Amazon Web Services (AWS) started back in 2006 with just a few basic services. Since then, it has grown into a massive cloud computing platform with over 200 services spanning categories like compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools, Internet of Things (IoT), security, hybrid cloud, augmented reality/virtual reality, and more.
With so many services available, it can be overwhelming for developers to know where to start. That's why I've put together this guide to walk through Top 50+ AWS Services That You Should Know in 2023
Compute services provide access to on-demand computing resources to run applications. These are some of the core building blocks of AWS.
1. EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)
EC2 allows you to rent virtual machines and configure them with your choice of OS, computing power, memory, storage, and networking. It's a foundational service that many other AWS services are built on top of.
2. ECS (Elastic Container Service)
ECS is a container management service that lets you run Docker containers across a cluster of EC2 instances. It supports Docker Swarm and Kubernetes for container orchestration.
3. EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service)
Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a managed service that lets you run Kubernetes clusters on the cloud. You can use EKS to run your Kubernetes workloads on AWS with high availability, scalability, and security.
4. Lambda λ
Lambda runs your code in response to events like HTTP requests or notifications from other AWS services. It's a serverless compute service that automatically scales and you only pay for the compute time you use.
5. Elastic Beanstalk
Elastic Beanstalk is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) that makes it easy to deploy and scale web applications by handling infrastructure provisioning and load balancing automatically.
Lightsail provides simple virtual private servers for deploying websites, blogs, development environments, and more with just a few clicks.
Batch efficiently runs large volumes of batch computing workloads across EC2 and Spot Instances. Useful for jobs like processing video files, ETL, and log analysis.
Fargate is a serverless compute engine/infrastructure for containers that lets you run your containers without managing servers or clusters. Fargate works with both ECS and EKS.
AWS offers many ways to store, retrieve, and protect your data in the cloud.
9. S3 (Simple Storage Service)
S3 is the original AWS storage service offering secure object storage for any type of data like images, videos, documents, static files, backups, archives, etc.
10. EBS (Elastic Block Store)
EBS provides persistent block-level storage volumes for use with EC2 instances. Useful for running databases, enterprise apps, container storage, etc.
11. EFS (Elastic File System)
EFS offers managed network file storage that can be accessed from multiple EC2 instances simultaneously. Supports the NFSv4 protocol.
12. Storage Gateway
Storage Gateway bridges on-premises environments with cloud storage by providing virtual tape, volume, and file gateways for hybrid storage.
Glacier is a low-cost, secure, and durable storage service for long-term data archiving and backups. Retrieval times are slower than S3.
14. S3 Glacier Deep Archive
For long-term data storage, use the S3 Glacier Deep Archive. It's affordable and designed for bulk access of data accessed once or twice a year.
AWS has a database for virtually every need including relational, key-value, document, in-memory, graph, time series, and ledger databases.
15. RDS (Relational Database Service)
RDS offers fully managed relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and MariaDB with high availability, backups, and easy scaling.
DynamoDB is a highly available, low-latency NoSQL database that provides fast performance at any scale for applications that need consistent single-digit millisecond latency.
ElastiCache improves application performance by caching frequently used and static data in memory. Supports Redis and Memcached.
Neptune is a fully managed graph database service compatible with open graph APIs like RDF and SPARQL. Useful for building social networking, recommendation engines, and knowledge graphs.
DocumentDB is a MongoDB-compatible document database that delivers high performance, scalability, availability, and security for modern apps.
Redshift is a data warehouse service that makes it simple and cost-effective to analyze all your data using standard SQL and existing business intelligence tools.
21. QLDB (Quantum Ledger Database)
QLDB provides an immutable, cryptographically verifiable ledger for building applications that require a central trusted authority. Useful for supply chain, manufacturing, HR, and financial apps.
Networking & Content Delivery
These networking services provide the backbone for connecting resources within and across regions as well as distributing content globally.
22. VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)
VPC lets you provision a private virtual network within AWS and gives complete control over your virtual networking environment like IP address ranges, subnets, route tables, and more.
CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) that accelerates the distribution of your static and dynamic web content globally so your end users can access it with low latency.
24. Route 53
Route 53 is a highly available and scalable DNS service for domain registration and DNS management. It routes end users to the nearest edge location containing your web content.
25. API Gateway
26. Direct Connect
Direct Connect provides dedicated network connections between AWS and your on-premises data centres in real-time or corporate networks. Useful for workloads that require high bandwidth and low latency.
Migration & Transfer Services
These services help you easily migrate existing workloads to the AWS cloud.
27. AWS Migration Hub
Migration Hub provides a central location to track and manage migrations across multiple AWS and partner solutions.
28. Application Discovery Service
Discovers information about your on-premises data centres to streamline migration planning with visualization tools and migration assessments.
29. Database Migration Service (DMS)
DMS helps you migrate databases to AWS quickly and securely. The source database remains fully operational during the migration.
30. Server Migration Service (SMS)
SMS migrates your on-premises workloads to AWS automatically. It minimizes downtime and doesn't require you to manually recreate servers in AWS.
31. Snowball & Snowmobile
Snowball and Snowmobile provide petabyte-scale data transport to transfer enormous data sets in and out of AWS using portable storage appliances.
These services help developers build and deploy cloud-native applications on AWS.
CodeBuild compiles source code runs tests and produces application packages ready to deploy. Fully managed so there are no servers to provision or manage.
CodeDeploy automates application deployments to EC2, Lambda, and on-premises servers. Provides deployment strategies like rolling updates and rollbacks.
CodePipeline is a continuous delivery service that automates your release pipelines across different AWS services as code progresses from development to production.
Cloud9 provides a cloud IDE for writing, running, and debugging code. Supports multiple languages and comes prepackaged with essential tools for productive development.
Management & Governance
These tools help manage multiple AWS accounts and track usage costs.
37. Organizations & Control Tower
Organizations help centrally manage billing and control access across multiple AWS accounts. Control Tower sets up secure multi-account environments based on best practices.
CloudTrail tracks user activity and API usage across your AWS infrastructure and delivers log files to you for auditing, security analysis, and compliance needs.
Config provides visibility into configurations of your AWS resources enabling compliance auditing, security analysis, resource monitoring, and troubleshooting.
CloudWatch monitors resources and applications in real time, providing metrics, logs, and alarms so you can react quickly to optimize your environment.
41. Trusted Advisor
Trusted Advisor analyzes your AWS environment to help optimize performance, security, availability, and cost based on best practices.
These services help gain insights from all your data.
Athena lets you query data located in S3 using standard SQL. Serverless so there is no infrastructure to manage. Useful for log analytics and business intelligence needs.
43. EMR (Elastic MapReduce)
EMR provides a managed Hadoop framework optimized for processing vast amounts of data across dynamically scalable EC2 instances.
QuickSight is a fast, cloud-powered business intelligence service that makes it easy to create interactive visualizations and perform ad-hoc analysis on your data.
Kinesis allows real-time processing of streaming data using managed infrastructure. Useful for rapidly moving data off data producers and streaming to data consumers.
46. Data Pipeline
Data Pipeline helps reliably process and move data between different AWS compute and storage services as well as on-premises data sources.
Security, Identity & Compliance
These tools safeguard your environment and meet compliance requirements.
47. IAM (Identity & Access Management)
IAM lets you manage user access and authentication securely by defining policies and permissions to control what users can access.
The inspector analyzes your EC2 instances for vulnerabilities and deviations from security best practices like leaving ports open or not enabling encryption.
Macie uses machine learning and pattern matching to discover and protect sensitive data stored in S3 like personal information and intellectual property.
Artifact provides on-demand access to AWS security and compliance reports and selects online agreements like the Business Associate Addendum (BAA).
AI & Machine Learning
AWS provides a suite of AI and Machine Learning services to help organizations integrate advanced AI capabilities into their applications and workflows.
SageMaker provides a fully managed service to build, train and deploy ML models at scale. It removes heavy lifting from ML and makes it more accessible.
Comprehend uses NLP to find insights and relationships in text. It can identify key phrases, places, people, sentiments and more to categorize and understand text data.
Rekognition makes it easy to add image and video analysis to apps using proven computer vision algorithms. It can detect objects, scenes, faces and inappropriate content.
Lex enables building conversational interfaces using voice/text powered by the technology behind Amazon Alexa. It provides automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding capabilities.
Personalize provides real-time personalized recommendations based on historical data and machine learning. It works with technologies like relational databases, Spark etc.
Textract automatically extracts text, handwriting, tables and other data from scanned documents using machine learning.
Transcribe automatically converts speech to text using advanced machine-learning techniques. It provides robust and accurate transcription capabilities.
Forecast provides highly accurate time series forecasting using machine learning, without needing ML expertise. It supports both point and range predictions.
Kendra is an intelligent search service powered by machine learning that delivers highly accurate results and natural language query capabilities.
CodeGuru provides intelligent recommendations to improve code quality and identify an application’s most expensive lines of code using machine learning.
63. Fraud Detector
Fraud Detector enables identifying potentially fraudulent online activities using machine learning. It can detect identity and payment fraud in real-time.
Short Summary of AWS Services:
- Compute: EC2, Lambda, Elastic Beanstalk, ECS, Fargate
- Storage: S3, EBS, Glacier, EFS
- Databases: RDS, DynamoDB, Neptune, Redshift
- Analytics: Kinesis, EMR, Athena, QuickSight
- Networking: VPC, CloudFront, API Gateway
- Security: IAM, Cognito
- Management: CloudFormation, CloudTrail, CloudWatch
- Machine Learning: SageMaker, Lex, Forecast, Kendra
This overview of the top 50 services provides a solid foundation to get familiarized with the key categories and popular options you'll likely come across as you start leveraging AWS.
Focus first on understanding the core services like EC2, S3, VPC, databases, security and networking. As you build out applications, you can adopt additional services relevant to your specific needs. Monitoring announcements and roadmap updates from re:Invent and other AWS events is also useful to stay up to date on new managed offerings.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the most essential AWS services for new users?
The most essential AWS services new users should start with are EC2, S3, VPC, IAM, CloudWatch, and CloudTrail. These cover basic compute, storage, networking, security, monitoring, and logging capabilities.
Which AWS services are serverless?
The main serverless services are Lambda, DynamoDB, S3, API Gateway, CloudFront, SQS, SNS, Step Functions, Cognito, and more. These run your code or provide capabilities without you having to provision servers.
What AWS services are best for big data and analytics?
For big data, AWS offers EMR, Redshift, Kinesis, Data Pipeline, Glue, Athena, and QuickSight. These make it easy to process, store, and analyze vast amounts of data efficiently.
How to choose the right AWS database service?
Consider your data structures, relational vs. NoSQL models, throughput needs, scalability requirements, durability needs, complexity of management, and costs to pick the right database like RDS, DynamoDB, ElastiCache, etc.
Which services can help migrate to the AWS cloud?
Key AWS migration services include DMS, SMS, Snowball, Database Migration Service, and Application Discovery Service. These help move data, servers, and applications to AWS.
How to migrate an on-premises database to AWS?
The AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) helps migrate production databases to AWS with minimal downtime. It supports homogeneous as well as heterogeneous database migrations.