AWS Jargon Buster: Key Terms Simplified for Beginners

AWS Jargon Buster: Key Terms Simplified for Beginners


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Here are some basic terms commonly used in AWS (Amazon Web Services)

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

AWS is a cloud computing platform offered by Amazon. It provides a wide range of cloud services, including computing power, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning, and more.


An AWS region is a specific geographic area where AWS has multiple data centers. Regions are isolated from each other, which means that resources and services provisioned in one region are separate from those in another region.

Each region is identified by a unique code (e.g., us-east-1 for the US East (N. Virginia) region). AWS regions are distributed worldwide, including in North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Availability Zone (AZ)

An Availability Zone (AZ) is a data center or a group of data centers within a region. AZs are designed to be independent of each other, with their own power, networking, and cooling infrastructure.

They are connected through low-latency links to provide high availability and fault tolerance.

Typically, each region has multiple AZs (usually at least three), allowing you to deploy your applications and resources across multiple AZs for redundancy and resiliency.


An instance refers to a virtual server in the AWS cloud. It is a computing resource that you can provision and use to run your applications.

AMI (Amazon Machine Image)

An AMI is a pre-configured template used to create instances. It contains an operating system, application software, and other configurations. You can launch instances from public AMIs or create custom AMIs.

EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)

EC2 is the primary compute service in AWS. It provides resizable compute capacity in the form of instances. You can launch, manage, and terminate instances as needed.

S3 (Simple Storage Service)

S3 is an object storage service that allows you to store and retrieve data, such as files, images, and videos. It provides high durability, scalability, and low-cost storage.

RDS (Relational Database Service)

RDS is a managed database service that simplifies the setup, operation, and scaling of relational databases. It supports popular databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.

VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)

VPC is a virtual network that you can provision within AWS. It provides isolated and secure networking capabilities for your AWS resources, allowing you to define subnets, configure routing, and control network access.

EBS (Elastic Block Store)

EBS provides persistent block-level storage volumes for EC2 instances. It allows you to attach and detach volumes to instances and provides data durability and replication.

EFS (Elastic File System)

EFS is a scalable and fully managed file storage service that can be mounted to multiple EC2 instances concurrently. It provides shared file storage for applications and supports multiple file systems.


Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows you to run your code without provisioning or managing servers. It automatically scales to handle requests and charges based on the compute time consumed.


CloudFormation is a service for provisioning and managing AWS resources using infrastructure-as-code templates. It allows you to define and deploy infrastructure resources in a repeatable and automated manner.

IAM (Identity and Access Management)

IAM is AWS's identity management service. It enables you to manage user identities, assign permissions, and control access to AWS resources.


CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service in AWS. It collects and tracks metrics, logs, and events for various AWS resources, allowing you to gain insights into their performance and health.

Load Balancer

A load balancer distributes incoming network traffic across multiple EC2 instances or other resources to ensure high availability and scalability of applications. AWS provides load balancing services like Application Load Balancer (ALB) and Network Load Balancer (NLB).

Auto Scaling

Auto Scaling is a feature in AWS that automatically adjusts the number of EC2 instances based on the demand. It helps maintain optimal performance, cost efficiency, and availability by scaling instances up or down as needed.

Route 53

Route 53 is a scalable and highly available domain name system (DNS) service in AWS. It allows you to register domain names, route traffic to AWS resources, and configure DNS settings for your domains.

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