Working at Biodata Ltd. during University, details of which you can see here, I was first introduced to AWS (Amazon Web Services). I'd heard of it, but had no idea just how vast the array of tools and services were that Amazon offer. The great thing is, most of it is free!
This site is hosted on AWS! It's hosted on an EC2 Instance running Ubuntu and the DNS is handled via Route 53. Other services such as SES are utilised too. You can read more about the creation of the site at the About page.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.
I've personally only ever used Linux Distributions on EC2 Instances, but Amazon offer lots of different linux distros and Windows operating systems too. As of writing this, there are 236 options!
The best features I've found is the 'elasticity' of the containers, meaning they can scale in size and performance at the click of a button. You are also charged on-demand based on what you use, no contracts.
Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is designed to give developers and businesses an extremely reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications
Route53 is very similar to any DNS Management service. However, its very easy to use and integrates with other Amazon services easily and is all accessible via the AWS Management Console.
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to securely control access to AWS services and resources for your users. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.
IAM is great for creating users on AWS that have specific privileges that can be used in certain applications such not to expose your root keys. I have used it in conjunction with SES and simply given that user just SMTP privileges.
Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cloud-based email sending service designed to help digital marketers and application developers send marketing, notification, and transactional emails. It is a reliable, cost-effective service for businesses of all sizes that use email to keep in contact with their customers.
The email forms on this site use an NPM Package called 'Node Mailer' in tandem with Amazon's SES Mail Server.
Amazon Simple Storage Service is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. It has a simple web services interface that you can use to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites.
I've not had as much experience with this service as I have with the others. It's something I initially used for the original Urban Sensing project at Biodata Ltd until I switched over to using GitHub for storing source files for the web application I was developing.