What Is Edge Location In AWS & Its Uses: Features, Pricing

In This AWS Edge Locations tutorial, we are going to explore What Is Edge Location In AWS, all its features, how it works, and other things below.

What Is Edge Location In AWS

Leveraged in conjunction with a global Content Delivery Network service called the AWS CloudFront service, Edge locations are deployed in highly populated areas and major cities around the globe to minimize latency for traffic served over CloudFront.

Although Edge Locations aren’t utilized to deploy an organization’s main infrastructures such as EBS Storage, RDS resources, VPCs, and EC2 instances, they’re used by AWS Lambda@Edge and AWS CloudFront to reduce latency and cache data to simply access end-users.

Let’s take an example to give you a better idea. Suppose you have your website hosted in S3 and EC2 instances within a Region in the US with an associated configured CloudFront distribution.

A user from Europe who attempts to access your website will be redirected to a European Edge Location that’s nearest to them. From that Edge Location, the cache data will be read on your website, considerably reducing latency.

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edge locations are used for?

Edge locations are the backbone of CDN. It makes the static content available to the user very fast as the edge location is distributed across the globe.

Content is usually cached in the edge location for a faster user experience.

Another use of edge location is for faster uploading of files to the S3 bucket, using Transfer Accelerator.

Top Benefits Of AWS Edge Location 

Let’s work on finding out the benefits of Edge Location.

  • Faster User Experience using CDN – With the help of CloudFront content is delivered very fast for users.
  • Faster File Upload – Using S3 Transfer Accelerator and edge location uploads to the S3 bucket can be very fast.
  • Edge locations can also be used to host services like AWS Shield and WAF which acts as a first line of defense for web applications.

AWS edge locations CloudFront

CloudFront uses Edge location for delivering content. Basically, it’s the backbone of CDN.

CloudFront caches its content in the edge location for a faster user experience.

AWS edge locations vs availability zones

These two services are the heart of the AWS ecosystem. Let’s try to find out how they are different from each other.

Edge LocationAvailability Zone
It’s AWS Data Center.This is even a Data Center
Used only for caching the data for a faster user experience.This is the place where the actual Software, data processing, server hosting, and all the other operation takes place.
They are located very closer to usersThey are hosted in specific places called Regions.
The number of edge locations is higher, total AWS has 400+ edge locations.The total number of AZ is 99.
Edge Location Vs Availability Zone

AWS edge locations map

Let’s see the logic of how the edge locations are actually mapped to the users from the availability zones.

Edge Location
Edge Location & Availability Zone

AWS edge locations list

Edge locations are distributed throughout the globe. They have EL in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East, and China.

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For more details on the location/city name of the hosted edge location please click here.

How many Edge Locations in AWS

The total AWS network has 400+ edge locations.

As and when you are reading this post the count is increasing. AWS is striving to improve the user’s experience by increasing the edge location.

AWS points of presence vs edge location

This is a confusing topic that we have here, let’s try to find out the actual difference or definition of these two terms.

Points of PresenceEdge Locations
Edge Location+Regional Edge CachesEdge Locations
Total 400+13 = 413 Points of PresenceTotal 400 EL
This is a kind of small server (13 in number)These are small data center
Point of Presence and Edge Location

which definition best describes AWS edge locations

For faster delivery of content or for increasing the data upload speed which in turn is mainly for user experience AWS has set up data centers for caching the data that is called Edge Location.

purpose of edge locations AWS

EL serves basically 2 purposes.

  • Used by CloudFront as a CDN for faster user experience.
  • Upload the files faster to S3 using Transfer Accelerator.

AWS Edge Location Pricing?

Edge Location billing to the Customer depends on the edge location from where the request is served. It broadly depends on the region or the geographical location where the Edge Location is located.

Based on the place where the user is located the CloudFront serves the user from the nearest edge location based on the latency and as is the billing application.

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The customer has also the option of distributing the CloudFront based on the price of the EL. If they are ready to compromise on the latency they can choose the EL which offers the cheapest price based on location.

Also, read below AWS Articles for your reference.

What Is Edge Location In AWS FAQs

Q: Which AWS service uses edge locations to cache content?

CloudFront caches the content in the Edge Location for the CDN.

Q: What are network edge locations?

This is the point where the data center is connected to the global internet.

Q: Where are edge nodes located?

This acts as a gateway between LAN and the outside internet. This can be an actual device or even a virtual one.

Q: What is an edge application?

Edge Application is a technology that brings the application nearest to the user. This results in faster user response and data processing as well.

Q: What is edge computing McQ?

This is the technology that provides the user with lightening fast computing and processing speed as the computing/processing of data takes place in the nearest location possible to the user.

Q: Is An AWS Edge Location The Same As An Availability Zone?

While both AWS Availability Zones (AZ) and Edge Locations (EL) are AWS data centers, the former is primarily used for hosting a variety of use cases such as-

Servers, analytics, websitesBig Data processingapplications, and software, while the latter are used to cache the data to attain a better user experience with minimal latency.

Q: How Many Edge Locations And Regions Does AWS Have?

As mentioned earlier, there are currently 26 AWS Regions, with 8 more expected to be launched as per the announced plans.

As far as Edge Locations are concerned, there is 44 spread across the world.

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