Getting Started with AWS

Getting Started with AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides on-demand computing resources and services in the cloud, with pay-as-you-go pricing. For example, you can run a server on AWS that you can log on to, configure, secure, and run just as you would a server that's sitting in front of you. For more information, see What is Cloud Computing?

Using AWS resources instead of your own is like purchasing electricity from a power company instead of running your own generator, and it provides many of the same benefits: capacity exactly matches your need, you pay only for what you use, economies of scale result in lower costs, and the service is provided by a vendor experienced in running large-scale networks.

What Can I Do with AWS?

You can use AWS to make it easier to build and manage your websites and applications. The following are some common uses for AWS:

  • Store public or private data.

  • Host a static website. These websites use client-side technologies (such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) to display content that doesn't change frequently. A static website doesn't require server-side technologies (such as PHP and ASP.NET).

  • Host a dynamic website, or web app. These websites include classic three-tier applications, with web, application, and database tiers.

  • Support students or online training programs.

  • Process business and scientific data.

  • Handle peak loads.

For more information, see AWS Solutions.

How Do I Get Started?

The following documentation provides an overview of AWS and list of tutorials that demonstrate the common uses for AWS:

How Do I Access AWS?

AWS provides several ways to create and manage resources.

AWS Management Console

A web interface. To get started, see the Getting Started with the AWS Management Console.

AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI)

Commands for a broad set of AWS products. To get started, see AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

Command Line Tools

Commands for individual AWS products. For more information, see Command Line Tools.

AWS Software Development Kits (SDK)

APIs that are specific to your programming language or platform. For more information, see SDKs.

Query APIs

Low-level APIs that you access using HTTP requests. For more information, see the API documentation for each service.


AWS can offer significant cost savings compared to the equivalent on-premises infrastructure. You can use the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator to estimate what it would cost to use AWS.

Note that if you created your AWS account within the last 12 months, you are eligible for the AWS Free Tier.

For more information about managing your costs, see Pricing and the Economics Center.