Amazon Web Services, popularly known as AWS, is one of the biggest cloud services in the world that quickly dominated the cloud services sector with robust, secure and easy-to-use tools for databases, operations and storage. Many big enterprises use and recommend AWS including Unilever, Netflix, Met Office, BMW, Airbnb etc.

In this blog, we will be exploring a few of the most useful cloud tools and services offered by AWS.

Simple Storage Service (S3)

This is one of the most widely used among all AWS services; for storing and securing any amount of data in a number of situations so as to ensure operations of mobile apps and sites, backup and recovery, archival, data inquiry etc. The service is also quite easy to use, and comes with administration tools that enable you to operate data and configure access restrictions to meet requirements.

Lambda

AWS Lambda is a great event-driven AWS service that runs program codes in response to events without the need to operate servers. The pricing model is based on the service’s used time i.e. you need only pay for the used time. Furthermore, if the code isn’t executed by the service, no fee is charged.

What makes AWS Lambda a reliable investment is the fact that it’s capable of running any kind of software or server services without requiring administrative operations. The user simply has to upload program codes, sit back and watch Lambda execute the codes, scaling availability on demand.

Lex

Lex gained a lot of momentum after chatbots became a buzzing trend for businesses. It’s a scalable, secure service that allows users to create, publish and monitor chatbots, with single-click multiplatform deployment being its most interesting feature. With AWS Lex, users’ applications will have conversational interfaces powered by Deep Learning technologies (that which power Amazon Alexa).

The service has a well-designed speech recognition system that enables Lex to process action confirmation requests as well as error-handling requests. By default, AWS Lex supports integration with AWS Lambda.

Simple Notification Service (SNS)

A fully operated Pub/Sub messaging service, SNS can be a great asset for enterprises leveraging the many benefits of AWS. The service is highly secure and can effectively separate microservices, distributed systems and also serverless programs.

With SNS, users can send messages regardless of the operating system at the receiving end. The notably fast service can also be enhanced with users’ own software that can add messages to the service so the service can then forward them to message subscribers.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Another widely used AWS service, EC2 provides scalable computing assets on the cloud. The obviously secure service simplifies cloud computing and features an easy-to-use web interface. This interface streamlines the setup and technical configurations of computing assets while giving users full control over all instances including root access and almost all features available on other machines. Additionally, EC2 also allows users to choose their desired operating systems and software packages.

Polly

The name may sound silly but Polly is one of AWS’ greatest services – Amazon’s own text-to-speech tool that supports a plethora of languages. The service can be accessed via an API that adds an audio file into your program. For Polly, users need to pay only for the number of symbols that are transcribed into voice. You might think that could amount to a lot. But it doesn’t. A book with close to 400,000 characters can be transcribed at a cost of about $2. Other key benefits include speech storage, live streaming, voice output configurations etc.

Glacier

Glacier is possibly one of the most cost effective object storage class of all AWS services. It’s safe and reliable, and serves to back up data and long-term backup storage. The service cost is about $0.004 a month for storing 1 GB of data making it a great alternative to conventional local storage solutions.

With Glacier, information can be extracted in three ways – Accelerated option that will last up to 5 minutes, Standard option that can last from 3 to 5 hours, Batch option that can last from 5 to 12 hours.

Other major benefits include:

  • Enhanced integration with AWS CloudTrail for running an audit, monitoring and storing storage API call data while supplementing the process with various methods of encryption.
  • A thriving community of Amazon objects storage services comprising thousands of consulting companies, system integrators and independent software vendors.

Athena

Athena is an online serverless query service that can effectively streamline data analyses processes in Simple Storage Service (S3) using standard SQL services. With Athena, you don’t need infrastructure that requires configuration or operation. The service ensures that the data are analyzed the right way. The user need not upload data to Athena as the service directly handles data stored in S3.

Major benefits include:

  • Easy-to-use Athena Console
  • Easy to create standard SQL queries
  • Pay per request
  • Easy integration with AWS Glue for optimized query performance reduction

Internet of Things

AWS IoT is possibly the most trending AWS service that offers software solutions, data services and operations for building a great IoT ecosystem. The service allows users to safely connect devices and gather information. AWS IoT performs activities based on locally received information even without an internet connection. The service offers operating options to supervise, manage, and protect a large set of devices. Combined with data services, users can capitalize on IoT data effectively.

The package includes:

  • AWS IoT
  • Device Software
  • Data services
  • Peripheral operations management
  • Protection, control, and management of devices in the cloud

Simple Queuing Service (SQS)

The SQS, as the name suggests, is a message queuing service that can both isolate and scale distributed systems, microservices, and serverless programs. The service features two types of message queues – Standard queues and FIFO SQS queues.

The Standard queues can be used for maximum throughput and optimal delivery of messages according to the ‘at once’ method. FIFO SQS queues are limited bandwidth queues that ensure that messages are processed strictly in the order they are sent.

Endnote

The world’s most popular (arguably) cloud vendor delivers.

To leverage AWS services for faster enterprise growth, you will need help from experts. And AOT is where you can find that expertise. Just drop us a message and our cloud specialists will get in touch with you.

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To thrive in today’s marketplace, organizations need to wield the right tools and technologies. Technology can certainly make all the difference for a growing business, enabling it to establish a strong digital presence all the while enhancing its capability to handle a number of business challenges and large volumes of data to begin with.

For modern businesses, websites aren’t just their online identities. A website is essentially a web portal that offers a wide range of information pertaining to the business from a number of credible, authoritative sources in addition to having pages that detail the services/products offered by the business. Web portal development isn’t simple however. For the web portal to serve its purpose and catapult a business to new heights, it should be built by experts who are aware of the latest tech and development trends.

That said, here are a few such trends that would drive innovation in web projects.

AI and Machine Learning

The website of a business will potentially generate data that hide critical insights. A modern advanced web portal will have a neural network backing it that trains itself on the tremendous amounts of data generated thereby becoming capable of performing complex analyses and make predictions that could help with decision-making. Companies are willing to invest in machine learning algorithms to do this and more.

Such algorithms can be instrumental in processing large datasets and estimating conversions. For content-sharing web portals, such algorithms can even recommend efficient and smart ad-placing for the best results.

As we speak, intelligent AI-based solutions are already making a difference for businesses worldwide – understanding performance history, analyzing uncovered insights, compiling forecasts, designing marketing/promotional campaigns, and even tailoring the best possible user experience.

Computer Vision

Though Computer Vision is still considered a scientific discipline rather than a usable technology, its potential spells major changes across various sectors including web development. Web apps can be imbued with the capability to extract critical data from images, videos, or real-world environments. This can be particularly beneficial to large businesses in the retail sector. Computer Vision can be combined with other trends like Augmented Reality, and can further enhance the potential of modern-day biometrics.

Imagine a web portal that allows authorized visitors to upload images that are then analyzed to tailor the visitors’ experience on the website later in more ways than one.

Cloud Service Management

With more enterprises shifting to the cloud, the growth of the cloud services industry has been exponential. Enterprises can choose from a wide array of services that enhance everything from operations and problem-solving to security and performance analytics. The challenge here is to monitor the usage of various cloud services and assess how they are billed.

A web portal gets augmented capabilities like withstanding massive traffic spikes and guaranteeing maximum performance thanks to the cloud. But this approach requires a reliable cloud services management methodology that helps control the spend on cloud services and tailor the size and scalability of the enterprise’s cloud strategies.

Blockchain

Sophisticated enterprise-grade platforms aren’t devoid of vulnerabilities especially when it comes to security. This is where blockchain is going to make a difference. With blockchain technology, enterprise systems support multi-tier interactions, and are granted unparalleled security and transparency. Blockchain can be particularly effective in fully integrated web portals that privately store something of great value or trade cryptocurrencies across various user accounts.

In addition, websites or portals integrated with blockchain technology can theoretically read visitors’ blockchain to show the most relevant information on the website for quick conversion. Blockchain also presents opportunities for web designers to design interactive experiences that will dynamically change based on visitor preferences.

AWS and Microsoft Azure offer blockchain as a service which is a testament to the fact that it’s a technology worth investing in and deserves to be treated as a valuable component that can secure large companies in the future.

AR and VR

This list wouldn’t be complete without Augmented and Virtual Reality – two of the hottest technologies today. AR and VR experience is what many businesses are aiming for in their websites and mobile apps. The technologies allow businesses to leverage immersive 3D content and engage users with unique experiences that they won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Endnote

There are many more trends worth mentioning but we thought we should go with the ones that generated huge hype in a short time instead of simply taking benefits and service potential into account. AOT Technologies is an accomplished website and web portal development company with ample expertise in leveraging new-gen technologies like AI, AR/VR, IoT and Blockchain. Get in touch with us and let us show you how your website should look like to thrive in a super competitive, tech-dominated future.

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As experts predicted back in 2017, the cloud did dominate 2018 and that’s just the beginning. As a matter of fact, it is now the top IT budget priority in 2019 for organizations. There used to be cloud security concerns due to which many organizations were reluctant to shift their workloads off-premises. But today most companies realized that cloud is relatively safe to move data, applications, and infrastructure to.

The surprising fact is that many organizations have started moving to the cloud just for better security. Cloud-based security solutions are widely available now that offer not just enhanced security for employees and staff working remotely but also greater scalability and flexibility. Reduced complexity is an added bonus.

A report from Forcepoint also noted these facts and also pointed out that the overall ease and speed of deployment, lower hardware and support costs, and great technical support keep enticing more organizations to migrate to the cloud offered popular cloud service providers.

Speaking of, the key to leveraging the cloud effectively lies mostly on the cloud service provider. And finding the right one is a challenge in itself. Apart from this, there are several misconceptions that still surround the cloud deterring organizations who are considering the option.

This blog explores a few major cloud security myths which should give your business an idea of how your ideal cloud solution should be.

Security certifications matter only for compliance teams

That’s now how it is. Companies preparing to move to the cloud should ensure that their cloud-based security providers have the requisite certifications before signing the contract. If the cloud provider doesn’t show certificates, you can’t be sure that they are complying with industry and government security standards.

For instance, the cloud provider should have controls implemented for PII data. This is a GDPR compliance requirement. If they don’t have the certifications to assure you, it’s better to seek service from a company with all the required certifications.

Cloud-provider data centers have better security than private data centers

Many cloud-service providers claim to have a more secure infrastructure compared to private data centers. But this isn’t necessarily the case for every cloud-service provider out there. Ultimately it all comes down to their data center security practices. Security managers should have tight security protocols in place including encryption and data loss prevention.

Last year, we saw a number of companies submitting themselves for audit from reputed cyber-security auditors as a means to assure potential customers of their robust security standards and policies.

More data centers = More service performance

On the contrary, the number of data centers doesn’t directly impact the cloud service performance. It is simply seen as a great approach to safeguard data during any kind of failures or outages. Microsoft Azure serves as a great example here. Azure has 30 data centers across the globe. There are smaller cloud services that have even more data centers but still cannot match the performance offered by Azure.

Cloud service security doesn’t impact cyber-insurance

Cyber-insurance is a big deal now as more companies have started investing in it. Forcepoint’s report found that, last year, US insurers earned an estimated $1 billion in cyber premiums. If your cloud service provider can show certifications to assure their robust security standards and data protection policies, you won’t be paying high cyber-insurance premium. This point also emphasizes the value of the cloud in today’s tech market.

You won’t know how your data are being used

This depends on the cloud service provider and their reputation when it comes to upholding data privacy. Your company has no other option but to trust your cloud service provider and the people they have employed to manage your service. It’s not that hard to track what the in-house staff are doing with the data. But you can’t be sure how the service provider is using the data.

Nevertheless, you can still get an idea of how the data are being accessed by asking the provider to furnish audit logs. You will know who accessed your data. Providers can also show you proof that they perform the necessary background checks and have suitable clearance.

The cloud demands too much resources

This myth is what deters startups and SMBs from migrating to the cloud. For such businesses, data management is quite hassle-free from the operational point of view considering the fact that their office management solutions and data are all managed by an on-premises server. However, when it’s time to update the server, the server administrator of the business will have to take the server down, perform the update, edit configurations, and leave room to add more servers as the business grows.

A cloud service virtually eliminates the need for in-house server management and maintenance. This leaves a good chunk of the organization’s resources intact so they can be utilized for other critical tasks. To conclude, cloud services typically require fewer resources. But this also means the in-house IT team will mostly be unaware of how the service is being managed and monitored.

No data breaches if the cloud provider ensures the best security

Cloud service providers will have their own team of security experts who will manage and implement data security controls. But it doesn’t mean your organization shouldn’t invest in a solid security strategy and policy. The cloud service provider is responsible for keeping the cloud infrastructure secure and safe. But it’s your organization’s responsibility to secure the data while they are being transferred to and from the cloud.

Conclusion

The rapid growth of the cloud over the past couple of years also painted a big crosshair on it for cyber-criminals. The cloud is seen as a challenge by them now which means cloud providers have to double the effort to improve security in the coming times. The cloud does come with a multitude of benefits but your organization is still not completely safe from data breaches. Cloud security is a responsibility that falls on both your organization’s and the cloud provider’s shoulders.

As for cloud solutions that can augment your organization from the inside out, AOT is here to help. Talk to our experts to learn how our cloud expertise can help your organization leverage the cloud for faster growth and better security.

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It’s safe to say that the widespread adoption of the cloud is primarily due to the many benefits it grants enterprises. By adopting the cloud, enterprises can achieve collaboration on a greater scale while also driving innovation better than before. In addition, the technology also enables IT departments in organizations to offload hardware, maintenance, and infrastructure costs while benefiting from cutting-edge bespoke as well as proprietary digital solutions.

Might seem too good to be true but there’s a catch…naturally.

Security is pretty much unseen or not thought of when there are a lot of good things to get excited about. Many organizations have the wrong notion that security is entirely the responsibility of the cloud service provider; that is until they experience a serious security breach. It isn’t just one threat cloud users should be prepared for. The cloud has more than one vulnerability, and can be breached by a number of security threats. This is why it’s important for enterprises to devise comprehensive cloud security strategies.

That said, here are a few useful tips to augment cloud security in your organization.

Ensure real-time visibility of the cloud environment

By adopting the cloud, organizations expect faster organic growth. Major cloud services today make it easier for ambitious organizations to acquire and adopt new tools and technologies, and integrate them with legacy systems. When it comes to hybrid cloud, organizations are essentially building relationships with different vendors and IT partners.

Hybrid cloud environments are more preferred nowadays as they allow organizations to distribute their data between on-premises servers and various external cloud services. The complexity of such an environment also makes it difficult to secure as the organization won’t get a big picture view of their cloud ecosystem. It’s vital to ensure that the cloud environment is fully mapped and visible so that it’d be easier to secure.

Ensure that the staff are trained well

A good majority of cloud security breaches are traced back to human errors – it can be a small mistake or a configuration error that ends up in a big data breach. People working on monitoring a cloud environment should be specifically trained in cloud security to increase awareness. The cloud staff are to be well trained in reducing malware risks, preventing unauthorized accesses, and reporting strange behavior.

Staff training alone won’t cut it. The organization will also want to set security policies and cultivate a culture where the staff adheres to best security practices. The objective is not to have the staff successfully prevent all errors because that’s impractical. The objective is to train the staff to diligently respond to events that may result in errors.

Ensure regular testing

Once an organization migrates their data on to the cloud, they tend to leave the rest to the cloud service provider to keep the data secure. While the service provider does share the responsibility of securing the data with the organization, in case a data breach occurs, the organization will still be liable for regulatory fines and other major fallouts. It’d be pointless to play the blame game here.

This is why it’s important to ensure that your cloud partner fully understands what compliance means to your organization. The defenses need to be regularly tested by an organization’s own team instead of trusting the service provider to run the tests. This practice naturally requires the organization to make additional investments to devise and implement a testing program that will encompass every relevant testing method – from penetration testing to mock phishing attacks.

Regular feedback from testing is the best bet for cloud adopters to be aware of potential security vulnerabilities. It helps them not only to ensure that their security systems and measures are up-to-date but also to relay remedial suggestions to the team. The testing activity should obviously be documented for future reference, and the organization should be able to brace for immediate changes to remedy a potential security threat.

Ensure constant vigilance

Just like testing, it’s also important to continuously monitor the cloud network once it’s fully mapped for better visibility. The organization should know where their data are at any given moment. The team monitoring the environment should make sure to flag strange behavior, double check data encryptions, and uncover unauthorized accesses. The system has to be rigged to alert the team should any data modification or deletion occur.

End note

Every organization’s network will be different. So the approach an organization takes to dig deeper into cloud security will also be different. Choosing such an approach is as challenging as enhancing cloud security. This is where some expertise can come in handy.

AOT has that expertise to help your organization pick the best approach to adopting and securing the cloud. Additionally we are also armed to augment your existing cloud ecosystem with bespoke digital solutions. Drop us a message if you have any queries on cloud adoption and cloud security.

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The prospect of avoiding hardware and software maintenance costs and getting great scalability and performance for a reasonable investment is one of the reasons why enterprises today want to migrate to the cloud. A good majority of them already enjoys cloud economy.

There are many more reasons for enterprises to move to the cloud today. Here are a few reasons that actually makes sense why cloud migration is an ideal strategy in today’s dynamic business world.

Provides a more collaborative business ecosystem

Almost every blog that explains cloud migration in detail mentions collaboration as one of the major reasons for migrating to the cloud. Exchanging documents and data, and getting people to work together haven’t been easy for enterprises till the cloud started changing things.

The cloud facilitates real-time collaboration and editing without hassle and without everyone being present in the same room. It encourages a higher level of employee participation. The highlight is that cloud-based collaboration doesn’t require the enterprise to invest a lot.

Data migration is more secure and safe

The cloud offers much more secure storage options than traditional hard drive storage. A hard drive can be damaged or stolen, and the files can be accessed using different hardware. On the other hand, the cloud can store confidential data safely online, and is periodically backed up. Regardless of hardware failure in the cloud network, the data can still be accessed by the cloud user.

Because the cloud’s widely adopted today, most cloud service providers adhere to best cybersecurity practices and standards, and encourage the same from their clients. Ultimately, the users themselves play a key role when it comes to securing their data in the cloud, by controlling the accessibility and authorization.

Better data accessibility

As mentioned above, the cloud stores data online which means they are accessible at all times to the cloud user, provided there is an internet connection. Cloud services also syncs the data across all devices authorized by the user, so the user can access the data from any of those devices.

Service integration

In addition to the great scalability cloud provides to enterprises, it is also popular for its adaptability, and the ability to make enterprises adaptable as well. At first, cloud integration was a tad too sophisticated for many enterprises taking their first steps in the cloud. Many advancements later, the cloud can now integrate fairly well with the cloud’s users’ existing services and systems. However, the use of legacy systems are not advisable now, for the cloud to be of maximum benefit.

Present day cloud services allow enterprises to mix-and-match their cloud services i.e. they can leverage multiple cloud platforms and services. They can begin by experimenting with various cloud services till they figure out the cloud combination that does them justice. The cloud’s integration capabilities allow effective coexistence of services from different cloud providers without hiccups.

Conclusion

Cloud migration is not a new trend at all, and many enterprises already realized it way back when the trend caused a buzz. The run would eventually blow out those enterprises that are hesitant to migrate to the cloud, while their competition welcomes the technology. To remain competent and adaptive to dynamic business requirements, the cloud is necessary today.

AoT can help you get started with the cloud and leverage the technology the right way by providing everything you need – from powerful custom software solutions to expert technology advisory services. Give us a call today for an easy cloud migration.

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