In recent years, businesses have had to adapt quickly to reach their customers online and provide remote work options for their staff. A key component of running a business online is taking advantage of cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
If you’re an information technology professional looking to upskill and add value to companies, follow this guide on AWS best practices, guidelines, and resources to excel in your cloud computing career. You will get an in-depth perspective of AWS functions, terminology, and online courses. Developing your AWS skills is impprant if you want to scale the ladder in cloud computing.
What Is AWS?
AWS, short for Amazon Web Services, is a cloud computing platform offering over 200 services to startups, large enterprises, and government agencies. AWS offers services in computing, database storage, and content delivery.
Launched in 2016, AWS is one of the leading tech companies providing pay-as-you-go cloud computing options for businesses. The company has multiple data centers in over 190 countries. It specializes in networking storage databases, data management, migration, development tools, artificial intelligence, security, and governance.
Cloud Computing Concepts You Need to Understand for AWS Best Practices
To fully grasp AWS best practices, you will need to familiarize yourself with specific cloud computing concepts. We compiled a list of basic and fundamental concepts that you will come across as you take a deep dive into AWS.
- Components. Components are the code, configurations, or AWS resources that provide a solution to a business need.
- Workload. In cloud computing, a workload refers to the set of components that create business value. A workload could be anything from a web application, an ecommerce platform, or the backend of an app.
- Architecture. The architecture refers to the way components are put together in a workload to fulfill the business requirements. An AWS architecture diagram demonstrates how components communicate and interact to create the workload.
- Application Programming Interface (API). An Amazon API gateway allows communication between different software programs. APIs make components useable in a different software program from which it was developed, partner with other computer systems, and removes complexity for developers.
- Backend as a Service (BaaS). This is a cloud model that allows developers to focus on maintaining the frontend while simply outsourcing the backend of a website or a mobile application. Often BaaS vendors sell software for database management, admin user authentication, cloud storage, or hosting.
- Software as a Service (SaaS). In this cloud delivery model, businesses can subscribe to use software and applications that are centrally hosted on the web and owned by a third-party company. These are open for subscription purchase and anyone with an internet connection can sign up to use applications, such as productivity apps and email.
Cloud Computing Common Challenges That AWS Guidelines Can Address
If you’re just starting out, you may encounter certain challenges as you implement AWS in cloud computing. Luckily, AWS guidelines exist to address these challenges to allow businesses to get the most out their services. Below, we’ve outlined the most common challenges you might face as a beginner using AWS.
It can be difficult to determine how much capacity or storage the business requires in the cloud. Designing with AWS’s Auto Scaling Group and Elastic Load Balancing can help you determine your requirements. With these tools you can scale and adapt the cloud environment to the company’s needs.
On occasion, shifting company resources to the cloud within a specific deadline can lead to poor design decisions that end up costing the company more in the long term. AWS guidelines cover cost-optimization strategies to avoid over-compensating and to realize the monetary value of migrating to cloud services.
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As you start to design your workload architecture, you’ll need to make sure the finished product is secure. AWS has extensive security guidelines on everything from controlling who can do what in the cloud, to protecting the company’s data and being notified if an account has been hacked.
One of the main tasks in cloud computing is creating a workload that will be extensively used within a company and that will save the company time and resources. The task is to design a system that consistently operates as expected. The AWS guidelines on reliability suggest to build into the system the ability to prevent, and automatically recover from, system failures.
Top 10 AWS Best Practices and Guidelines
The cloud system is prone to security vulnerabilities. This is why it is important to master the AWS best practices to safeguard your AWS environment or data from security breaches. We curated a list of 10 AWS best practices and guidelines that will help improve your cloud security. Find out more below.
This is a security model that prompts additional authentication layers to simple usernames and user passwords. Providing your username and password is not enough for application or file access. You will need to pass an extra layer of protection for access. The site may send a one-time use code to your phone or email address. In certain instances, you may also need an authentication app.
Strong Password Policy
It’s key that you maintain a strong password for your AWS resources. To set a strong password, you must combine letters, numbers, and special characters. If you are having difficulty creating a valid strong password to prevent unauthorized access, you can utilize third-party password management tools.
Setup AWS Identity and Access Management
By setting up AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for managing access control of your AWS resources. The IAM will help you create groups, users, and responsibilities. Users will only access specific resources that you grant permission to. You can use IAM Access Analyzer to be notified when resources have been accessed by an external entity.
Encryption Is Key
If you want to add another layer of security, you should consider using encryption keys. This is important if you have sensitive data or need to adhere to compliance regulations. This means you should encrypt data stored or processed in S3.
AWS provides an easy route for encryption. You can simply enable the native encryption on the S3 to encrypt data in the cloud environment. Client-side encryption is highly recommended to protect data as it goes in the cloud environment. You can also opt to leverage the AWS Key Management Service which will help you control your client-side and server-side encryption.
Update Your AWS System
It’s important to constantly update your AWS cloud servers. Failure to do so will leave your cloud infrastructure vulnerable to security threats. These subtle security vulnerabilities can easily accrue cyber security costs. You can rely on third-party tools to update your virtual server. AWS Systems Manager Patch allows you to automate updates for all your cloud systems.
Cyber Security Strategies
As much as you may observe all the best practices listed here, there is still a small chance of vulnerabilities. Most cyber security strategies focus on preventing security events. However, black hat hackers are constantly working on new ways to bypass the system. This is why you should invest in a response strategy.
You should be able to identify the breach and where it occurred. You should also establish your security vulnerabilities and how to solve the problems promptly. Your response rate and ability will significantly reduce the damage cost by the breach.
Cloud Security Solutions
Go for a cloud-native security solution that supports continuous delivery, provides visibility, and protects AWS workloads against threats. Often these native cloud solutions align with the compliance requirements. Therefore, you will solidify your security strongholds and follow up on the AWS best practices.
Account Access Keys
It is important to delete your root user access keys. Amazon Web Services discourages the use of the account access keys using your root user credentials for programmatic access. Instead, you should use the AWS command line or the AWS APIs for programmatic access requests. Create an IAM user with permissions needed for the APIs you plan to use.
Backup Your Data
You can use Amazon Backup to safeguard your data. You cannot pinpoint the points at which you will be breached so it’s important to secure your data regularly. The AWS application will help you automate regular backups in your AWS environment. You should also prompt users to include multifactor authentication whenever they modify or delete any S3 bucket.
Enable Cloud Trail
Amazon Web Services provides a tool that allows you to keep track of all your AWS resources, AWS Cloud Trail. Even if you are not familiar with the application, having it will provide AWS support promptly. The support team or AWS solutions architect will be able to address any security configuration or issue you may experience in real-time.
How to Learn AWS Best Practices
You can learn AWS best practices on your own or by attending a program. Your learning style will dictate your options. Often self-taught students prefer reading AWS books or attending self-paced classes. These classes provide AWS resources to help you learn the basics and advanced levels of AWS.
Another option is to attend a bootcamp program or online class. You can also choose to pursue certification courses which are excellent for showcasing your prowess in using the cloud computing service. There are also AWS apprenticeship programs that offer a great opportunity to master AWS best practices.
Can a Bootcamp Help You Learn AWS Best Practices?
Yes, a bootcamp can help you learn AWS best practices. The best AWS bootcamps feature career-oriented programs to help professionals grasp important skills and knowledge. These programs are specifically designed to address the current needs of the industry. By attending these short immersive bootcamp programs, you will learn essential practices to boost your career.
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The bootcamps also go a step further and employ experts in cloud computing as instructors. Most of these bootcamps also provide mentors and career coaches for education support. You can also rely on the projects featured in the coursework to increase your knowledge and skills in AWS. Some bootcamps provide students with apprenticeship opportunities as part of their program.
Best Courses and Training Programs to Learn AWS Best Practices
|Class Central||AWS Well-Architected Training||Free|
|Future Learn||AWS: Solutions Architect||Free|
|LinkedIn Learning||AWS Security Best Practices For Developers||$29|
|Praga||AWS Cloud Certification – Solution Architect and Sysops Practitioner||$2,000|
|Udemy||Basic AWS Architecture Best Practices||$20|
Should You Learn AWS Best Practices?
Yes, you should learn AWS best practices. According to the Cisco Annual Report, there will be over 5 billion global internet users by 2023. This has led to more organizations migrating online. There is an increased demand for professionals with technical knowledge and expertise in migrating companies to the cloud, so skills in AWS will be an asset.
If you are working in the IT industry, gaining skills in AWS will help you land well-paying job opportunities with a salary potential of up to $100,000. Careers in software engineering, sysOps, AWS cloud architecture, cloud DevOps engineering demand skills in AWS best practices.
AWS is the leading public cloud provider service. This means the platform attracts plenty of companies and individuals who seek their extensive services. Learning AWS best practices will help you develop competitive skills and knowledge to design, maintain or troubleshoot any AWS workloads.
AWS Best Practices and Guidelines FAQ
What are the six pillars of AWS?
The six pillars of AWS are sustainability, cost optimization, performance efficiency, reliability, security, and operational excellence. These pillars describe the concepts, principles, and best practices used in designing by architects to onset workloads on the cloud.
Are AWS best practices easy to learn?
Yes, AWS best practices are easy to learn. However, if you are a complete beginner in the field of cloud computing, you might require lessons in IT fundamentals. Cloud architects can use these best practices to upskill and possibly land job promotions.
Are there any certifications in Amazon Web Services?
Yes, there are multiple AWS certifications. AWS provides four different levels of certifications. There is a foundational, associate, professional, and specialty certification. AWS offers beginner-friendly certifications such as the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification and advanced certifications like the AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty certification.
Can I learn AWS best practices from a book?
Yes, you can learn AWS best practices from a book. There are well-written books like AWS: Security Best Practices on AWS by Albert Anthony. This book will take you through best practices in AWS infrastructure, network, data, compliance, and security management. There are also other AWS books available that can help you upskill in the industry.
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