Being the world’s most adopted cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) does not need any formal introduction. With its pay-as-you-go model, AWS currently commands 39% of the market share in the public cloud market. With a presence across 190 countries, it has millions of customers that include big ticket brands such as Netflix, Samsung, and Coca-Cola among others. This online platform offers over 170 services that include on-demand operations like compute power, database storage, content delivery and more.
If you are a growing business, it's natural that you would like to join the legion of SMEs who leverage the power of affordable AWS services to achieve cost reduction, agility, product innovation, and more. If you have started exploring your options, you already know that Amazon offers over 170 services. So, what should be your first step in finding the right service package for your business? It must be the selection of a specific AWS region. In this article, we will tell you the significance of this selection and how to go about it.
A brief introduction to AWS regions and availability zones
AWS is a global service, currently offered in 25 geographic regions with over 80 availability zones. Five additional regions and over 15 new availability zones are expected to join this list very soon, according to Amazon.
Let us elaborate on how this regional structure works:
A region consists of multiple Availability Zones, while each Availability Zone has a designated number of data centres. These state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with redundant power and connectivity to provide an array of data, storage, and networking services. You can take a look at this blog to know about some of the most popular AWS services. All the availability zones in a region are interconnected through very high-speed connections.
Now that you understand the regional hierarchy for AWS services, it's time to choose a region. Here, the rule of the thumb is: choose the one closest to your customers. The reason is obvious; it will enable faster response to your customers. In case, you are already using a data centre and want to connect it AWS, then choose a region closest to this data centre.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Region and Availability Zones
Each business has unique data, storage, and networking requirements when it comes to rolling out a new service or project. These requirements govern your decision to select a specific region. Here are five common factors to consider while choosing an AWS region and availability zones for new services.
Region-specific availability of services
Not all AWS services are supported worldwide. Also, when a new service is launched, Amazon takes some time to make it available across all regions. Therefore, sometimes you must use specific regions just because they are the only ones supporting the service you wish to launch.
Proximity to your target users
Choose a region that is close to the location where your users are concentrated. If you choose a region that is far from your users, it will increase latency, which in turn, will affect the data performance. More than 150 - 200ms distance between two servers in two different regions are recommended to be avoided. Select a region, close to the location where the vast majority of your users are based.
However, for multi-geography application rollouts, you may need to use multiple data centers to keep the latency low. This will save you from having all your data centers connected back to one location. This will ensure redundancy in case of a power outage.
Compliance and regulations
The selection of the region also depends on meeting certain legal requirements. For instance, some countries might make it legally bound for your business to host your application inside the country or the continent. In these cases, you have no other option than to choose the region in a particular country or continent.
Distribution over availability zones (AZ)
In some industries, the availability of business-critical data is a major success factor. If your business has such a requirement, choose more than one AZs in a particular region to host your service. This will ensure business continuity despite natural disasters and power outages.
The pricing of the same service package varies from region to region. You always have the option of choosing the most inexpensive region but avoid doing that if it's far away from where your customers are located. It makes sense to stay close to your preferred region even if AWS is costlier in this region.
In this article, we discussed five important factors that you must always consider when choosing regions for and how the right selection can help you launch applications in a redundant production environment. If you are exploring options for cost-effective AWS services, first select the appropriate region, as this will be fundamental to leveraging all AWS benefits.
On a final note, visit our AWS service page to find out how our AWS team can guide you on choosing affordable AWS services and the appropriate regions to best suit your business needs.
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