Q: What are AWS Local Zones?

Local Zones allow you to use select AWS services, like compute and storage services, closer to more end users, providing them very low-latency access to applications running locally. Local Zones are also connected to the parent Region using the Amazon redundant and very high-bandwidth private network, giving applications running in Local Zones fast, secure, and seamless access to the rest of AWS services.

Q: When should I use Local Zones?

Use Local Zones to deploy workloads closer to your end users for low-latency requirements. Local Zones have their own connection to the internet and support AWS Direct Connect, so resources created in the Local Zone can serve local end users with very low-latency communications.

Q: How are Local Zones different from Availability Zones? 

Local Zones are designed to bring the core services needed for the latency-sensitive portions of your workload closer to end users, while Availability Zones provide access to the full array of AWS services. Services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), and others are locally available and can be used to serve end users in geographic proximity with extremely low latency. Other AWS services like Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Aurora are accessible privately through VPC over AWS private network. Both Local Zones and Availability Zones allow you to build applications for high availability.

Q: How are AWS Dedicated Local Zones different from Local Zones?

Dedicated Local Zones are Local Zones that are built for the exclusive use by a customer or community. Dedicated Local Zones offer the same benefits as Local Zones, and, as an additional benefit, AWS works with you to provide the security and compliance features that you need on your own private zones. These features help you monitor and control access and operations on your Dedicated Local Zones.

Q: How should I think about when to use Local Zones, AWS Wavelength, or AWS Outposts for applications that require low latency or local data processing?

AWS is helping customers by delivering a consistent experience to support applications with low latency or local data processing requirements wherever they need to be deployed.

Outposts is designed for workloads that need to remain on premises due to latency requirements, where customers want that workload to run seamlessly with the rest of their other workloads on AWS. Outposts is fully managed and includes configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on premises, while seamlessly connecting to a broad array of services on AWS.

Local Zones are a type of AWS infrastructure designed to run workloads that require single-digit millisecond latency, like video rendering and graphics intensive, virtual desktop applications. Not every customer wants to operate their own on-premises data center, while others may be interested in getting rid of their local data center entirely. Local Zones allow customers to gain all the benefits of having compute and storage resources closer to end users, without the need to own and operate their own data center infrastructure.

Wavelength is designed to deliver ultralow-latency applications to 5G devices by extending AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to 5G networks. Wavelength embeds storage and compute inside telco providers 5G networks to help developers build new applications for 5G end users that require single-digit millisecond latency, like IoT devices, game streaming, autonomous vehicles, and live media production.

Q: What are the currently available locations for Local Zones?

For the full list of available and announced Local Zones, see AWS Local Zones locations and the User Guide.

Q: How do I get started?

Local Zones are accessible from API Endpoint and the AWS Management Console of their parent Region. To get started, you must first enable the Local Zones for your AWS account before you can deploy resources to them. After you enable Local Zones, they will be visible along with all the other Availability Zones, and you will be able to access and manage Local Zones with the same APIs and console that you are accustomed to using for AWS.

Q: Can Local Zones be used to meet data residency requirements?

Data residency requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction.  Customers can configure their data to remain on Local Zones using Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon FSx, and other local services. To ensure a jurisdiction’s unique data residency requirements are met, we recommend that you work closely with your compliance and security teams for confirmation.

Q: What instance types are supported in Local Zones?

We support various instance types in each Local Zone. For instance types and services offered in Local Zones, see AWS Local Zones features. You can also use the Instance Types section of the EC2 Console or DescribeInstanceTypeOfferings API to discover and compare available instance types and sizes in Local Zones.

AWS services and networking

Q: Which AWS services are available for use in the Local Zones?

Various AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon VPC, Amazon EBS, Amazon FSx, Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon EMR, Amazon ElastiCache, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) are available locally in Local Zones. You can also use services that orchestrate or work with local services such as Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) clusters, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) clusters, Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS CloudFormation. Local Zones also provide a high-bandwidth, secure connection to the AWS Region, allowing you to seamlessly connect to the full range of services in the Region through the same APIs and tool sets. For a complete list of services supported in the Local Zone that you are considering, see AWS Local Zones features.

Q: How does Amazon VPC work in Local Zones?

You can extend any VPC from the parent Region into Local Zones by creating a new subnet and assigning it to the Local Zone. When you create a subnet in a Local Zone, your VPC is extended to that Local Zone and your VPC will treat the subnet as any subnet in any other Availability Zone, and relevant gateways, route tables, and so on will be automatically adjusted.

Q: Which Amazon EBS volume types are available in Local Zones?

For EBS volume types offered in each Local Zone, see AWS Local Zones features

Q: Are snapshots of EBS volumes stored locally in Local Zones?

All snapshots for EBS volumes resident in a Local Zone are stored in the Local Zone’s parent Region.

Q: What’s the default encryption behavior of EBS volumes in Local Zones?

In the Atlanta Local Zone (us-east-1-atl-2a), the Chicago Local Zone (us-east-1-chi-2a), the Dallas Local Zone (us-east-1-dfw-2a), the Houston Local Zone (us-east-1-iah-2a), the Los Angeles Local Zones (us-west-2-lax-1a and us-west-2-lax-1b), the Miami Local Zone (us-east-1-mia-2a), and the Phoenix Local Zone (us-west-2-phx-2a), by default, the EBS volumes are not encrypted unless encryption by default is enabled for the account. In all other Local Zones, EBS volumes are encrypted by default using Amazon EBS encryption for data at rest and in transition between the Local Zone and its parent Region. By default, Amazon EBS encryption uses AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) and AWS managed keys. However, customers can specify customer managed keys as their default encryption key.

Pricing and billing

Q: What pricing models are supported in Local Zones for Amazon EC2?

There are three ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances in Local Zones: On-Demand, Savings Plans, and Spot Instances.

Q: How can I see pricing information for Local Zones?

For pricing information, please visit the pricing section on the respective services. You can filter pricing information by choosing the Local Zone location in the drop-down list.

Q: How do I see my cost and usage for Local Zones?

You can view your monthly charges for Local Zones from the Billing and Cost Management Console. Additionally, there are two ways to gain more insights into the costs and usage associated with Local Zones through the data in the Cost & Usage Report and reports in Cost Explorer.

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