to be concerned with whole zone failure. But when is “almost always available” good enough?” (John O., 2014)Unfortunately, not all regions are equally reliable. Most causes of AWS outages are zone issues. some examples are:On April 2012: A cause of networking issue during service, has led Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes to go down. There was no network availability as it was interrupted in the US EAST-1.
The EBS looked for locations to mirror data, after the return of the availability to the network. Due to the massive scale, most of the EBS servers got locked-up. A massive downtime occurred due to the non-event of the network service.
On October 2012: EBS data collection agent in the US EAST-1 was replaced rather than rebooted due to a failed and lock-up. DNS was updated to the new server but that failed which led numerous systems to look for the old locked-up server. Failing to find the server has caused the memory to trigger which then ate up the memory on servers until they were no longer able to process valid requests. Due to this issue, the availability of EBS in the zone has been affected.
What is the ‘green’ aspect of their business, what do AWS claim to have/ or will achieve in terms of environmental and energy-efficient aspects:Amazon Web Services are putting their scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability not only because it is good for the environment, but also for the customer. Aiming to diversify their portfolio to keep their business costs as low as possible to then pass on the savings to their customers. They have been committed to running their business in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wind and Solar FarmsAWS has a commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy usage their global infrastructure footprint.
AWS assumes that they have made a lot of progress in this commitment by exceeding their goal by achieving 40% renewable energy by the end of 2016. AWS new goal is to increase that percentage by 10% by the end of 2017.”Amazon wind and solar farms energy projects will deliver a total of 2.6 million MWh of energy annually onto the electric grid powering AWS data centers located in the AWS US East (Ohio) and AWS US East (N. Virginia) Regions.
The electricity produced from these projects is enough to power the equivalent of over 240,000 U.S. homes annually, which is approximately the size of the city of Portland, Oregon.” “We know that 100% renewable energy is an ambitious goal that won’t be possible overnight,” the group of Amazon customers wrote.
“While you pursue this journey, we would suggest some steps that will give us full confidence in AWS’ commitment to renewable energy.” Greenpeace (environmental group activists) argue that AWS is not energy-friendly enough. In their report, they have marked AWS with a grade of D, while they marked Microsoft with a grade of C, and awarded Google with a grade of B. They argued that Google has also committed to using 100% renewable energy, but with no specific timeline. Also that Google stated that about 35% of their operations are powered by a green source. Greenpeace also argued that AWS’s US East region, specifically in Virginia, where 60% of their company’s servers are. Claiming that they use a mix of 1/3 of coal, 1/3 nuclear, 1/5 gas and only 2% renewable energy.
(Brandon B., 2015)In response, the next week, AWS announced the plan of the Amazon Wind Farm Texas, which is the largest wind farm to date. A 253 MW wind farm that will generate 1 million megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually. According to Barr after reading the Greenpeace report by Hamilton, it is unusual for an environmental report to not feature energy conservation as primary evaluation criteria.