Q: What are AWS Local Zones?

AWS 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 the applications running locally. AWS Local Zones are also connected to the parent region via Amazon’s redundant and very high bandwidth private network, giving applications running in AWS Local Zones fast, secure, and seamless access to the rest of AWS services.

Q: Who should use AWS Local Zones?

You should use AWS Local Zones to deploy workloads closer to your end-users for low-latency requirements. AWS 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 AWS Local Zones different than 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 EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon VPC, and others are locally available and can be used to serve end users in geographic proximity with extremely low-latency, while other AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon Aurora are accessible privately via VPC over AWS private network. Both Local Zones and Availability Zones allow you to build applications for high-availability.

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

AWS 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 customers to provide the security and compliance features that they need on their own private zones. These features enable the customer to monitor and control access and operations on their Dedicated Local Zones.

Q: How should I think about when to use AWS 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.

AWS 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 in AWS. AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s broad array of services in the cloud.

AWS Local Zones are a new 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 ultra-low 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?

Local Zones are available in 33 metros globally: 16 in the US, 4 in LATAM (Buenos Aires, Lima, Querétaro, and Santiago), 5 across Asia (Bangkok, Delhi, Manila, Kolkata, and Taipei), 6 in EMEA (Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki, Lagos, Muscat, and Warsaw), 1 in New Zealand (Auckland), and 1 in Australia (Perth). In early 2022, AWS preannounced plans to launch Local Zones in 33 metro areas around the world. To date, 17 international Local Zones are generally available, and we will continue to launch the remaining preannounced 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?

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

Q: Can AWS 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 AWS Local Zones using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon File Storage (FSx) and other local services. In order to ensure a jurisdiction’s unique data residency requirements are met, we recommend that customers work closely with their compliance and security teams for confirmation.

Q: What instance types are supported in Local Zones?

We support various instance types in each Local Zone. You can find instance types and services offered in Local Zones on the AWS Local Zones feature page. 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 AWS Local Zones.

AWS Services and Networking

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

Various AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon FSx, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon EMR, Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) are available locally in the AWS Local Zones. You can also use services that orchestrate or work with local services such as Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, Amazon EKS clusters, Amazon ECS clusters, Amazon EC2 Systems Manager, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS CloudFormation. AWS 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 AWS Region through the same APIs and tool sets. To get the complete list of services supported in the Local Zone that you are considering, visit our features page.

Q: How does Amazon VPC work in AWS Local Zones?

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

Q: What EBS volume types are available in AWS Local Zones?

Local Zones in Los Angeles (us-west-2-lax-1a, and us-west-2-lax-1b), Dallas (us-east-1-dfw-2a), and  Phoenix (us-west-2-phx-2a) provide gp2, gp3, io1, st1, and sc1 EBS volumes. All other Local Zones provide gp2 volume.

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 Los Angeles Local Zones (us-west-2-lax-1a and us-west-2-lax-1b), the Phoenix Local Zone (us-west-2-phx-2a), and the Dallas Local Zone (us-east-1-dfw-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 data 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 the 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 AWS 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 dropdown.

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

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

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