AWS – Regions, Availability Zones, & Services

My Summary

AWS Regions:

  • An AWS Region is a geographic area with multiple, isolated data centers called Availability Zones (AZs).
  • Each AWS Region has at least three separate AZs.
  • AWS’s multi-AZ design in each Region provides advantages in fault-tolerance and high availability.
  • Each AZ in a region has independent facilities and is connected with low-latency networks.
  • AWS’s global presence is vast, with Regions in North America, South America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific, South Africa, and the Middle East. AWS continues to expand rapidly.

Availability Zones (AZs):

  • An AZ consists of one or more data centers in an AWS Region.
  • AZs have redundant power, networking, and are connected by high-bandwidth, low-latency networks.
  • Partitioning applications across multiple AZs provides better fault-tolerance against natural disasters and other issues.
  • AZs are physically spaced apart but are all within 60 miles of each other.

AWS Services:

  • AWS offers a wide array of cloud services, from computing to AI and security.
  • Every new Region launch includes core services like EC2, S3, Lambda, RDS, VPC, and many others.
  • Additional services, such as Athena, CloudFront, and EKS, typically launch within a year of a new Region’s debut.


AWS has the concept of a Region, which is a physical location around the world where we cluster data centers. We call each group of logical data centers an Availability Zone. Each AWS Region consists of a minimum of three, isolated, and physically separate AZs within a geographic area. Unlike other cloud providers, who often define a region as a single data center, the multiple AZ design of every AWS Region offers advantages for customers. Each AZ has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple AZs to achieve even greater fault-tolerance. AWS infrastructure Regions meet the highest levels of security, compliance, and data protection.

AWS provides a more extensive global footprint than any other cloud provider, and to support its global footprint and ensure customers are served across the world, AWS opens new Regions rapidly. AWS maintains multiple geographic Regions, including Regions in North America, South America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific, South Africa, and the Middle East.

Code Name Opt-in Status
us-east-1 US East (N. Virginia) Not required
us-east-2 US East (Ohio) Not required
us-west-1 US West (N. California) Not required
us-west-2 US West (Oregon) Not required
af-south-1 Africa (Cape Town) Required
ap-east-1 Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Required
ap-northeast-1 Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Not required
ap-northeast-2 Asia Pacific (Seoul) Not required
ap-northeast-3 Asia Pacific (Osaka) Not required
ap-south-1 Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Not required
ap-south-2 Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Required
ap-southeast-1 Asia Pacific (Singapore) Not required
ap-southeast-2 Asia Pacific (Sydney) Not required
ap-southeast-3 Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Required
ap-southeast-4 Asia Pacific (Melbourne) Required
ca-central-1 Canada (Central) Not required
eu-central-1 Europe (Frankfurt) Not required
eu-central-2 Europe (Zurich) Required
eu-north-1 Europe (Stockholm) Not required
eu-south-1 Europe (Milan) Required
eu-south-2 Europe (Spain) Required
eu-west-1 Europe (Ireland) Not required
eu-west-2 Europe (London) Not required
eu-west-3 Europe (Paris) Not required
il-central-1 Israel (Tel Aviv) Required
me-central-1 Middle East (UAE) Required
me-south-1 Middle East (Bahrain) Required
sa-east-1 South America (São Paulo) Not required

Availability Zones

An Availability Zone (AZ) is one or more discrete data centers with redundant power, networking, and connectivity in an AWS Region. AZs give customers the ability to operate production applications and databases that are more highly available, fault tolerant, and scalable than would be possible from a single data center. All AZs in an AWS Region are interconnected with high-bandwidth, low-latency networking, over fully redundant, dedicated metro fiber providing high-throughput, low-latency networking between AZs. All traffic between AZs is encrypted. The network performance is sufficient to accomplish synchronous replication between AZs. AZs make partitioning applications for high availability easy. If an application is partitioned across AZs, companies are better isolated and protected from issues such as power outages, lightning strikes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and more. AZs are physically separated by a meaningful distance, many kilometers, from any other AZ, although all are within 100 km (60 miles) of each other.


AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products including compute, storage, database, analytics, networking, machine learning and AI, mobile, developer tools, IoT, security, enterprise applications, and much more.

The following core services are included in all Region launches: Amazon API Gateway, AWS Application Auto Scaling, Amazon Aurora, AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), AWS CloudFormation, AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CodeDeploy, AWS Config, AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS), AWS Direct Connect, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR), Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon EMR, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon EventBridge, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS), Amazon Kinesis, Data Streams, AWS Lambda, AWS Management Console, AWS Marketplace, Amazon OpenSearch Service, AWS Health Dashboard, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Route 53, AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Simple Workflow Service (Amazon SWF), AWS Step Functions, AWS Support, AWS Systems Manager, AWS Trusted Advisor, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and AWS VPN.

In addition, the following services usually launch within 12 months of a new Region launch: Amazon Athena, AWS Backup, AWS Batch, Amazon CloudFront, AWS CodeBuild, AWS Directory Service, Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), Amazon Elastic, Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS Glue, Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, AWS Lake Formation, AWS License Manager, Amazon MQ, AWS Organizations, AWS Private Certificate Authority, AWS Resource Access Manager (AWS RAM), Amazon SageMaker, AWS Security Hub, AWS Service Catalog, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Transit Gateway, and AWS WAF.