AWS terminology

This section describes the list of commonly used AWS terms and phrases. For more information, see AWS Glossary.

Term Definition
Amazon Machine Image (AMI) A machine image, which provides the information required to launch an instance, which is a virtual server in the cloud.
Elastic Block Store Provides persistent block storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances in the AWS Cloud.
Simple Storage Service (S3) Storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) A web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.
Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) Distributes incoming application traffic across multiple EC2 instances, in multiple Availability Zones. This increases the fault tolerance of your applications.
Elastic network interface (ENI) A virtual network interface that you can attach to an instance in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
Elastic IP (EIP) address A static, public IPv4 address that you have allocated in Amazon EC2 or Amazon VPC and then attached to an instance. Elastic IP addresses are associated with your account, not a specific instance. They are elastic because you can easily allocate, attach, detach, and free them as your needs change.
Instance type Amazon EC2 provides a wide selection of instance types optimized to fit different use cases. Instance types comprise varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity and give you the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources for your applications.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) An AWS identity with permission policies that determine what the identity can and cannot do in AWS. You can use an IAM role to enable applications running on an EC2 instance to securely access your AWS resources.IAM role is required for deploying VPX instances in a high-availability setup.
Internet Gateway Connects a network to the Internet. You can route traffic for IP addresses outside your VPC to the Internet gateway.
Key pair A set of security credentials that you use to prove your identity electronically. A key pair consists of a private key and a public key.
Route tables A set of routing rules that controls the traffic leaving any subnet that is associated with the route table. You can associate multiple subnets with a single route table, but a subnet can be associated with only one route table at a time.
Security groups A named set of allowed inbound network connections for an instance.
Subnets A segment of the IP address range of a VPC that EC2 instances can be attached to. You can create subnets to group instances according to security and operational needs.
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) A web service for provisioning a logically isolated section of the AWS cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define.
Auto Scaling A web service to launch or terminate Amazon EC2 instances automatically based on user-defined policies, schedules, and health checks.
CloudFormation A service for writing or changing templates that create and delete related AWS resources together as a unit.

AWS terminology