AWS and The Story behind it!!

Gaurav Singh Shekhawat
14 min readSep 22, 2020

Before jumping to the main topic that is AWS first we should know something about the cloud computing and its history because AWS is based on cloud computing

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is perhaps the most flamboyant technological innovation of the 21st century. This is because it has seen the fastest adoption into the mainstream than any other technology in the domain. This adoption has been fueled mainly by the ever-increasing number of smartphones and mobile devices that can access the internet. Cloud computing is not just for organizations and businesses; it’s also useful for the average person as well. It enables us to run software programs without installing them on our computers; it enables us to store and access our multimedia content via the internet, it enables us to develop and test programs without necessarily having servers and so on. Cloud computing is a 21st-century marvel that holds its importance in almost every field you can think of.

Most of us might be certainly asking ourselves the critical questions, why do we need cloud computing? Basically, we need cloud computing because of the numerous individual and business problems that we encounter today. These problems range from acquiring and maintaining expensive hardware and software resources that we use in our daily operations to streamlining these resources in the most efficient manner for our benefit and the benefit of the society at large. In handling these challenges, cloud computing offers numerous benefits that have surpassed our expectations and delivered more than we had previously thought.

Why is cloud computing important for business?

Pooled computing resources available through cloud computing have been proven to offer tremendous benefits to business organizations. Unraveling are these benefits broadly classified into three categories that include efficiency, flexibility, and strategic value.

1. Efficiency

Efficiency in business operations is achieved in the following ways through the use of cloud computing:

  • Accessibility; Cloud computing facilitates the access of applications and data from any location worldwide and from any device with an internet connection.
  • Cost savings; Cloud computing offers businesses with scalable computing resources hence saving them on the cost of acquiring and maintaining them. These resources are paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis which means businesses pay only for the resources they use. This has proven to be much cheaper than acquiring the resources on their own.
  • Security; Cloud providers especially those offering private cloud services, have strived to implement the best security standards and procedures in order to protect client’s data saved in the cloud.
  • Disaster recovery; Cloud computing offers the most efficient means for small, medium and even large enterprises to backup and restore their data and applications in a fast and reliable way.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility is achieved in the following ways when using cloud computing:

  • Scalability; Cloud computing is the best option for businesses with fluctuating workloads since cloud infrastructure scales depending on the demands of the business.
  • Tools selection; Cloud computing allows businesses to select specific prebuilt tools and features to derive solutions tailored to their specific needs.
  • Cloud options; Cloud computing offers private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud solutions each with different features. Organizations can choose these options depending on what best serves their need.
  • Control choices; Businesses can determine their level of control with as-a-service options offered by the cloud provider. These options include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

3. Strategic edge

Cloud computing allows businesses to gain a strategic edge in their niche in the following ways:

  • Increased productivity; Cloud service providers acquire and manage underlying cloud infrastructure hence enabling businesses to focus their energies on their core business operations.
  • Automatic software updates; All the software applications that are accessed through the cloud are usually up-to-date. This enables businesses to access the latest features without having to maintain the system themselves.
  • Competitiveness; Businesses that employ cloud computing are able to maneuver more nimbly as compared to competitors who devote their energies to acquiring and maintaining IT resources.
  • Increased collaboration; With the capabilities of cloud computing, individuals from different places can collaborate in business projects without necessarily having to meet.

There are many cloud computing companies that are currently in market so here is my list of top 10 companies in market which provide best cloud facilities and services to the users or developers.
Here is a list of my top 10 cloud service providers:

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud
  4. Alibaba Cloud
  5. IBM Cloud
  6. Oracle
  7. Salesforce
  8. SAP
  9. Rackspace Cloud
  10. VMWare

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an Amazon company that was launched in the year 2002. AWS is the most popular cloud service provider in the world.

Amazon on Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 165 fully-featured services from data centers globally. This service is used by millions of customers.

AWS’s revenue in the year 2018 was $25.6 billion with a profit of $7.2 billion. The revenue is expected to grow to $33 billion in 2019.

AWS Services

AWS offers hundreds of services. Some of these include Virtual Private Cloud, EC2, AWS Data Transfer, Simple Storage Service, DynamoDB, Elastic Compute Cloud, AWS Key Management Service, AmazonCloudWatch, Simple Notification Service, Relational Database Service, Route 53, Simple Queue Service, CloudTrail, and Simple Email Service.

The following graphic is a list of the various categories of services available in AWS. The right side of the list includes AWS’s featured services.

AWS Security

Cloud security is the highest priority for AWS. As a customer, you will benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

AWS security offers services such as infrastructure security, DDoS mitigation, data encryption, inventory and configuration, monitoring and logging, identity and access control, and penetration testing.


AWS provides 40+ compliance certifications for the global, US, and other countries. Here is the list of various supported compliance certifications:

AWS global availability

AWS offers the largest global footprint in the market. No other cloud provider offers as many regions or Availability Zones (AZs). This includes 78 AZs within 25 geographic regions around the world. Furthermore, AWS has announced plans for 9 more AZs and three more regions in Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan.

AWS Certifications

AWS certifications are divided into four major categories — Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty.

There are many top start ups and organization that used the AWS cloud and became very successful. So, here are some case studies of few of them.

Case Studies

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” — Richard Branson

1. OLX

Empowering People with Innovative Services

OLX Autos has a mission to empower people to upgrade their lives through its online marketplace of services and used products that deliver superior customer value. As part of the OLX Group, which operates more than 20 brands across 30 countries, OLX Autos combines the agility of a startup with the maturity of a global entity. With a mission to shape the future of trade, OLX Autos is passionate about the use of cutting-edge technology to enhance the customer experience.

India is among the top growth markets for OLX Autos globally. The company has a highly innovative technology team running its Panamera classifieds marketplace, which is active in 12 countries, on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. To unlock maximum value for its users, OLX Autos is committed to investing in its people and the latest technology.

“Using AWS has kept our environment running in a stable manner in the most cost-optimized way.”

Abhishek Tomar
Infrastructure Head, OLX Autos

Modernizing Complex Architecture

In 2018, OLX Autos experienced an outage on its site when its internal certificates for OpenShift containerization software expired. The business was using OpenShift version 3.5 to manage its infrastructure and to deploy applications on its site running in Docker containers. As part of the company’s commitment to support customers with a smooth experience, engineers quickly identified the issue and rolled out new certificates immediately. However, they had to invest a significant amount of time to restore the website. The team concluded that their staging environment was unstable due to issues with the control panel on OpenShift and began seeking ways to modernize their technology stack.

Abhishek Tomar, infrastructure head at OLX Autos, says, “Buyers and sellers could not search, see new ads, or create new listings during the outage. We realized that even if we experienced just one crash a year, it would still be better to offload the control and management plane to AWS. Our customers were not able to access our marketplace in the several hours that were spent resolving the issue, resulting in customer dissatisfaction.”

OLX Autos engineers needed to rapidly upgrade the site’s architecture and decided to perform a proof of concept for hosting a self-managed Kubernetes cluster versus using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). “We decided on Amazon EKS because it was more flexible than the OpenShift cluster,” says Nikhil Sharma, the chapter lead site reliability engineer (SRE) at OLX Autos who led the migration.

Seamlessly Migrating 124 Microservices

OLX Autos initiated a discussion with the AWS team a year before beginning the migration. “First, we reached out to AWS Enterprise Support for advice on the best migration strategy,” says Sharma. OLX Autos was simultaneously upgrading its operating system, Kubernetes, and Docker versions, and the complexity of its OpenShift architecture in addition to the software version limitations made the migration particularly challenging. The OLX Autos SRE team planned the migration strategy and started moving their staging environment to AWS in January 2020. “We got immediate support from AWS to resolve any issues in the staging environment, which helped us migrate smoothly to a production environment,” Sharma says.

The AWS team presented a roadmap for potential new Panamera features using Amazon EKS in addition to other AWS services. OLX Autos then started building an Amazon EKS cluster and migrating selected workloads from OpenShift, with the rollout completed in just a few weeks. OLX Autos has now migrated all 124 of its microservices to Amazon EKS, which has improved efficiency and scalability while unlocking cost savings.

Gaining Productivity

Since the migration, OLX Autos infrastructure teams are now better placed to meet key internal product development deadlines. The business was initially using the Puppet configuration tool to manage its OpenShift software. Engineers needed to rely on their Puppet skill sets and spent three to four days a month rolling out and monitoring important updates to the OLX Autos infrastructure.

With the AWS migration, the company has removed Puppet from its architecture and offloaded container management to AWS. By running on Amazon EKS, the OLX Autos website benefits from improved performance and scalability, and engineers can reallocate their time to higher value-added tasks.

Scaling in Minutes and Improving Uptime

When OLX Autos was running an old version of OpenShift, the company experienced issues with autoscaling, which caused interruptions to its applications. “Now with Amazon EKS, our Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Fleet gets autoscaled in a couple of minutes whenever any marketing campaigns cause a surge or a sudden spike in traffic. If online traffic drops, the fleet gets scaled down — something we were not able to do smoothly before with OpenShift,” says Tomar.

OLX Autos has also offloaded the critical task of administering Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates to AWS Certificate Manager. Previously, teams had to manually procure and deploy new certificates each year, but with AWS, new certificates are deployed with a few simple API calls. “It’s a relief that AWS will now be taking care of that,” says Tomar. “We don’t have to invest a single minute in checking and updating certificates, which could impact key timelines for our business.”

Unlocking Savings with Reserved Instances

OLX Autos had booked a number of Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances for type C5 instances but was unable to use them with the older version of OpenShift. “Because of this migration and the version upgrade, we migrated all our C4 instances to C5 and could leverage Reserved Instances pricing. That has ultimately saved us 33 percent of compute costs,” says Tomar.

OLX Autos has also benefited from the AWS container network interface (CNI) plug-in, which was blocked with its previous OpenShift configuration. The CNI plug-in has not only improved application latency, but OLX Autos also expects to save at least 10 percent on its overall monthly AWS bill with more efficient applications. Tomar says, “Using AWS has kept our environment running in a stable manner in the most cost-optimized way.”

About OLX Autos

OLX Autos runs India’s leading consumer-to-consumer marketplace, Panamera, for pre-owned cars and motorbikes, mobile phones, household items, jobs, and real estate. Part of the OLX Group, the Panamera online trading marketplace is active in 12 countries.

Benefits of AWS

Autoscales architecture during surges in visitor traffic

Saves 33% on compute costs

Improves application latency

Facilitates smooth migration of 124 microservices into production

Gains 3–4 days a month by eliminating software monitoring and maintenance

Reallocates IT team to value-added innovation tasks.


BYJU’S Uses AWS to Deliver Cutting-Edge Content to 15 Million Students


BYJU’S is India’s largest education company and the creator of India’s most popular K-12 learning app, which offers highly adaptive, engaging, and effective learning programs for students. Reinventing how students learn in the age of mobile devices, the BYJU’S approach combines world-class teachers, proven pedagogical methods, innovative technology, and data science to deliver personalized learning across grades.

“We now have more than 15 million students using the BYJU’S mobile app, and we could not support that number without being on AWS. As our user and subscriber base continues to expand, we are extremely confident in our ability to support and manage that growth.”

Prakash Ramachandran
Chief Technology Officer, BYJU’S

The Challenge

Online Learning Company Looks to Learn and Grow

BYJU’S has made a big impact on the online learning world since its launch in 2015. The India-based mobile learning app, created by Byju Raveendran — a teacher by choice and entrepreneur by chance — is now used by more than 15 million students and has 900,000 paying subscribers. BYJU’S The Learning App helps teach children to absorb the culture of learning on their own rather than being spoon-fed, and is reinventing how students learn in the age of mobile devices. The BYJU’S approach combines world-class teachers, proven pedagogical methods, innovative technology, and data science to deliver personalized learning, feedback, and assessment for students.

Meeting the mobile app’s fast rate of growth required BYJU’S to find a more scalable and cost-effective solution than its Heroku cloud platform. “When we launched the app, we saw a huge spike in the number of users within a few weeks,” says Prakash Ramachandran, chief technology officer at BYJU’S. “It was very apparent we wouldn’t be able to keep pace with that growth on Heroku.”

In addition to scalability, BYJU’S wanted to enhance its analytical capabilities. “We were very interested in getting student feedback about the educational content we present on the website and app, so we could make changes if we needed to,” says Ramachandran.

Why Amazon Web Services

Migrating to AWS to Host a Popular Website and Analyze App and Web User Data

BYJU’S chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud platform for its website and mobile app. “Many of our team members had used AWS previously, so we were familiar with the technology, and we knew it could help us scale easily,” says Ramachandran. “AWS is also very simple to configure. In just a few weeks, we moved the BYJU’S website, our apps, and a video pipeline to AWS.”

BYJU’S runs its website and mobile apps on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. The company uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for PostgreSQL as its primary database service, and it stores presentations and other educational content in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

For data analytics, BYJU’S takes advantage of the Amazon Redshift fully managed data warehouse to analyze app and website user data through the company’s existing business-intelligence software tools. Using Amazon Redshift, BYJU’S can evaluate student feedback and capitalize on those insights to provide a more personalized learning experience. “We can discover more accurately how students are actually using the app or if they’re watching a learning video all the way through, for example,” says Ramachandran. “Based on the results, we can more directly map learning content to individual students’ needs or preferences.”

Scaling to Support 15 Million Users

In AWS, BYJU’S has a reliable and scalable cloud environment for hosting its website and mobile learning apps, allowing the company to scale on demand as the business keeps growing. “We now have more than 15 million students using the BYJU’S mobile app, and we could not support that number without being on AWS,” says Ramachandran. “As our user and subscriber base continues to expand, we are extremely confident in our ability to support and manage that growth.”

BYJU’S has already proven it can quickly scale to meet spikes in traffic during special online events. “For a recent event on our website, we were expecting a fourfold increase in traffic, but what we actually saw was a tenfold increase,” Ramachandran says. “All we had to do was essentially turn on a switch, and we had more instances on AWS to support the spike. It was very fast and simple.”

The Benefits

Gaining Better Insights into Student Behavior

Using AWS, BYJU’S gains deeper insights into student preferences and app usage, ultimately helping the company create unique, effective, and engaging learning experiences for students across all grades. “When we started the company, we did not have an analytics-processing layer, so it was very difficult to get good analytics about how students use the website and mobile app,” says Ramachandran. “Using Amazon Redshift, we have a robust analytical tool that helps us collect usage data so we can more effectively personalize every student’s learning journey and provide customized feedback and in-depth analysis.” For example, BYJU’S is leveraging data analytics on Amazon Redshift to develop guided instructional paths based on student preferences. “Amazon Redshift is helping us make our content better for each student,” says Ramachandran. “By analyzing how students view specific features and courses, we can ultimately tailor the content being taught to make it much more effective.” The company also uses Amazon Redshift to send customized notifications to mobile app users based on courses they have completed.

BYJU’S continues to innovate by making use of newer AWS services to develop solutions. As an example, the organization recently launched a product in India that takes advantage of the Amazon Alexa intelligent personal assistant to deliver audio-based educational content on the Amazon Echo device. Using Alexa voice commands, students can find out additional information about a given topic or play educational videos or games within the BYJU’S app. “We are very excited about integrating services like Amazon Alexa into our new solutions,” says Ramachandran. “As we expand the business in India and look for new ways to reach students, we know that using AWS will help us develop interactive, engaging products and applications.”

About BYJU’S

BYJU’S is India’s largest education company and the creator of India’s most popular K-12 learning app, which offers highly adaptive, engaging, and effective learning programs for students.

Benefits of AWS

  • Offers a complete learning experience that integrates classes, assessments, and personalized assignments, along with in-depth analysis and recommendations
  • Scales to meet the demands of more than 15 million students globally
  • Takes advantage of newer technologies to create innovative new products
  • Uses deeper data analysis to personalize learning.