AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and it is a cloud platform offering services in areas like compute, storage, networking, intelligence and etc. To understand AWS properly let's first understand cloud computing first.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is on-demand delivery of IT services via the internet (the cloud). Previously, companies used to run their own data centers to save data and process a large chunk of it in house. This often leads to high cost and sometimes lack of resources means you have to halt the delivery of an app which can be a business critical stuff.
With cloud computing, providers like AWS gives companies an option to not only procure the resources fats but pay for them on usage basis. This means companies are no longer trying to forecast their requirement and are not blocking the high capital i.e. money by buying resources in advance.
History of AWS
Amazon.com (the big e-commerce site), needed some developer tools and other services to make sure their business process are not affected. They started creating these tools and start using them internally. When the results start flowing in, they have a clear advantage over their competitor because of the infrastructure services they have built internally. These services were allowing them to scale fast and launch new products in the market at a speed their competitors cannot imagine.
In 2006, Amazon packaged and launched their infrastructure services as a new offering called Amazon Web Services and started providing the same services to other companies. Soon it became the most profitable venture of Amazon.
What does AWS offers?
AWS now offers about 200 services in various domains. They have compute services like EC2 with which you can spin up an instance quickly and scale it easily. Their stirage service S3 allows you to store large amount of data. They have a managed database service bundled under RDS(Relational Database Services) and there are some niche things and prebuilt models for AI services too.
AWS offers pay as you go pricing and each service has a unique pricing. Their global architecture makes it easy to deploy your application in the region supported by them.
So when you shop on Amazon, watch your favourite show on Netflix, you are using something which is powered by AWS.