AWS Edge Locations

What are AWS Edge Locations, and are they the same as Availability Zones? We will attempt to answer all of these questions in this blog. But first, let us brush up on your understanding of AWS. AWS, short for Amazon Web Services, is a cloud platform established by Amazon that offers several cloud computing services. It is popular for its services like database storage, content delivery, server space, security, etc. AWS was launched in 2002 and currently has more than 100 cloud services. Popular companies that use AWS are Netflix, Adobe, Airbnb, Hitachi, etc.

AWS Edge Locations - Table of Content

AWS Edge Locations: A Brief Introduction 

AWS Edge locations are third-party data centers made to ensure minimal latency while delivering services. It is essentially a small setup, located very close to the user using the AWS service to make the responses quick.

When you look at the situation more closely, what's happening is that when a user is sending a request, instead of receiving a response from the primary server, it routes to the nearest edge location and provides the response from there, making it quick.

For instance, if your data is housed in an S3 bucket in Australia, some of your traffic comes from Canada. In this example, AWS will start caching your data in one of the edge locations in Canada, so when a request arrives from there, it'll be delivered from the cache edge location in Canada, avoiding the need for the request to come to Australia. As a result, it will lower the latency, resulting in a better excellent user experience.

The Edge location is popular for providing a speedier response to user requests, aiming to minimize access time and delivery delay. They are located in almost all of the world's major cities and are utilized by CloudFront (CDN) for fast deliveries to end-users to minimize latency.

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Who Uses AWS Edge Locations?

A set of services that use edge locations and are take latency into consideration are:-

CloudFront: It makes use of edge locations to cache versions of the data it provides, allowing the content to be delivered to users more quickly.
Route 53: It delivers DNS responses from edge locations, allowing DNS queries to be resolved more quickly.
AWS Shield and Web Application Firewall: It screens traffic in edge locations to prevent undesired traffic.

Benefits of AWS Edge Locations

Quick Response: With it being located very close to the place the request comes from, the Edge location is able to deliver a fast response as static content is delivered.

Minimal Access Time: Since the edge locations can offer quick response, this directly helps reduce the access time for the user.

Low Latency Rate: Edge location is physically closer to the user than the primary server. Thus, it has a lower latency rate.

Broader Reach: Edge locations, which are often housed in colocation facilities, increase the scope of the AWS network. They have ample bandwidth and connections to other networks and service providers, and this provides AWS with a wide range of connectivity, even domestic ISPs.

Edge Locations In India

Multiple CloudFront edge locations can be found in India. There are approximately 17 such locations– 4 each in Hyderabad and  New Delhi, 3 each in Bangalore and Mumbai, 2 in Chennai, and 1 in Kolkata. Globally, there are approximately 44 AWS edge locations.

Edge Locations Vs. Availability Zones Vs. AWS Regions

AWS Regions

What will happen in the event of unanticipated situations, such as a natural calamity? This problem gets solved by grouping the data centers into Regions, and these Regions are established worldwide to be proximate to business traffic demand.

To begin, AWS offers a variety of data centers across all Regions that provide various computation, storage, and other valuable resources for hosting your apps. Second, a high-speed fiber network connects all of the Regions. AWS effectively manages this network. Finally, all Regions are separated from one another. It ensures that no data can enter or leave your area in a specific Region. The only exception is if you explicitly authorize the movement of such data.

Availability Zones

Availability Zone (AZ) comprises one or more separate data centers in a particular region that provide redundant power supply, network, and connection. These centers are housed in different buildings. Users can operate production apps and databases in Availability Zones that are quickly available, have fault tolerance and are more scalable than single data centers. There are currently 84 Availability Zones spread over 26 geographic regions around the world.

Despite the fact that each Availability Zone is autonomous, they are linked by low-latency connections within a specific Region. Users have enough freedom with AWS to place instances and store data across many geographical regions and multiple Availability Zones within each Region.

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Edge Locations

What if the users are located in various parts of the globe or in locations that are not in your AWS Regions? Luckily, your organization will not need to start building a new data center. As already explained, this problem gets solved with the help of AWS Edge Locations.

Amazon CloudFront is an AWS service that lets you provide information, video, apps, and APIs to clients across the globe. Low latency and high transmission rates are provided via Amazon CloudFront. But the most crucial aspect is that this service makes use of so-called Edge locations to speed up the connection with customers irrespective of their location.

An organization can send content from Regions to a specific set of Edge locations around the world because Edge locations and Regions are independent infrastructure components. This enables both communication and content delivery to be accelerated. At the same time, Amazon Route 53, a well-known domain name service (DNS) on AWS, is running in Edge locations. This ensures reduced latency by directing clients to the proper web pages.

What is AWS CloudFront?

AWS Cloudfront is an excellent content delivery network (CDN) solution that is extremely fast and capable of delivering data to all users across the world with minimal delay.

The crucial aspect here is that your data is highly secure, thanks to a variety of solid security measures and encryption algorithms, and it's well connected with Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS Web Application Firewall, among other things, to defend it from various forms of attacks.

Why Choose Amazon CloudFront?

Let us find out why people prefer AWS CloudFront and why you should also choose the same. We have compiled its many benefits below:

Quick Content Delivery

The Amazon Cloudfront network has more than 200 points of contact, allowing you to deliver content to AWS consumers and users quickly and with minimal latency. Most significantly, it is incredibly accessible to AWS users and customers.

Pocket Friendly

Amazon CloudFront offers a pay-as-you-go pricing structure with a handful of customizable pricing plans to help you save money.

High Security

Amazon CloudFront is among the most secure content delivery networks available, and it can help you secure both your application and your network.

Compatibility with AWS Services

Amazon CloudFront is compatible with other AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and Elastic Load Balancing.

It assists developers with AWS Cloud Development Kit, various APIs, and log monitoring, and it can simply interface with Amazon Cloudwatch, among other things, making the developer's job easier.

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In A Nutshell

These AWS edge locations provide consumers with stable network connectivity, reduced latency, and maximum throughput. Are you wondering if you have ever made use of AWS edge location? You probably have if you have ever used AWS or are an AWS customer. Services like CloudFront and Route 53 already provide edge location benefits, which means you have directly or indirectly used AWS edge locations. So, next time you see a quick response, you know who to thank for it.

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.