Patient safety redefined. Digitised, personalised and optimised.
Patient safety redefined. Digitised, personalised and optimised.

How does Axian utilise the power of the cloud?

Jason Gay – Axian Head of Engineering

In today’s digital era, websites serve as the backbone for businesses and organizations across the globe. Axian Consulting provides digital services (such as risk minimisation websites) to our clients so it is extremely important to us and our clients that we meet their expectations for a reliable, secure, scalable, cost-effective and high performing platform to deliver these services.
Enter the cloud! In particular Amazon Web Services (AWS). This short article explores some of the key services available on AWS.

So lets break it down and go through five key requirements:

– a website should load up no matter when you visit it

AWS has been in the cloud business for many years and has always been at the forefront of cloud computing. All of their services have reliability built into them at the core. Take for example the geographic setup of regions and availability zones. Each region is essentially a collection of isolated data centres with redundant power, cooling, and networking. This architecture helps ensure high availability. If one availability zone experiences an issue then it can swifty switch to another.

Security – a user should have no fear of their data being insecure

It goes without saying that any digital services needs to be secure. AWS provides a lot of ways to make sure our platform and services are secure, such as:

  • Physical Security: AWS data centres are highly secure facilities with restricted access, 24/7 monitoring, and advanced security measures, including biometric access controls, security guards, and surveillance. The physical security of data centres is designed to protect against unauthorized access and physical threats.
  • Network Security: AWS has a global network infrastructure designed to resist distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and provide secure connectivity. AWS offers services like AWS Shield for DDoS protection and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for network isolation and control.
  • Data Encryption: AWS offers encryption services to protect data at rest and in transit.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): A robust firewall is the first line of defence and helps protect web applications from common web exploits and attacks. It allows customers to configure rules to block or allow traffic based on specific conditions.
  • Security Logging and Monitoring: AWS provides services like Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail for monitoring and logging. CloudTrail logs all the interactions that take place for auditing and compliance, while CloudWatch offers real-time monitoring and alerting for AWS resources.
  • Security Assessments and Compliance: AWS undergoes third-party audits and certifications, including ISO 27001, SOC 2, and FedRAMP. AWS provides customers with compliance documentation to assist them in meeting their regulatory requirements. Axian Consulting is also ISO27001 compliant, which works very well with the AWS setup and ensures your full service is delivered to the highest of standards.

Scalability – a website should be able to cope with different levels of demand

By its very nature all cloud platforms allow scalability and AWS is very good at this. Let’s take one of their key services, AWS Autoscaling. This is a service that allows solutions to automatically adjust the capacity of their resources to match the current demand. It helps ensure that the application environment scales seamlessly based on traffic patterns, providing the right amount of resources at any given time. What this means in practice is that a server with capacity for 1,000 users can scale up to a server with capacity of delivering to 10,000 users and beyond, all without any downtime and based on the amount of traffic visiting the sites

Cost-Effectiveness – it should be good value for money

This one goes hand in hand with scalability. The fact that it can automatically scale up, also means it can scale down when demand is low and therefore not only reduce costs but also power consumption and the solutions environmental impact (something else we are very keen on at Axian Consulting!). Think about when you’re home alone, you can heat one room instead of the whole house to prevent wasted energy, but you still have the option to heat the whole house again when your family return.

High Performance – a website should load up in a reasonable time frame from any location it is expected to be used (globally)

AWS offers many services to ensure high performance, such as:

  • Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network (CDN) service that caches and distributes content closer to end-users. CloudFront accelerates the delivery of websites, APIs, videos, and other web assets, reducing latency and improving performance.
  • Fast networking between regions for global services to run seamlessly and quickly.
  • Elastic Load Balancing help distribute traffic evenly and automatically adjust resources to handle varying workloads with autoscaling of servers

How AWS meets these five key requirements has given you an insight into why we currently use AWS, but what is next? How can we and AWS improve further on meeting these requirements?

One way is to utilise the power of serverless!

Think of Serverless as being a step up from the cloud. With serverless architecture, you don’t maintain your own servers; instead you purchase your capacity and capabilities ahead of time with the built in option for it to scale in response to real-time demand. A good analogy is a taxi, you only pay for your taxi fare based on the distance you travel you don’t pay for the upkeep and maintenance of it – a cost-effective approach that eliminates idle time and wasted resources.

Our Axian One platform currently makes use of various Serverless services and our support of this technology is only expanding. This approach not only allows us to be more cost effective and scalable but also be quicker to get new features to our clients, due to the low overhead of not having to do full deployments to servers and maintain them.

On a more important note, while AWS provides a highly reliable infrastructure, the reliability of applications and services built on AWS also depends on how they are designed and configured. This is why at Axian Consulting we have a dedicated Engineering team that cover all the specialist areas to deliver solutions that meet high standards and make full use of the high availability and fault tolerance within the AWS cloud. All this whilst working to ISO27001 approved processes and procedures.

If this article has sparked some questions, you want to know more about Axian One or just get a better understanding of cloud technology, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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