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How the Internet Works: The Essential Guide to Digital Infrastructure

by Omar Kamali / March 06, 2023 / in Digital Infrastructure, Series

Are you reading this article on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop right now? Have you ever wondered how these devices are able to connect to the internet and deliver the information you're reading at lightning-fast speeds? If you're curious about the backbone of our digital world and how it shapes our daily lives, you're in the right place.

Welcome to this series on digital infrastructure, where we explore the technology that underpins our modern world and the companies that provide it. My goal is to provide an accessible introduction to this complex and ever-evolving field, and to compare and contrast the commercial offerings available to businesses and individuals alike.

Digital infrastructure plays a critical role in our daily lives, from streaming movies and music to running businesses and powering the global economy. Understanding this technology can help you make informed decisions about the products and services you use, and even give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Over the course of this series, we'll explore topics such as cloud computing, content delivery networks, internet service providers, and more. We'll dive into the technical concepts behind these technologies, and compare the offerings of industry leaders such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. So buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the world of digital infrastructure.

Articles in this series

1. What happens when you open a TikTok?

2. It starts with a message: Internet, DNS & Networks for non-Techies

3. DNS for non-Techies: Domains, Website Performance, and Content Restrictions

Why Digital Infrastructure Matters

We often take for granted the technology that allows us to work, communicate, and shop online. But have you ever stopped to think about what makes all of this possible? That's where digital infrastructure comes in.

Digital infrastructure is the backbone of our digital lives, encompassing everything from broadband networks to cloud computing services. It's the unseen force that allows us to stream movies, buy groceries online, and work from anywhere in the world.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the importance of digital infrastructure only continues to grow. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many of us to work from home and conduct business online, digital infrastructure has become more critical than ever before.

But what happens when digital infrastructure fails? We've all experienced frustrating internet outages or slow-loading websites, but the consequences of more significant failures can be severe. Just think back to the Equifax data breach or the 2016 Dyn cyber attack, which took down major websites like Twitter and Netflix for hours. These incidents highlight the vital role digital infrastructure plays in our daily lives and the potential consequences when it fails.

A better understanding of what makes the internet tick and how digital infrastructure impacts businesses and society as a whole helps you better navigate the world and make more informed decisions about your digital life.

Understanding the Technical Concepts

Over this series, we will dive into the specifics of cloud computing, one of the most crucial building blocks of digital infrastructure. We'll explore how it allows businesses to store and access their data on secure remote servers, and how it has transformed the way we think about IT infrastructure.

We'll also examine content delivery networks, or CDNs, and how they help to deliver web content faster and more reliably across the globe. We'll take a deep dive into the architecture of CDNs, and how businesses can choose the right provider to optimize their web performance.

Another critical concept we'll explore is database management systems, or DBMS. These are the software systems that businesses use to store, manage, and retrieve their data. We'll break down the differences between SQL and NoSQL databases, and explain how these systems enable businesses to make better data-driven decisions.

By the end of this series, you'll have a solid understanding of the technical concepts that power the internet, and the tools and services that businesses can use to leverage these concepts for their own success and how this impacts you as an individual and a professional.

Infrastructure Commercial Providers

When it comes to digital infrastructure, it's not just about understanding the technical concepts, but also evaluating the commercial offerings available in the market. With so many different providers and options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the right fit for your business or organization.

That's where this series comes in. We'll be diving into a comparison of different commercial offerings for digital infrastructure, so you can make an informed decision about what works best for your needs.

But why is it so important to evaluate these offerings? Well, for starters, the quality of your digital infrastructure can directly impact the performance and reliability of your online presence. A poor choice in provider can result in slow load times, frequent downtime, and even security vulnerabilities.

So, what criteria will we be using to evaluate these offerings? Performance and scalability will be key factors, as we want to ensure that your infrastructure can handle traffic and usage spikes without compromising on speed and reliability. Cost is another important consideration, as we'll be looking at the value you get for your investment.

In terms of the commercial offerings that we'll be comparing, we'll be looking at some of the major players in the industry, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Each provider has its own strengths and weaknesses, and we'll be exploring those in detail throughout the series.

By the end of this series, you'll have a better understanding of the digital infrastructure landscape, as well as the tools you need to make an informed decision about which commercial offering is right for you. Get ready to dive into the world of digital infrastructure!


To sum up, we have discussed the importance of digital infrastructure for the internet and our society as a whole, the technical concepts that form its backbone, and how to evaluate commercial offerings for it.

In the upcoming posts of this series, we will dive deeper into each of these topics and compare the offerings of various companies. We will provide insights and analysis that will help readers understand digital infrastructure and make informed decisions about the commercial offerings they use.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn more about the technology that powers the modern world. Subscribe to my newsletter to new posts directly in your inbox every two weeks, and join me on this exciting journey.

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Omar Kamali
Written by Omar Kamali, Founder, CEO @ Monitoro, & Strategic Technology Advisor.