Amazon Web Services (AWS) employs a distributed infrastructure model, dividing its global footprint into AWS zones vs regions. This article by Inferenz will help you understand the distinctions between AWS zones and regions and their respective roles in ensuring redundancy and reliability.
What is an AWS Availability Zone?
In the AWS zone vs region debate, an AWS Zone (AZ) is a standalone data center or set of data centers within a region. Each AZ operates independently, so a failure in one won’t affect others. In disaster recovery plans, enterprises use multiple AZs to increase dependability and reliability.
What is an AWS Region?
An AWS Region is a cluster of data centers in a specific geographic area, such as the Northeastern United States or Western Europe. It is a best practice to choose a region that is geographically close to users; this reduces latency because data reaches the users more quickly. These points set the AWS region apart in the AWS zone vs region explanation.
AWS Regions vs. Zones: The Differences
Regions and AZs both isolate cloud workloads based on geographical location. They also use mirroring to increase a workload’s redundancy and availability. This ensures workloads will remain available if one AZ fails. The same is true of workloads running in multiple cloud regions.
Cost and Configuration
Whether you use multiple Regions or AZs, you’ll likely have a higher overall cloud computing bill. On top of the cost of hosting redundant workloads, you also incur data exit fees when you move data between regions. While understanding AWS zones vs. regions, it is important to understand all of its considerations, first.
Predicting and optimizing costs is easier if you keep all workloads in the same Region. AWS prices most services on a per-region basis. The cost of a given service is the same as long as it’s hosted in a given Region, no matter which AZ you use.
Configuring workloads for multiple AZs is simpler than configuring them for various Regions. For most AWS services, you can add or remove AZs within the AWS Console; you need to change the AZ settings. With Regions, you’ll typically have to deploy and configure your workloads separately for each Region you want to use.
When to Use Regions vs. AZs
In general, if you’re looking just for increased workload redundancy, AZs are the way to go. They are simpler to manage from both a cost and an administrative perspective. They also provide the same level of redundancy as multiple Regions.
The prominent use cases for multiple AWS Regions are disaster recovery and serving users in discrete locations. It also provides high availability and greater fault tolerance.
Understanding these distinctions is crucial for effectively designing and managing cloud infrastructures on AWS. For top-notch cloud migration and other cloud solutions, contact Inferenz today!