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.

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  • A

    Alexa Skills Kit

    The Alexa Skills Kit is a software development kit (SDK) that enables a developer to build skills, also called conversational applications, on the Amazon Alexa artificial intelligence assistant.

  • Alexa Top Sites

    Alexa Top Sites is an Amazon Web Service (AWS) that provides lists of the highest-performing websites according to Alexa Traffic Rank algorithm. Sites are ranked on a descending scale, with number one being the top ranking.

  • Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS)

    Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS) is a subscription-based service that makes it possible for developers to access Alexa Web traffic data for inclusion in their XML-based websites and applications.

  • Amazon AI

    Amazon AI is a set of artificial intelligence services that offer machine and deep learning technologies for Amazon Web Services (AWS) developers and users.

  • Amazon API Gateway

    Amazon API Gateway in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) product that allows a developer to connect non-AWS applications to AWS back-end resources, such as servers or code. Amazon API Gateway allows an AWS customer to increase the overall functionality of cloud services.

  • Amazon AppStream

    Amazon AppStream is an Amazon Web Service (AWS) that enables compute-intensive applications to be streamed from the cloud to computing devices of all types.

  • Amazon Athena

    Amazon Athena is a service that enables a data analyst to perform interactive queries in the Amazon Web Services public cloud on data stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

  • Amazon Aurora

    Amazon Aurora is a relational database engine from Amazon Web Services. The engine is MySQL-compatible, which means code, applications and drivers used in databases relying on MySQL can be used in Aurora with minimal or no changes.

  • Amazon Braket

    Amazon Braket is a fully managed AWS cloud service designed to allow users remote access to a single development environment for quantum computers.

  • Amazon Chime

    Amazon Chime is a real-time audio, video conferencing and collaboration service hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Amazon Cloud Directory

    Amazon Cloud Directory is a service that enables an IT team to build cloud-native directories in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon CloudFront

    Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery service that works in conjunction with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide developers with a simple way to distribute content to end users.

  • Amazon CloudSearch

    Amazon CloudSearch is a scalable, developer-friendly, cloud-based search service that forms part of Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to Amazon, developers can set CloudSearch up and deploy it fully in less than an hour.

  • 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.

  • Amazon Cognito

    Amazon Cognito is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) product that controls user authentication and access for mobile applications on internet-connected devices. The service helps to speed application development by saving and synchronizing end user data, freeing up time for the developer.

  • Amazon Comprehend

    Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to analyze and find relationships in text.

  • Amazon Connect

    Amazon Connect is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud customer contact center service.

  • Amazon Developer Services

    Amazon Developer Services is a suite of tools and services that enable a developer to build, test and sell applications and games in the Amazon Appstore.

  • Amazon Device Messaging

    Amazon Device Messaging (ADM) is an Amazon Developer Services tool that enables a developer to send push notifications to end user native devices that run a mobile application, such as a game or shopping platform.

  • Amazon DevPay

    Amazon DevPay restricts application access to subscribed end users, monitors the customer's application use and bills them for the time owed.

  • Amazon DynamoDB

    Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service offered by AWS, designed to provide low latency and high performance for applications.

  • Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store)

    Amazon Elastic Block Store is a cloud-based block storage system provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that is best used for storing persistent data.

  • Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)

    Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web-based service that allows businesses to run application programs in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts

    Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts are servers with virtual machine capacity dedicated to one Amazon Web Services customer, instead of sharing server capacity with other customers.

  • Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs

    Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs are virtual machines (VMs), also known as compute instances, in the Amazon Web Services public cloud with added graphics acceleration capabilities.

  • Amazon EC2 instance

    An EC2 instance is a virtual server in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for running applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

  • Amazon EC2 Simple Systems Manager

    The Amazon EC2 Simple Systems Manager allows a developer to automatically configure instances via the EC2 Run Command and SSM Config features.

  • Amazon Echo

    Amazon Echo is a product line of hands-free speaker and virtual assistant devices that interact with an end user via the Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice service.

  • Amazon Echo Look

    Amazon Echo Look is a camera and style virtual assistant for consumers.

  • Amazon EFS (Elastic File System)

    Amazon EFS (Elastic File System) is a cloud-based file storage service for applications and workloads that run in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)

    Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a cloud computing service in Amazon Web Services (AWS) that manages containers and allows developers to run applications in the cloud without having to configure an environment for the code to run in.

  • Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS)

    Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS) is a cloud-based container management service that natively integrates with Kubernetes to deploy applications.

  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR)

    Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool for big data processing and analysis.

  • Amazon Elastic Transcoder

    Amazon Elastic Transcoder is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) tool that allows an enterprise to convert media files into formats that a range of devices support, including smartphones, tablets and desktops.

  • Amazon ElastiCache

    Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed caching service. ElastiCache is protocol-compliant with Memcached, an open source, high-performance, distributed memory object caching for system speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.

  • Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES)

    Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) is an Amazon Web Services product that allows developers to launch and operate Elasticsearch -- an open-source, Java-based search and analytics engine -- in the AWS cloud.

  • Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS)

    Amazon Flexible Payments Service (FPS) is a set of web service APIs offered as an Amazon Web Service (AWS).

  • Amazon Glacier

    Amazon Glacier is a low-cost cloud storage service for data with longer retrieval times offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Amazon GuardDuty

    Amazon GuardDuty is a managed cloud security monitoring service that detects behavior or threats that can compromise Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts, resources or workloads.

  • Amazon Inspector

    Amazon Inspector is an AWS tool that automatically assesses a customer's AWS cloud deployment for security vulnerabilities and deficiencies.

  • Amazon Kinesis

    Amazon Kinesis is the fully managed Amazon Web Service (AWS) offering for real-time processing of big data.

  • Amazon Kinesis Firehose

    Amazon Kinesis Firehose captures and loads streaming data in storage and business intelligence tools to enable near real-time analytics in the Amazon Web Services cloud.

  • Amazon Lex

    Amazon Lex is an artificial intelligence (AI) web service. Lex includes natural language processing (NLP), and natural language understanding (NLU) for building conversational interfaces where users can communicate via text and speech.

  • Amazon Lightsail

    Amazon Lightsail is an Amazon cloud service that offers bundles of cloud compute power and memory for new or less experienced cloud users.

  • Amazon Lumberyard

    Amazon Lumberyard is a cross-platform video game development engine that connects to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

    An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a master image for the creation of virtual servers (known as EC2 instances) in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment.

  • Amazon Machine Learning

    Amazon Machine Learning is an Amazon Web Services product that allows a developer to discover patterns in end-user data through algorithms, construct mathematical models based on these patterns and then create and implement predictive applications.

  • Amazon Macie

    Amazon Macie is a cloud security tool that uses machine learning to identify and protect sensitive data stored in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk

    Amazon Mechanical Turk is a web service application program interface (API) that allows developers to integrate human intelligence into remote procedure calls (RPC).

  • Amazon Mobile Analytics

    Amazon Mobile Analytics is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) product that allows a developer to collect and analyze mobile application usage data.

  • Amazon Neptune

    Amazon Neptune is a managed service that enables a user to create and manage a graph database in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Personalize

    Amazon Personalize is a low-code recommendation engine that can generate custom recommendations for any application running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. 

  • Amazon Pinpoint

    Amazon Pinpoint is a marketing and analytics service hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud that enables an organization to engage with and track metrics related to its application end users.

  • Amazon Polly

    Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service within the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. It uses deep learning technology to allow applications to speak with a human-like voice.

  • Amazon QLDB

    Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) is a non-relational database as a service (DBaaS) designed for AWS customers who want to maintain a verifiable history of data changes in an application they own.

  • Amazon QuickSight

    Amazon QuickSight is an Amazon Web Services utility that allows a company to create and analyze visualizations of its customers' data.

  • Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service)

    Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a fully-managed SQL database service. Amazon RDS offers an array of database engine choices to help with database management tasks such as migration, backup, recovery and patching.

  • Amazon Redshift

    Amazon Redshift is a fully managed petabyte-scale data warehouse service. Redshift is designed for analytic workloads and connects to standard SQL-based clients and business intelligence tools.

  • Amazon Redshift Spectrum

    Amazon Redshift Spectrum is a feature within Amazon Web Services' Redshift data warehousing service that lets a data analyst conduct fast, complex analysis on objects stored on the AWS cloud.

  • Amazon Rekognition

    Amazon Rekognition is an image analysis service available in the Amazon AI suite.

  • Amazon Resource Name (ARN)

    An Amazon Resource Name (ARN) is a file naming convention used to identify a particular resource in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Route 53

    Amazon Route 53 is a scalable domain name system (DNS) service intended to give business and developers a reliable way to direct end users to applications.

  • Amazon Route 53 Traffic Flow

    Amazon Route 53 Traffic Flow is a domain name system (DNS) service that allows an Amazon Web Services customer to define how end-user traffic is routed to application endpoints through a visual interface.

  • Amazon S3

    Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is a scalable, high-speed, web-based cloud storage service.

  • Amazon SageMaker

    Amazon SageMaker is a service that enables a developer to build and train machine learning models for predictive or analytical applications in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • Amazon Simple Database Service (SimpleDB)

    Amazon Simple Database Service (SimpleDB), also known as a key value data store, is a highly available and flexible non-relational database that allows developers to request and store data, with minimal database management and administrative responsibility.

  • Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES)

    Amazon Simple Email Service is a pay-per-use service that allows you to build in email functionality into an application that you are running on AWS.

  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)

    Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) is a simple, fully-managed “push” messaging service that allows users to push texts, alerts or notifications, like an auto-reply message, or a notification that a package has shipped.

  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)

    Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) is a scalable and fully managed message queuing service that allows users to transmit any amount of data through the web without administrative responsibility.

  • Amazon Sumerian

    Amazon Sumerian is a managed service and set of tools for creating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.

  • Amazon SWF (Simple WorkFlow Service)

    Amazon SWF (Simple Workflow Service) is an Amazon Web Services tool that helps developers coordinate, track and audit multi-step, multi-machine application jobs.

  • Amazon Transcribe

    Amazon Transcribe is a speech recognition service that transcribes audio files into text.

  • Amazon Translate

    Amazon Translate is a cloud service for changing large amounts of text written in one language to another language. Amazon Translate supports 25 languages, with the official documentation detailing which languages can be paired up for translation.

  • Amazon Trust Services

    Amazon Trust Services is a certificate authority created and operated by Amazon Web Services.

  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)

    Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) allows a developer to create a virtual network for resources in an isolated section of the Amazon Web Services cloud.

  • Amazon VPC traffic mirroring

    Traffic mirroring is a feature for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). The feature is used to monitor the network-level traffic of workloads.

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

    AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings.

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Identity and Access Management (IAM)

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a directory service designed for tracking system users and providing ways of keeping track of information about how they get authenticated.

  • Amazon WorkDocs

    Amazon WorkDocs is an Amazon Web Services online collaboration tool that allows a business to store, share and update files from different devices.

  • Amazon WorkMail

    Amazon WorkMail is a managed email and calendar service for businesses that is hosted on the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • Amazon WorkSpaces

    Amazon WorkSpaces is an Amazon Web Services tool that enables an IT administrator to give end users access to cloud applications, services, resources or documents on different types of devices within a virtualized desktop.

  • application load balancer

    The Application Load Balancer is a feature of Elastic Load Balancing that allows a developer to configure and route incoming end-user traffic to applications based in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AUFS (Advanced Multi-Layered Unification Filesystem)

    Advanced multi-layered unification filesystem (AUFS) is a union filesystem sometimes used in platform-as-a-service environments to merge distinct directory hierarchies into a single directory. This may be done to consolidate a large repository without using a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) or similar techniques.

  • availability zones

    Availability zones (AZs) are isolated locations within data center regions from which public cloud services originate and operate.

  • AWS Activate

    AWS Activate is a free program that provides approved startups with resources for working with Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS Activate requires a special registration that allows startup customers with a valid AWS account to apply for either a self-starter package or a portfolio package. 

  • AWS ADS (AWS Application Discovery Service)

    AWS Application Discovery Service (AWS ADS) is a tool that helps an enterprise plan application migrations to the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS Amplify

    AWS Amplify is an open source JavaScript library provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that enables developers to build applications with cloud services on web or mobile platforms.

  • AWS AppSync

    AWS AppSync is an application development service hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud that synchronizes data for mobile and web apps in real time.

  • AWS Artifact

    AWS Artifact is a portal that provides an enterprise with access to security and compliance reports that apply to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Auto Scaling

    AWS Auto Scaling is a service that automatically monitors and adjusts compute resources to maintain performance for applications hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS Batch

    AWS Batch is a service that enables IT professionals to schedule and execute batch processing jobs in the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS Blox

    AWS Blox is an open source project designed to help IT professionals manage and schedule Docker containers that run on the Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS).

  • AWS Business Builder

    AWS Business Builder is a suite of technical, sales and marketing resources provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help software companies within its partner program connect with potential customers and expand their businesses.

  • AWS Certificate Manager

    The AWS Certificate Manager allows an IT team to create and renew free SSL and TSL certificates to create secure connections over the internet.

  • AWS certification

    AWS certification is a level of Amazon Web Services cloud expertise that an IT professional obtains after passing one or more exams the public cloud provider offers.

  • AWS Cloud9

    AWS Cloud9 is an integrated development environment (IDE) a developer can use to manage code via a browser and collaborate with other developers.

  • AWS CloudFormation (Amazon Web Services CloudFormation)

    Amazon Web Services CloudFormation is a free service that provides developers with a simple way to create and manage an assortment of Amazon Web Service resources while keeping them organized.

  • AWS CloudHSM

    AWS CloudHSM is a security service that provides tamper-resistant infrastructure in the form of hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect highly sensitive data in the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

  • AWS CodeBuild

    AWS CodeBuild is a managed cloud service that enables an IT developer to automate and manage server builds for applications that reside in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

  • AWS CodeCommit (Amazon Web Services CodeCommit)

    AWS CodeCommit is a source code storage and version-control service for Amazon Web Services' public cloud customers.

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