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Johnny Boy
Johnny Boy

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AWS Certification - Learning the lingo


Hi there, I have began to prepare myself to take the AWS Certification exam in less than a week now. While I was reading the material in preparation for the test I encountered a lot of terms and acronyms that make little sense to me. I have put together a list with all these, I hope it can help you to get familiar with the lingo used in the AWS Certification materials.
In the beginning is confusing to see some terms you are already familiar with or some acronyms that do not mean the same in AWS.
if you want to go to a place where there is more more info than this article, you can go to AWS Glossary URL



You would understand in our day and age that elastic means something that can grow and shrink. Something that can Scale up and down. Here if you see this in the name, do not assume it is Elastic.



Something that can scale up. You can grow the instances or the resources to handle a bigger load.


AWS vs Amazon

Amazon Web Services. A bunch of services that Amazon offers to make your life better.


S3 or Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service. This is an object storage service, it is really important to understand the tradeoffs on using one type over the other. You have the standard S3, Intelligent Tiering, Infrequent Access, One Availability Zone Infrequent Access, Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive. The Bucket is the place where you store your objects in S3. In Glacier the same place is called Vault.


EC2 or Amazon EC2

Elastic Compute Cloud. A Service that allows you to have some compute capacity in the cloud. Instances live in here. =)


Lambda or AWS Lambda

Serverless Service that allows you to run code without having an instance.


RDS or Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service. Amazon managed relational databases.



Amazon Web Application Firewall. Application Firewall service to help you protect Web Applications or APIs.


CW or Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch. Allows you to have monitoring and observability capabilities in your AWS Services.



AWS Key Management Service. This helps you manage your keys and makes it easy to use in other AWS Services.


DynamoDB or AWS DynamoDB

NoSQL Database provided by AWS. You can use global tables.


ACM or AWS Certificate Manager

AWS Certificate Manager. Makes a lot easier to provide and manage SSL/TLS Certificates.



AWS Identity and Access Management. Allows you to manage access to AWS Services and resources securely.



Amazon Cognito. Is a service that allows you to sign-up, sing-in and can help you with access control to your applications.


EFS or Amazon EFS

Amazon Elastic File Service. Managed by AWS, a Network File System.


AWS Region

A Geographic area that is composed of several Availability Zones.



Availability Zone. A logical block that can composed of several datacenters. An Isolated location.



Elastic IP Address. You can use this to allow access to your EC2 instance to the internet.



Service Level Agreement. A policy where you an Amazon have an agreement on how to use the service. Sometimes this is referred to the guaranteed features of their products, for instance AWS S3 SLA.



Single Point of Failure.



ELB - Elastic Load Balancer.
CLB - Classic Load Balancer. I found that in the materials these two terms are interchangeable.



Application Load Balancer.



Network Load Balancer. Layer 4 load balancer.



Virtual Private Cloud. A logically isolated section of AWS Cloud, with scope of region.


9s or nines

A measure used by amazon usually used in Availability and Reliability.
For example:

  • 11 9s (Eleven nines) means 99.999999999%.
  • 5 9s (Five nines) means 99.999%.
  • 2.5 9s (Two point five nines) means 99.5%



High Availability. Refers to a system that is durable and pretty likely to operate continuously without failure for a long time.



Fault Tolerance. The ability of a system to continue working even if a component has failed.


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