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What is AWS? A Guide to AWS Basics

by Naveen Agarwal
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Do you know what Facebook, Netflix, and Capital One all have in common?

Aside from all being very large and successful companies, they use Amazon Web Services to power their digital solutions.

And they’re just a small handful of the many companies, agencies, and organizations that rely on AWS for things like websites and data storage.

Knowing all this, it comes as no surprise that AWS is the leading cloud provider in the world. But your business can be the next one to benefit from it once you learn some AWS basics.

Just how do you get started with Amazon Web Services? What does AWS power, and what should you know to start using its tools to fuel your success?

That’s what this article will attempt to answer. To learn everything you need to know about the basics of AWS, keep reading.

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services is so big that it almost defies categorization. It’s not just a web hosting platform, and it’s not just a cloud computing service or even an Internet of Things platform. It’s all of these things at once and more.

Simply put, however, AWS is primarily a cloud platform owned and operated by Amazon.com, Inc. Although it got its start years after Amazon began to dominate e-commerce, AWS has risen to be the world’s biggest cloud services platform.

Amazon Web Services has few real competitors, and the ones it does have are far behind in terms of market share.

As of February 2020, AWS already had more than one-third of the market at 32.4%. Azure, Microsoft’s alternative to AWS, came in at a distant second with a 17.6% market share. Finally, Google Cloud has only managed to corner 6% of the market.

For businesses that need a website or online store to operate, AWS provides web hosting for sites big and small. But AWS also supports more advanced startups using IoT, or the Internet of Things, to support its products and services.

As an innovative business owner, you might want to compare AWS IoT vs. Azure IoT and Google Cloud IoT. For now, let’s look at how AWS operates before we dive into the services it offers.

How AWS Works

Amazon Web Services offers a multitude of cloud computing products and services. These include cloud storage, servers, remote computing, networking solutions, professional email, cybersecurity, and even a mobile app development platform.

Although AWS provides dozens of services and features, they can all be broken down into three categories: EC2, a virtual machine service; Glacier, which offers low-cost cloud storage; and S3, which is Amazon’s own storage system.

Perhaps one reason for AWS’s success is its thriving presence in more than 240 countries. This accomplishes two things: first, it ensures that every major country in the world has access to fast, local versions of AWS-supported websites; second, it maintains optimal security because everything is divided between so many servers. A severe data breach is made far less likely by diversifying the locations in which data is held.

What AWS Does for Businesses

But the biggest reason for Amazon Web Services’ success is probably that it simply makes things easier for businesses. Historically, it would have to buy and operate its own servers when a business needed complex cloud services. As you can imagine, this is quite expensive.

Not only is owning servers expensive, but it also involves a big risk. If you underestimate how many people will visit your store’s website, for instance, then having servers that are too small will result in crashes and costly downtime. On the other hand, overestimating your success can be disastrous for your business finances, as you invest too much in your servers.

AWS eliminates this problem by providing businesses of all sizes exactly as much storage space and computing power as they need. AWS provides affordable web hosting for limited traffic if you run a small business with nothing more than a simple website. But if your company grows to be the size of a major corporation, your AWS solutions will grow with you, accommodating the increased web traffic and necessary storage.

What AWS Can Do for You

What Amazon Web Services can do for you depends entirely on what you need it for. Again, even if all you have is a simple blog, AWS provides world-class web hosting with unparalleled security and reliability.

If you own a small store and you want to expand your operations online, you can set up a website using a platform like WordPress, WooCommerce, or Magento installed on an AWS server.

No matter what kind of website you operate, AWS also provides professional email services, so you can send and receive messages with a custom email address.

And for serious startup founders who are hoping to scale significantly in the years to come, AWS offers storage, developer solutions, and networking tools that will grow with you.

Moving on From AWS Basics

With that, you should now know everything you need about AWS basics to get started. Even though Amazon Web Services provides solutions for some of the largest companies in the world, anyone can benefit from its services. By now, you’ll know how you can, too.

There are many ways to set up, grow, and market your online business—AWS is just the beginning. To discover everything you could ever need to know about the internet, keep reading our articles here at WebCube360.com.

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