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Amazon cloud computing resources are hosted in multiple locations worldwide. These locations comprise AWS Regions, Availability Zones, and Local Zones. Each AWS Region is a separate geographic area. Each AWS Region has multiple isolated locations known as Availability Zones.

Number Of AWS Regions

AWS maintains over 77 AZs worldwide, and there are new ones added at a fast pace. Each AZ can be multiple data centers and, at full scale, hundreds of thousands of servers.

Regions vs. Availability Zones

AWS Regions are large and widely dispersed into separate geographic locations. Availability Zones are distinct locations within an AWS Region engineered to be isolated from failures in other Availability Zones. There are anywhere between two and five availability zones in an AWS Region. Moving forward, the standard will be three or more per Region. Each Region is a separate geographic area. Availability Zones are multiple, isolated locations within each Region. EC2 service itself is available in all AWS regions. However, when you create an EC2 instance, it is in a specific region and AZ.

• AWS has Regions all around the world
• A region is a cluster of data centers
• Most AWS services are region-scoped

Example AWS Region Name, Region, and Endpoint

  • US East (Ohio) | us-east-2 |
  • US East (N. Virginia) | us-east-1 |
  • US West (N. California) | us-west-1 |
  • US West (Oregon) | us-west-2 |
  • Africa (Cape Town) | af-south-1 |
  • Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) | ap-east-1 |
  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai) | ap-south-1 |
  • Asia Pacific (Osaka) | ap-northeast-3 |
  • Asia Pacific (Seoul) | ap-northeast-2 |
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore) | ap-southeast-1 |
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney) | ap-southeast-2 |
  • Asia Pacific (Jakarta) | ap-southeast-3 |
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo) | ap-northeast-1 |
  • Canada (Central) | ca-central-1 |
  • China (Beijing) | cn-north-1 |
  • China (Ningxia) | cn-northwest-1 |
  • Europe (Frankfurt) | eu-central-1 |
  • Europe (Ireland) | eu-west-1 |
  • Europe (London) | eu-west-2 |
  • Europe (Paris) | eu-west-3 |
  • Europe (Stockholm) | eu-north-1 |
  • Europe (Milan) | eu-south-1 |
  • Middle East (Bahrain) | me-south-1 |
  • South America (São Paulo) | sa-east-1 |
  • AWS GovCloud (US-West) | us-gov-west-1 |
  • AWS GovCloud (US-East) | us-gov-east-1 |

Choosing A Region

Compliance with data governance and legal requirements: data never leaves a region without your explicit permission. Proximity to customers: reduced latency.
Available services within a Region: new services and new features aren’t available in every Region. Pricing: Pricing varies from Region to Region and is transparent on the service pricing page.

Most AWS services are Region-scoped:
• Amazon EC2 (Infrastructure as a Service)
• Elastic Beanstalk (Platform as a Service)
• Lambda (Function as a Service)
• Rekognition (Software as a Service)

You can check exactly which services are offered in which Region here

Consider four main aspects when deciding which AWS Region to host your applications and workloads: latency, price, service availability, and compliance.
– Latency. Latency measures the delay in a packet’s arrival at the destination. It is measured in time units such as milliseconds. Packet loss is a percentage value that counts the number of packets that never arrived. So if 91 out of 100 packets came, packet loss is 9%.
– Price. AWS services are priced differently from one Region to another. Some Regions have a lower cost than others, which can result in a cost reduction for the same deployment.
– Service availability. Some services, like AWS IAM, do not support Regions. Therefore, the endpoints for those services do not include a Region. Other services, such as Amazon EC2, support Regions, but you can specify an endpoint that does not have a Region.
– Data compliance. Based on the Shared Responsibility Model, you choose the AWS Regions in which your content is stored, allowing you to deploy AWS services in the locations of your choice to your specific geographic requirements. For example, if you want to ensure your content is located only in Europe, you can choose to deploy AWS services exclusively in one of the European AWS Regions.

Importance Of Regions

AWS regions are essential because latency is a significant factor to consider for user experience. Reduced network latency can make a substantial impact on enhancing the user experience. Choosing an AWS Region with proximity to your user base location can lower network latency.

Learn More About AWS Regions

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