Industry Use case of Amazon SQS

What is Amazon SQS?

Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) offers a secure, durable, and available hosted queue that lets you integrate and decouple distributed software systems and components. Amazon SQS offers common constructs such as dead-letter queues and cost allocation tags. It provides a generic web services API that you can access using any programming language that the AWS SDK supports.

Benefits of using Amazon SQS

  • Security — You control who can send messages to and receive messages from an Amazon SQS queue.
  • Server-side encryption (SSE) lets you transmit sensitive data by protecting the contents of messages in queues using keys managed in AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS).
  • Durability — For the safety of your messages, Amazon SQS stores them on multiple servers. Standard queues support atleast-once message delivery, and FIFO queues support exactly-once message processing.
  • Availability — Amazon SQS uses redundant infrastructure to provide highly-concurrent access to messages and high availability for producing and consuming messages.
  • Scalability — Amazon SQS can process each buffered request independently, scaling transparently to handle any load increases or spikes without any provisioning instructions.
  • Reliability — Amazon SQS locks your messages during processing, so that multiple producers can send and multiple consumers can receive messages at the same time.
  • Customization — Your queues don’t have to be exactly alike — for example, you can set a default delay on a queue. You can store the contents of messages larger than 256 KB using Amazon Simple Storage Service(Amazon S3) or Amazon DynamoDB, with Amazon SQS holding a pointer to the Amazon S3 object, or you can split a large message into smaller messages.

What is SQS used for?

The most common ways to use SQS, and of course other messaging systems, in cloud applications are:

Queue Types

There are two types of Queue:

  • SQS offers a standard queue as the default queue type.
  • It allows you to have an unlimited number of transactions per second.
  • It guarantees that a message is delivered at least once. However, sometime, more than one copy of a message might be delivered out of order.
  • It provides best-effort ordering which ensures that messages are generally delivered in the same order as they are sent but it does not provide a guarantee.
  • The FIFO Queue complements the standard Queue.
  • It guarantees ordering, i.e., the order in which they are sent is also received in the same order.
  • The most important features of a queue are FIFO Queue and exactly-once processing, i.e., a message is delivered once and remains available until consumer processes and deletes it.
  • FIFO Queue does not allow duplicates to be introduced into the Queue.
  • It also supports message groups that allow multiple ordered message groups within a single Queue.
  • FIFO Queues are limited to 300 transactions per second but have all the capabilities of standard queues.

Industry Use case of Amazon SQS: Peacock Achieves a Fast and Flawless Launch Using AWS Solutions

Planning a Cloud-Based Streaming Service with a Perfect Launch

In January 2019, NBCUniversal and Sky announced they would partner for the first time to launch a joint streaming service. Peacock’s technology team envisioned a fully cloud-based system with no on-premises infrastructure. The service needed to be highly reliable at an unknown but potentially massive scale. “There are a lot of systems behind our users’ journey to their content,” says Black. “With Peacock, the infrastructure would need to be able to manage the load of a service that delivers a multidimensional experience — one that goes beyond login, search, browse, and display to provide live, on-demand, short-form, and channel-based streaming at scale.” In addition, Peacock needed to support the demands of live video streaming, which can result in aggressive spikes in viewership.

Architecting and Testing a Simple, Scalable Video Streaming Service

Peacock dove into building its system using a suite of AWS services. The bedrock of the architecture was Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. With a service-level agreement of 99.99 percent availability for each Amazon EC2 region, it could provide the high availability the Peacock system needed.

A Cloud Provider That Delivers

For Peacock’s technology team, the project launch was successful in part because of the help of AWS support. “We look at key resources like AWS as an extension of our team rather than a vendor with a contract. We have to be a team,” says Davidson. As for the effectiveness of AWS solutions, Black says Peacock’s success speaks for itself. “The proof is in the performance. We have a commitment to AWS because the system continues to deliver, and we and our users are pleased with the results.”


Amazon SQS provides several advantages over building your own software for managing message queues or using commercial or open-source message queuing systems that require significant up-front time for development and configuration.

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