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

    AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF)

    AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a security system that controls incoming and outgoing traffic for applications and websites based in the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS X-Ray

    AWS X-Ray is an application performance management service that enables a developer to analyze and debug applications in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • B

    Boto

    Boto is a software development kit (SDK) designed to improve the use of the Python programming language in Amazon Web Services. The Boto project started as a customer-contributed library to help developers build Python-based applications in the cloud, converting application programming interface (API) responses from AWS into Python classes.

  • bucket (AWS bucket)

    A bucket is a logical unit of storage in Amazon Web Services (AWS) object storage service, Simple Storage Solution S3. Buckets are used to store objects, which consist of data and metadata that describes the data.

  • C

    CloudWatch (Amazon CloudWatch)

    Amazon CloudWatch is a component of Amazon Web Services (AWS) that provides monitoring for AWS resources and the customer applications running on the Amazon infrastructure.

  • content delivery network (CDN)

    A content delivery network ensures end users can view and access content quickly. IT teams use a CDN server geographically close to the end user to improve reliability.

  • D

    data lake

    A data lake is a large object-based storage repository that holds data in its native format until it is needed. While a hierarchical data warehouse stores data in files or folders, a data lake uses a flat architecture to store data.

  • E

    Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)

    Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) is a load-balancing service for Amazon Web Services (AWS) deployments.

  • G

    Globally Distributed MySQL-as-a-Service

    Globally Distributed MySQL-as-a-Service is a Database as a Service (DBaaS) product from GenieDB.

  • Google App Engine

    Google App Engine is a cloud computing platform as a service that allows web app developers and enterprises access to Google's scalable hosting and tier 1 internet service.

  • Google Compute Engine

    Google Compute Engine is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering that allows clients to run workloads on Google's physical hardware. GCE competes with Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure.

  • H

    hardware security module (HSM)

    A hardware security module (HSM) is a physical device that provides extra security for sensitive data.

  • I

    IT chargeback / showback

    IT chargeback is an accounting strategy that applies the costs of IT services, hardware or software to the business unit in which they are used. IT showback is similar to IT chargeback, but the charges are for informational purposes only and no one is billed.

  • M

    Memcached

    Memcached is an open source, distributed memory object caching system that alleviates database load to speed up dynamic Web applications. The system caches data and objects in memory to minimize the frequency with which an external database or API (application program interface) must be accessed.

  • O

    Opscode Chef

    Chef is an open-source systems management and cloud infrastructure automation framework created by Opscode. Devops can use Chef to deploy and manage servers and applications in-house and in the cloud.

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