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How to Choose the Best AWS Region

January 15, 2024

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Ethan

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What is AWS? 

Amazon Web Services is a global service with approximately 84 availability zones distributed across 26 geographic locations.

You may wish or be required  to choose a specific AWS region depending on the type of  application you intend to build. If you need to keep data in a specific geographical area, for example, you’ll want to choose the appropriate AWS region. You may also wish to roll out highly available services that are spread across various availability zones within the region.

In today’s post, we’ll go over some of the most important factors to consider when selecting an AWS region.

What are AWS Regions and Availability Zones? 

AWS regions are a collection of data centers spread throughout the globe, including North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.  The majority of AWS services are region-specific. This implies you’ll be charged twice if you utilize the same service in two distinct regions.

Each region has various availability zones and is completely segregated. In the AWS region, each availability zone contains at least one distinct data center with its own redundant power and networking. Availability zones, like regions, are isolated from each other.

AWS users can launch highly available and fault-tolerant applications due to availability zones. Disasters such as power outages or earthquakes can be mitigated by distributing nodes over several availability zones.

Below are the 5 Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Region and AZ

1.Available Services

New AWS services are not always supported in all AWS regions. AWS often takes some time to roll out new features across all regions. As a result, you may need to use specific areas simply because they are the only ones that support the service you wish to launch.

2.Geographic Location

If you’re launching an app that targets users in a specific geographic location, it’s not a good idea to choose a region that’s far away from that location because latency issues. As a result, you should choose a region that is close to the vast majority of users. To keep latency low, you’ll need to run your service(s) in multiple regions with load balancers for large-scale applications.

3.Compliance and Regulations

In most cases, businesses must adhere to certain legal obligations. For example, you might want to retain the data in the country where the application is deployed. When it comes picking a AWS regions, this is perhaps the most important factor to consider. If you are required by law to host your data or application in a specified country or continent, no other consideration outweighs this factor.

4.Availability and Fault Tolerance

Aside from selecting an AWS region, you may also need to consider which availability zone(s) your applications will be hosted in. AZs allow you to run services that are highly available and scalable.

For instance, let’s assume we want to launch a mobile application service. If the application’s data nodes clusters are distributed across the availability zones of the AWS region we chose, the service will be able to survive disasters such as power outages and natural disasters granting the disasters is not a large scale affecting area across the 100kms.

5.Pricing

Finally, the same service may have different pricing from region to region. Sometimes it makes sense to pick the cheapest region — especially if it is close enough to your preferred region that is more expensive.

You can find the pricing per region in the service’s pricing range.

Conclusion: 

It’s critical to pick the correct AWS region since it can minimize costs, comply with regulations, and reduce latency when users use your service or application.

Lastly, be sure to check out the official AWS Global Infrastructure Map to see how the AWS regions are distributed around the world.

If you are interested in learning more about AWS, check out my channel for hands on practical tutorials. 

Written by Ethan

Cloud Solutions Architect. Full Stack Web Developer. Cloud Enthusiast. Gym rat. I'm a driven, detail oriented, Cloud Solution Architect based in Pittsburgh, PA. Experienced in both networking and software development cycles where I enjoy designing scalable, flexible and cost effective solutions with a focus on end user experience and business objectives. When I'm not working or at the gym I enjoy continuous learning, experimenting with new technologies and sharing what I learned to the communities.

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