What Is Edge Location In AWS Cloud & Its Use Cases

We all know AWS has its regions and availability zones, today we will see what is edge location in AWS cloud, its use cases, how edge location works, and what features AWS edge location offers.  We will also see which services use edge locations.

The edge locations in AWS Cloud are not the core Data Center facility where all the AWS services are available for customers to provision, these are locations AWS uses for its services like CloudFront to store content for faster delivery. Mostly its AWS partner locations across the globe, where the AWS does not have its Data Center facility.

What Is Edge Location In AWS Cloud?

Edge locations are AWS facilities (mostly with partner data centers) present in high population areas and major cities across the globe,

The aim of edge location is to utilize the AWS CloudFront service, a Global Content Delivery Network (CDN) service to reduce the latency and give a better experience to the end user.

These locations are used by AWS to enhance the end-user experience by reducing the network latency.  You will not find the core AWS services at edge locations like VPC, EC2, and RDS. These core services are served using AWS’s geographic regions and availability zone facilities.

To understand let’s take an example where you have provisioned your website in USA (us-east-1) location, and a new user of your website is from Europe. Now this new user is trying to access your web page, AWS will redirect your new user to a European Edge Location that’s nearest to him and serve his request/page from cache data of your website, considerably reducing latency and improving your new user experience.

Use Cases Of AWS Edge Locations

The question is which services use aws-edge locations there are several AWS services that use amazon cloudfront edge locations, and I am listing down the major AWS services that use edge locations.

CDN AWS CloudFront: Edge locations are the core of CDN service (AWS CloudFront). These strategic locations make the data available to the end-user at each location across the globe. It helps reduce latency and enhances the end-user experience.

Transfer Accelerator: by using this service users can upload large files to the S3 bucket at a faster speed.

Route 53: Route 53 is a highly available and scalable cloud domain name system, it utilizes the Amazon CloudFront edge network to speed up the user experience. It helps translate your website name into an IP address, which further can be used to send network traffic to the desired location, where your website/server is hosted.

Aws Edge Locations Vs Availability Zones

The edge locations and AWS availability zones are one of the core services of AWS, lets understand in comparison how these two services are different form each other.

AWS Edge LocationAWS Availability Zones
AWS Partner Data CenterAWS Data Center
Location is based on the user demographyLocation is based on Other aspects of Data Center and Connectivity. The Location is called the region and one region can have multiple availability zone.
Primary use is for caching the data and reducing the latency for faster user experience.Primary use is for the creation of core services, by hosting compute, storage, and global network services along with cloud management services.
Number of AWS-edge locations – AWS has more than 400+ Edge Locations across the globe.Number of AZ – The total number of Availability Zones AZ is 102
For Core services user connect to AZ directlyFor content user is directed to edge location based on the user query.
Edge location is connected to one AZOne AZ can serve multiple Edge locations

Source: docs.aws.amazon.com

AWS Edge Computing

There are two services AWS offers for edge computing, CloudFront Functions and Lambda@Edge.

CloudFront Functions provide a capability of secure edge CDN computing by means of CloudFront Functions and AWS Lambda@Edge.  

While AWS Lambda@Edge provides general-purpose serverless compute capability.

AWS Edge Locations Logical Map

Aws Edge Locations Vs Availability Zones
AWS Edge Locations Vs Availability Zones

AWS Edge Real-time metrics and logging

At the edge location, CloudFront is integrated with AWS CloudWatch which provides real-time monitoring and logging capability.

Security at AWS Edge Location:

We are putting our data at the Edge location what about the security, don’t worry AWS provides sufficient protection services at the edge location to take care of your security needs.

To start with, you can have a perimeter protection layer, also you can use networking traffic encryption, and access control to protect the data and web application at the edge. Also, we can leverage AWS Shield to protect our applications and data from DDoS at Edge Location.

AWS Shield also provides a Web Application Firewall, WAF. This service helps to filter traffic in edge locations so that unwanted traffic can be dropped.

Major Benefits Of Edge Location


Your end user will get your web pages/application faster than usual. This is a great benefit as it helps to enhance the end-user experience. This is delivered using Edge Locations and AWS CloudFront. AWS connects these locations on multiple redundant 100Gbps fibers with a very low latency network between the Edge Location and AWS Global infrastructure.

User Friendly

You can set up these services using the same management console manually with a click of a button. You can alos leverage the AWS SDK and benefit from native integration.

Cost Saving

By utilizing AWS Edge distributed service architecture we can considerably bring down the infrastructure cost. When you use these services there is no upfront cost of them, these services are pay as you go model.

So when any data that can be cached at edge location to be used by Amazon Cloudfront Edge, is transferred there is no additional charge to you.

How Does AWS-Edge Location Pricing Work?

As an AWS customer you are using the AWS services and not the actual physical location, so you are charged based on how you consume those service that uses the Edge Locations.

For instance, based on the end user location  AWS Cloudfront uses the nearest edge location to serve your application end users, and you will be charged based on this utilization.

As an AWS customer, you can also decide which EL you want to choose to serve your end users based on the pricing.

AWS Global Edge Network Map

AWS Global Edge Network Map
AWS Global Edge Network Map

Source: aws.amazon.com

You can also see Amazon AWS Regions and Edge Locations on the google – Google Locations

AWS Cloudfront Customers Taking Advantage Of Edge Locations

These are some of the major Companies/Applications using CloudFront and taking advantage of  AWS Edge locations.


Hulu is a video on demand service owned by Hulu LLC., very popular in America.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video, uses video on demand and live stream services across the globe.

Jio Saavan

Jio Saavan uses stream audio and video to millions of subscribers across the globe.

Sky News

Sky News uses live video to serve its customers and leverage AI technology along with AWS  CloudFront.

FAQ: Edge Location In AWS Cloud

How does an edge location help end users?

Edge location help end users by providing location base services, data is geographically close to end user, so user experience is better (faster speed).

Which Definition Best Describes Aws Edge Locations ?

Edge Locations are facilities used by AWS For faster delivery to users, also it is used to speed up the data upload process for the S3 bucket. This location has the caching capability which is used for better customer/end-user experience.

Which AWS Service Uses Edge Locations To Cache Content?

CloudFront is the AWS service that cache content at the Edge Location (EL).

What Are AWS  Network Edge Locations?

These are the typical PoP (Point of Presence)locations where AWS core infrastructure is connected to edge locations.

What is the difference between AWS edge location and AWS local zone?

AWS Local Zones address low latency requirements of applications in specific geographic areas (within the region), where Edge Locations helps to optimize content delivery performance with the help of caching technology across the globe.

Does CloudFront offer a free tier?

Yes, CloudFront has a free Tier that allows up to 50 GB of data transfer and 2,000,000 HTTP and HTTPS requests per month for one year.

Final Words

If you are using video on demand, online music apps, or a user of online live streaming services there are high chance are you are already a user of Edge Locations and experiencing the benefits offered by these locations.

So, these locations are very strategic locations for AWS services like CloudFront and Route 53, if you are a user of these services, you use edge locations automatically.

Look at your application architecture, is it taking advantage offered by these services and edge location?

If you need any help on same lets us know via comment or contact us.

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