What Is AWS and How Does It Work?

Apr 14, 2023 | AWS, Cloud Management, Storage

You may not know much about AWS, but I bet you’ve heard of their clients. Some of the biggest corporations in the world use AWS, including Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook, BBC, Twitter, and Adobe. Next time you’re streaming your favorite movie or scrolling through social media, it’s likely you’re doing so thanks to AWS.

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. Yes, AWS is a branch of Amazon, the largest e-commerce company in the world. What many don’t know is that AWS is also the most broadly adopted cloud provider in the world. In fact, AWS makes up nearly three-quarters of Amazon’s net operating revenue and has a 32 percent share of the cloud IT services market.

But what does any of this mean for you and your company? Let’s take a closer look at what the cloud is, how AWS works, and how you can get started working with it.

What Is the Cloud?

You probably remember a time when you would get a “hard drive full” or “memory card full” message on your computer or phone. Nowadays, most people’s images and files are automatically stored in the cloud. Physical storage for those files still exists somewhere—just not on your device. AWS provides physical storage that you access via the internet on your electronic device.

But the cloud isn’t all about storage. AWS also provides virtual computers that can run programs and perform advanced calculations and analysis for a variety of applications. Some companies use thousands of these virtual computers.

How Does AWS Work?

Before the adoption of cloud computing, companies had to rely on bulky servers and complicated infrastructure to provide the storage and computational needs of their businesses. However, infrastructure is costly to purchase, manage, and scale. You have to purchase the physical hardware, store it in a secure and controlled environment, pay someone to monitor and fix it, and set up new hardware as needed. As you can imagine, all this work makes your operating costs skyrocket.

This is where AWS comes into the picture. They provide the infrastructure hardware and management on a massive scale. Each company or organization that uses AWS has access to the nearly unlimited and instantaneous resources provided by AWS but only pays for the resources they actually use, which can save them time, money, and effort.

Think about a company like Netflix: They have to store the video files that their customers stream, of course, but they must also ensure their videos stream quickly to a global customer base and that each user is getting custom recommendations that match their tastes. To this end, AWS provides Netflix with compute, storage, and infrastructure that allow the company to scale quickly, operate securely, and meet capacity needs anywhere in the world. Some of the biggest companies in the world rely on AWS to operate on a daily basis.

How Do You Work with AWS?

Partnering with AWS is easy—you don’t even have to be a tech giant to use AWS resources. Here’s a brief overview of the process:

  1. Sign up: To use AWS, users need to sign up for an account and provide payment information.
  2. Choose Services: Once signed up, users can choose from a wide variety of AWS services, including compute, storage, database, networking, security, and more.
  3. Create Resources: After selecting the desired services, users can create resources such as instances, volumes, databases, and buckets, which are hosted on the AWS infrastructure.
  4. Configure Resources: Users can then configure the resources as needed, such as by installing applications, configuring network settings, or adjusting security permissions.
  5. Use Resources: Once the resources are created and configured, users can use them to run applications, store data, host websites, and perform other tasks.
  6. Pay for Usage: Users only pay for the resources they use and can easily scale up or down as needed to meet changing demand.

If you’re a tech-savvy individual looking for a cloud storage solution for personal projects or simple data storage, using AWS is fairly simple. If you’re thinking about AWS from the perspective of a large business or organization, working with large quantities of data, managing user access, and many other parts of the process can make a transition to cloud computing more complicated. That’s why we suggest partnering with an AWS premier partner like nClouds to help your migration go smoothly and help you save money. Contact nClouds to schedule a meeting with a migration expert that can help lay out your fast path to migration.


nClouds is a cloud-native services company that helps organizations maximize site uptime, performance, stability, and support, bringing out the best of their people and technology using AWS