AWS Terms

Updated by Alok Prateek 4 min read
Table of contents

There are many terms in AWS that use confusing names for simple things. Even working with AWS for over a year, I really miss out on some terms. That’s why I wrote this article. Typing whatever I remember. I am studying these for my AWS exam, which I will take in a few weeks!

So here are the terms:


  1. Access control list (ACL): A firewall/security layer on the subnet level
  2. Auto scaling: Automates the process of adding or removing EC2 instances based on traffic demand for your application
  3. Buckets: Root-level “folders”
  4. CloudFront: Content delivery network (CDN) that allows you to store your content at “edge locations” located all around the world, allowing customers to access your content more quickly
  5. CloudTrail: Allows you to monitor all actions taken by IAM users
  6. CloudWatch: Service that allows you to monitor various elements of your AWS account
  7. Consolidated billing: Allows you to view, manage, and pay bills for multiple AWS accounts in one user interface
  8. DNS server: A database of website domains and their corresponding IP addresses
  9. DynamoDB: NoSQL database service that does not provide other NoSQL software options
  10. Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): A virtual computer, very similar to a desktop/laptop computer
  11. Elastic Load Balancing (ELB): Evenly distributes traffic between EC2 instances that are associated with it
  12. ElastiCache: Data caching service used to help improve the speed/performance of web applications running on AWS
  13. Elasticity: The ability of a system to increase and decrease in size
  14. Fault tolerance: Property that enables a system to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of one or more components
  15. Firewall: A type of software that either allows or blocks certain kinds of internet traffic to pass through it
  16. Folder: Any “subfolder” created in a bucket
  17. High availability: Refers to systems that are durable and likely to operate continuously without failure for a long time
  18. IAM users: Individuals who have been granted access to an AWS account
  19. Identity and Access Management (IAM): Service where AWS user accounts and their access to various AWS services are managed
  20. Lambda: Serverless computing that will replace EC2 instances, for the most part
  21. Object availability: Percent over a one-year time period that a file stored in S3 will be accessible
  22. Object durability: Percent over a one-year time period that a file stored in S3 will not be lost
  23. Object lifecycle: Set rules to automatically transfer objects between storage classes at defined time intervals
  24. Object sharing: Ability to make any object publicly available via a URL link
  25. Object versioning: Automatically keep multiple versions of an object (when enabled)
  26. Organizations: Allow you or your company access to manage billing and access to multiple AWS accounts in one user interface
  27. Principle of least privilege: Giving a user only the rights/access to the AWS services and resources they need to do their job and nothing more
  28. Publishers: Human/alarm/event that gives SNS the message that needs to be sent
  29. Relational Database Service (RDS): SQL database service that provides a wide range of SQL database options to select from
  30. RedShift: Data warehouse database service designed to handle petabytes of data for analysis
  31. Roles: How different AWS services are granted permission to communicate and share data
  32. Route 53: Where you configure and manage web domains for websites or applications you host on AWS
  33. Scalability: The ability of a system to easily increase in size and capacity in a cost-effective way
  34. Security group (SG): Firewall/security layer on the server/instance level
  35. Shared responsibility model: Defines what you and AWS are responsible for when it comes to security and compliance
  36. Simple Notification Service (SNS): AWS service that allows you to automate the sending of email or text messaging notifications based on events that happen in your AWS account
  37. Simple Storage Service (S3): Online bulk storage service you can access from almost any device
  38. Storage class: Represents “classification” assigned to each object in S3 (standard, RRS, S3-IA, Glacier)
  39. Subnet: A subsection of a network and generally includes all the computers in a specific location
  40. Subscriptions: Endpoints to which a topic sends messages
  41. Topics: How you label and group different endpoints to which you send messages
  42. Trusted Advisor: Service that “advises” and helps you optimize aspects of your AWS account
  43. User credentials: IAM user’s username and password for logging in to AWS
  44. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): A private subsection of AWS you control and in which you can place AWS resources

** Do tell me what I’ve missed! It will help both me and the community. :-) **

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