AWS Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing AWS and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • A

    Alexa Skills Kit

    The Alexa Skills Kit is a software development kit (SDK) that enables a developer to build skills, also called conversational applications, on the Amazon Alexa artificial intelligence assistant.

  • Amazon AI

    Amazon AI is a set of artificial intelligence services that offer machine and deep learning technologies for Amazon Web Services (AWS) developers and users.

  • Amazon API Gateway

    Amazon API Gateway is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) feature that enables developers to connect non-AWS applications to AWS back-end resources, such as servers and code.

  • Amazon AppStream

    Amazon AppStream is an Amazon Web Service (AWS) that enables compute-intensive applications to be streamed from the cloud to computing devices of all types.

  • Amazon Athena

    Amazon Athena is a service that enables a data analyst to perform interactive queries in the web-based cloud storage service, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

  • Amazon Aurora

    Amazon Aurora is a relational database engine from Amazon Web Services. The engine is MySQL-compatible, which means code, applications and drivers used in databases relying on MySQL can be used in Aurora with minimal or no changes.

  • Amazon Braket

    Amazon Braket is a fully managed AWS cloud service designed to allow users remote access to a single development environment for quantum computers.

  • Amazon Chime

    Amazon Chime is a real-time audio, video conferencing and collaboration service hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Amazon CloudFront

    Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery service that works in conjunction with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide developers with a simple way to distribute content to end users.

  • Amazon Cognito

    Amazon Cognito is an Amazon Web Services product that controls user authentication and access for mobile applications on internet-connected devices.

  • Amazon Comprehend

    Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to analyze and find relationships in text.

  • Amazon Connect

    Amazon Connect is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud customer contact center service.

  • Amazon DynamoDB

    Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service offered by AWS, designed to provide low latency and high performance for applications.

  • Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store)

    Amazon Elastic Block Store is a cloud-based block storage system provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that is best used for storing persistent data.

  • Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)

    Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web-based service that allows businesses to run application programs in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts

    Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts are servers with virtual machine capacity dedicated to one Amazon Web Services customer, instead of sharing server capacity with other customers.

  • Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs

    Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs are virtual machines (VMs), also known as compute instances, in the Amazon Web Services public cloud with added graphics acceleration capabilities.

  • Amazon EC2 instance

    An Amazon EC2 instance is a virtual server in Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for running applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

  • Amazon EC2 Simple Systems Manager

    The Amazon EC2 Simple Systems Manager allows a developer to automatically configure instances via the EC2 Run Command and SSM Config features.

  • Amazon Echo

    Amazon Echo is a product line of hands-free speaker and virtual assistant devices that interact with an end user via the Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice service.

  • Amazon EFS (Elastic File System)

    Amazon EFS (Elastic File System) is a cloud-based file storage service for applications and workloads that run in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)

    Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a cloud computing service in Amazon Web Services (AWS) that manages containers and allows developers to run applications in the cloud without having to configure an environment for the code to run in.

  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)

    Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a cloud-based container management service that natively integrates with Kubernetes to deploy applications.

  • Amazon ElastiCache

    Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed caching service. ElastiCache is protocol-compliant with Memcached, an open source, high-performance, distributed memory object caching for system speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.

  • Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES)

    Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) is an Amazon Web Services product that allows developers to launch and operate Elasticsearch -- an open-source, Java-based search and analytics engine -- in the AWS cloud.

  • Amazon EMR (Elastic MapReduce)

    Amazon EMR (previously known as Amazon Elastic MapReduce) is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool for big data processing and analysis.

  • Amazon Glacier

    Amazon Glacier, also known as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Glacier, is a low-cost cloud storage service for data with longer retrieval times offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Amazon GuardDuty

    Amazon GuardDuty is a managed cloud security monitoring service that detects behavior or threats that can compromise Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts, resources or workloads.

  • Amazon Inspector

    Amazon Inspector is an AWS tool that automatically assesses a customer's AWS cloud deployment for security vulnerabilities and deficiencies.

  • Amazon Kinesis

    Amazon Kinesis is the fully managed Amazon Web Service (AWS) offering for real-time processing of big data.

  • Amazon Kinesis Firehose

    Amazon Kinesis Firehose captures and loads streaming data in storage and business intelligence tools to enable near real-time analytics in the Amazon Web Services cloud.

  • Amazon Lex

    Amazon Lex is an artificial intelligence (AI) web service. Lex includes natural language processing (NLP), and natural language understanding (NLU) for building conversational interfaces where users can communicate via text and speech.

  • Amazon Lightsail

    Amazon Lightsail is an Amazon cloud service that offers bundles of cloud compute power and memory for new or less experienced cloud users.

  • Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

    An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a master image for the creation of virtual servers -- known as EC2 instances -- in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment.

  • Amazon Machine Learning

    Amazon Machine Learning is an Amazon Web Services product that allows a developer to discover patterns in end-user data through algorithms, construct mathematical models based on these patterns and then create and implement predictive applications.

  • Amazon Macie

    Amazon Macie is a cloud security tool that uses machine learning to identify and protect sensitive data stored in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Personalize

    Amazon Personalize is a low-code recommendation engine that can generate custom recommendations for any application running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. 

  • Amazon Polly

    Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service within the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. It uses deep learning technology to allow applications to speak with a human-like voice.

  • Amazon QuickSight

    Amazon QuickSight is a machine learning-powered business intelligence service built for the cloud under the Amazon Web Services (AWS) umbrella.

  • Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service)

    Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a managed SQL database service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Amazon Redshift

    Amazon Redshift is a fully managed petabyte-scale data warehouse service. Redshift is designed for analytic workloads and connects to standard SQL-based clients and business intelligence tools.

  • Amazon Redshift Spectrum

    Amazon Redshift Spectrum is a feature within Amazon Web Services' Redshift data warehousing service that lets a data analyst conduct fast, complex analysis on objects stored on the AWS cloud.

  • Amazon Resource Name (ARN)

    An Amazon Resource Name (ARN) is a file naming convention used to identify a particular resource in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Route 53

    Amazon Route 53 is a scalable domain name system (DNS) service intended to give business and developers a reliable way to direct end users to applications.

  • Amazon Route 53 Traffic Flow

    Amazon Route 53 Traffic Flow is a domain name system (DNS) service that allows an Amazon Web Services customer to define how end-user traffic is routed to application endpoints through a visual interface.

  • Amazon S3 bucket

    An Amazon S3 bucket is a public cloud storage resource available in Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3), an object storage offering.

  • Amazon SageMaker

    Amazon SageMaker is a managed service in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES)

    Amazon Simple Email Service is a pay-per-use service that allows you to build in email functionality into an application that you are running on AWS.

  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)

    Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) is a simple, fully-managed “push” messaging service that allows users to push texts, alerts or notifications, like an auto-reply message, or a notification that a package has shipped.

  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)

    Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a managed message queuing service technical professionals and developers use to send, store and retrieve multiple messages of various sizes asynchronously.

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

    Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is a scalable, high-speed, web-based cloud storage service.

  • Amazon Transcribe

    Amazon Transcribe is a speech recognition service that transcribes audio files into text.

  • Amazon Translate

    Amazon Translate is a cloud service for changing large amounts of text written in one language to another language. Amazon Translate supports 25 languages, with the official documentation detailing which languages can be paired up for translation.

  • Amazon Trust Services

    Amazon Trust Services is a certificate authority created and operated by Amazon Web Services.

  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)

    Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) allows a developer to create a virtual network for resources in an isolated section of the Amazon Web Services cloud.

  • Amazon VPC traffic mirroring

    Traffic mirroring is a feature for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). The feature is used to monitor the network-level traffic of workloads.

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

    AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings.

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Identity and Access Management (IAM)

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a directory service designed for tracking system users and providing ways of keeping track of information about how they get authenticated.

  • Application Load Balancer

    The Application Load Balancer is a feature of Elastic Load Balancing that allows a developer to configure and route incoming end-user traffic to applications based in the AWS public cloud.

  • AUFS (Advanced Multi-Layered Unification Filesystem)

    Advanced multi-layered unification filesystem (AUFS) is a union filesystem sometimes used in platform-as-a-service environments to merge distinct directory hierarchies into a single directory. This may be done to consolidate a large repository without using a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) or similar techniques.

  • availability zones

    Availability zones (AZs) are isolated locations within data center regions from which public cloud services originate and operate.

  • AWS ADS (AWS Application Discovery Service)

    AWS Application Discovery Service (AWS ADS) is a tool that helps an enterprise plan application migrations to the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS Artifact

    AWS Artifact is a portal that provides an enterprise with access to security and compliance reports that apply to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Auto Scaling

    AWS Auto Scaling is a service that automatically monitors and adjusts compute resources to maintain performance for applications hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Batch

    AWS Batch is a service that enables IT professionals to schedule and execute batch processing jobs in the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS certification

    AWS certification is a level of Amazon Web Services cloud expertise that an IT professional obtains after passing one or more exams the public cloud provider offers.

  • AWS CloudFormation (Amazon Web Services CloudFormation)

    Amazon Web Services CloudFormation is a free service that provides developers with a simple way to create and manage an assortment of Amazon Web Service resources while keeping them organized.

  • AWS CodeBuild

    AWS CodeBuild is a managed cloud service that enables an IT developer to automate and manage server builds for applications that reside in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS CodeCommit (Amazon Web Services CodeCommit)

    AWS CodeCommit is a source code storage and version-control service for Amazon Web Services' public cloud customers.

  • AWS CodePipeline (Amazon Web Services CodePipeline)

    AWS CodePipeline is an Amazon Web Services product that automates the software deployment process, allowing a developer to quickly model, visualize and deliver code for new features and updates. This method is called continuous delivery.

  • AWS CodeStar

    AWS CodeStar is a planning and management service designed for a team of developers working on a project in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Command Line Interface

    The AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) is an Amazon Web Services tool that enables developers to control Amazon public cloud services by typing commands on a specified line.

  • AWS Config (Amazon Web Services Config)

    AWS Config is an Amazon cloud auditing tool that provides an inventory of existing resources, allowing an administrator to accurately track AWS assets to analyze compliance levels and security.

  • AWS Cost Explorer

    AWS Cost Explorer is a tool provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows users to visualize their AWS usage and bills by service.

  • AWS Cost Management

    AWS Cost Management is a collection of tools that provide insight into Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud cost and usage.

  • AWS Data Pipeline (Amazon Data Pipeline)

    AWS Data Pipeline is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool that enables an IT professional to process and move data between compute and storage services on the AWS public cloud and on-premises resources.

  • AWS Direct Connect

    Direct Connect is a network service that allows an enterprise customer to establish a dedicated network connection between one of Amazon's Direct Connect locations and the customer's data center or colocation environment. 

  • AWS Educate (Amazon Web Services Educate)

    AWS Educate is a grant program that aims to teach the next generation of IT cloud professionals how to use Amazon's platform.

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk

    AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a cloud deployment and provisioning service that automates the process of getting applications set up on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

  • AWS Fargate

    AWS Fargate is a service that enables a user to run containers on Amazon's cloud computing platform without the need to manage the underlying infrastructure.

  • AWS Firewall Manager

    AWS Firewall Manager is a tool from Amazon Web Services that an organization can use to configure policies for the cloud vendor's native web application firewall (WAF) service.

  • AWS Glue

    AWS Glue is a cloud service that prepares data for analysis through automated extract, transform, load (ETL) processes.

  • AWS GovCloud (Amazon Web Services GovCloud)

    AWS GovCloud is an isolated data center region of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud designed to meet strict compliance requirements as defined by the U.S. Government.

  • AWS Greengrass

    AWS Greengrass is a service that extends Amazon Web Services functionality to internet of things (IoT) devices, allowing a business to perform data collection and analysis closer to its origin.

  • AWS Import/Export

    AWS Import/Export is a program that enables an IT team to move large amounts of data into and out of the Amazon Web Services public cloud with portable storage devices.

  • AWS Instance Scheduler

    AWS Instance Scheduler is a tool from Amazon Web Services that automates when and where a user's virtual machine instances are deployed on the public cloud.

  • AWS IoT (Amazon Web Services internet of things)

    AWS IoT is an Amazon Web Services platform that collects and analyzes data from internet-connected devices and sensors -- called the internet of things -- and connects that data to AWS cloud applications.

  • AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS)

    AWS Key Management Service (KMS) is an Amazon Web Services product that allows administrators to create, delete and control keys that encrypt data stored in AWS databases and products.

  • AWS Lambda (Amazon Web Services Lambda)

    AWS Lambda is an event-driven computing service that allows developers to program serverless functions on a pay-per-use basis.

  • AWS Landing Zone

    AWS Landing Zone is software provided by Amazon to help AWS customers set up a secure, multi-account AWS environment.

  • AWS Managed Services

    AWS Managed Services is a set of services and tools that automate infrastructure management tasks for Amazon Web Services (AWS) deployments.

  • AWS Management Console

    The AWS Management Console is a browser-based GUI for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • AWS Marketplace

    The AWS Marketplace is an online store managed by Amazon Web Services that allows a company to buy and sell software for deployment and development on the AWS platform.

  • AWS Migration Hub

    AWS Migration Hub is a service that monitors the progress of application migrations to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Network Load Balancer (NLB)

    Network Load Balancer is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool that distributes end user traffic across multiple cloud resources to ensure low latency and high throughput for applications.

  • AWS On-Demand Instances (Amazon Web Services On-Demand Instances)

    AWS On-Demand Instances (Amazon Web Services On-Demand Instances) are virtual servers that run in AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) and are purchased at a fixed rate per hour.

  • AWS OpsWorks (Amazon Web Services OpsWorks)

    AWS OpsWorks is a cloud computing service from Amazon Web Services (AWS) that manages infrastructure deployment for cloud administrators.

  • AWS Outposts

    AWS Outposts is an on-premises IT as a service (ITaaS) platform provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • AWS Partner Network (APN)

    The AWS Partner Network (APN) is a tiered group of cloud software and service vendors that earn endorsement from Amazon Web Services after meeting several criteria.

  • AWS PrivateLink

    AWS PrivateLink is a networking feature provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that eases and secures connectivity between Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), other Amazon cloud services and on-premises applications.

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