Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings. AWS services can offer an organization tools such as compute power, database storage and content delivery services.
AWS launched in 2006 from the internal infrastructure that Amazon.com built to handle its online retail operations. AWS was one of the first companies to introduce a pay-as-you-go cloud computing model that scales to provide users with compute, storage or throughput as needed.AWS offers many different tools and solutions for enterprises and software developers that can be used in data centers in up to 190 countries. Groups such as government agencies, education institutions, nonprofits and private organizations can use AWS services.
How AWS works
AWS is separated into different services; each can be configured in different ways based on the user’s needs. Users should be able to see configuration options and individual server maps for an AWS service.
More than 100 services comprise the Amazon Web Services portfolio, including those for compute, databases, infrastructure management, application development and security. These services, by category, include:
- Storage databases
- Data management
- Hybrid cloud
- Development tools
- Big data management
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Mobile development
- Messages and notification
Case study of the company called under armor
Under Armour produces performance footwear, apparel, and equipment. With a mission to make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation, Under Armour products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels. The company’s Connected Fitness platform powers the world’s largest digital health and fitness community — more than 180 million users — through a suite of applications: UA Record, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal
The Under Armour Connected Fitness platform is in high-growth mode, with more people using its suite of fitness apps every day. However, the company struggled to manage that growth while relying on an IT hosting provider. “We wanted to be more dynamic and focus more on our growth instead of optimizing our data center footprint.
Under Armour also sought the elasticity to support cyclical app usage. For example, the MyFitnessPal nutrition tracking app sees a spike in new users on New Year’s Day. Some of the company’s other apps experience usage spikes in the summer season. And all the apps see more traffic on weekends. “We see at least twice as much app traffic on weekends and early in the workweek.
Managing and optimizing that cyclical traffic in a data center was challenging in terms of spinning up compute resources quickly. The organization also sought more reliability and high availability for the Connected Fitness platform. “We had two data centers, and if there were any problems in our primary data center, we had outages,” says Demmel. “Given the size of our user base, that was not good for our brand. If systems are down, that impacts people who are trying to improve their health and fitness worldwide.”
Why Amazon Web Services
After deciding that a cloud solution would be the best fit for its elasticity and reliability requirements, Under Armour chose to move its MapMyFitness and UA Record apps to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. “MyFitnessPal and Endomondo were already running on AWS, and we wanted to have the entire Connected Fitness platform on AWS,” says Demmel. “AWS is the biggest player in the market and more experienced than anyone else. It’s also continuously creating new services, and that’s important for us because we are an innovation company.”
The Connected Fitness platform now runs on nearly two thousand Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. The company also uses Auto Scaling to automatically scale up its Amazon EC2 capacity to maintain performance during spikes in app use and decrease capacity during lower usage periods. More than 180 million global Connected Fitness users authenticate using a cross-region architecture built using Amazon DynamoDB. Additionally, the organization is using Amazon Redshift as a data warehouse for Connected Fitness user data in combination with other partners. Together, the Connected Fitness apps emit millions of event messages per hour via the Apache Kafka distributed message system and persist hundreds of terabytes of data into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). From there, some of the data is transformed, aggregated, and made available via Amazon Redshift, where Under Armour employees can analyze the data and use that analysis to drive business decisions.
- Moving to the AWS Cloud has enabled us to optimize all our apps for our global user base
- We can scale dynamically and automatically provision new instances to support traffic spikes on weekends for some apps and early in the work week for others.
- Using AWS we have access to multiple Regions and Availability Zones, which ensures high availability for our millions of global users