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AWS offers a global cloud infrastructure platform with regions and availability zones (AZs) in 34 countries, across five continents. For more background on this have a look at the AWS regions map from AWS and read on for all the background.
What is an AWS region?
An AWS region is a geographic area that has multiple Availability Zones. AWS regions are not data centres (For more about data centres read our article about data centre tiers). AWS regions are isolated geographic areas that have multiple Availability Zones. Regions are isolated from each other and are connected to the Internet through low-latency, high-bandwidth links. Each region includes at least two Availability Zones for failover and redundancy.
What are AWS availability zones (AZs)?
An availability zone (AZ) is an isolated geographic area within a region. Each AZ has its own power grid, networking infrastructure, and connectivity to the Internet. This enables customers to run applications and store data in close proximity to their users and partners.
AWS offers a variety of services that are available in each region, including Amazon EC@ (Elastic Compute Cloud), Simple Storage Service, and Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service). Customers can launch Amazon EC2 (Virtual machine - for more on virtual machines read our articles about them - "What are virtual machines?" and "New to the cloud - Understanding virtual machines") instances in any Availability Zone within a region. Availability Zones are connected to each other through low-latency, high-bandwidth links. This enables customers to run applications that span multiple Availability Zones for increased availability and scalability.
Amazon provides storage redundancy and high availability by storing data across multiple Availability Zones within a region. This enables customers to store data in multiple locations for increased durability and availability.
Amazon RDS provides customers with the ability to create highly available database instances that span multiple Availability Zones. This enables customers to run their databases in multiple Availability Zones for increased availability and scalability.
What are the benefits of using AWS regions and availability zones?
There are many benefits to using AWS regions, including:
- Increased availability and fault tolerance - By running your applications in multiple Availability Zones, you can protect your applications from localized failures.
- Improved performance - By running your applications in multiple Availability Zones, you can distribute traffic to your application across the AWS infrastructure for improved performance.
- Lower costs - By running your applications in multiple Availability Zones, you can take advantage of lower costs that are available in different regions.
Are the same services available in each of the Amazon regions?
In short no.
Broadly the services offered are very similar but different Amazon regions or availability zones will have slightly differing services/versions of services. So it's always a good idea to check and keep updated on what's available in each region if you are planning to expand into them.
How can CloudOps help?
We have the knowledge from working with hundreds of AWS deployments to help accelerate your cloud implementations. We have worked with a variety of independent software vendors and other organisations to help them expand their cloud deployments around the world.
As part of our CloudOps software, we can give you a single dashboard to view all of your cloud infrastructure across different AWS regions and availability zones in one place.
Or give us a call on 0151 332 3839 or 0203 697 0302 and speak to a member of our AWS team.