As you prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam, one crucial topic you should be well versed in is the distributed computing concepts supported by AWS global infrastructure and edge services. Understanding these concepts provides a foundation for designing robust systems in the AWS environment.

Table of Contents

I. Distributed Computing with AWS Global Infrastructure

AWS Global Infrastructure is a combination of Availability Zones (AZs), Regions, and Edge Locations. They all together constitute the backbone of AWS cloud computing architecture, offering a robust platform for distributed computing.

  • Regions: AWS infrastructure is distributed across 24 geographic regions globally. Each region is an isolated geographical area, enhancing data privacy and sovereignty.
  • Availability Zones: Every region consists of multiple isolated AZs, which are one or more discrete data centers providing redundant power, networking, and cooling. These AZs facilitate high availability, fault tolerance, and scalability.
  • Edge Locations: These are sites deployed in major cities and high-traffic areas worldwide separate from regions. They serve as caching endpoints for AWS content delivery (Amazon CloudFront) and DNS resolution (Route 53), reducing latency and accelerating data reach to customers.

II. AWS Distributed Computing Services

  • Amazon S3: It is a scalable object storage service for data archiving, backup, and analytics. You can store data in S3 across multiple AZs within a region for high availability and durability.
  • Amazon EC2: This service enables the provision of virtual servers with resizable computing capacity. EC2 instances can be distributed across multiple AZs in a region for load balancing and fault tolerance.
  • Amazon DynamoDB: This NoSQL database service supports distributed data storage across multiple AZs. This ensures high availability and durability of the data.

III. AWS Edge Services

  • Amazon CloudFront: This is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service. It securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency and high transfer speeds.
  • AWS WAF: It is a web application firewall that protects your web applications from common web exploits. It filters, monitors, and manages traffic at the edge location level.
  • AWS Lambda@Edge: It lets you run lambda functions closer to the user to respond quickly to end user requests, modifying CloudFront content at edge locations.

IV. Distributed Computing in Action

As an example of distributed computing using AWS infrastructure, consider a web application that needs to deliver content to users worldwide. The application can be hosted on EC2 instances in multiple AZs to ensure high availability. The data can be stored in DynamoDB and distributed across several AZs creating a robust backup of the data. Also, to reduce latency and deliver content faster to users, the application can leverage CloudFront. The content will be cached in edge locations closer to the users, ensuring faster response times.

Using these AWS services in tandem ensures the reliable, scalable, and performance-driven distribution of computing resources across geographic locations, aligning well with the principles of distributed computing. The whole concept supports building applications and services with high availability, fault tolerance, and latency reduction.


In conclusion, AWS Global Infrastructure and Edge Services provide an ideal environment to implement distributed computing concepts. These AWS services help promote higher availability, scalability, and security of applications and data. Understanding these concepts and how to use them can enhance your capability as an AWS Solutions Architect and contribute to your success in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam.

Practice Test

True or False: AWS global infrastructure consists of Availability Zones, Regions, and Edge Locations.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: The AWS Global Infrastructure is comprised of these three distinctive but complementary parts – Regions denote the geographical area, Availability Zones within a region denote isolated locations for redundancy, and Edge Locations bolster content delivery reaching worldwide.

Multiple Select: Which of the following are edge services provided by AWS?

  • A) Amazon CloudFront
  • B) Amazon Route 53
  • C) AWS S3
  • D) AWS Edge

Answer: A, B, D

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, and AWS Edge are edge services. S3 is a storage service but not categorized as an edge service by AWS.

True or False: Distributed computing allows applications to run concurrently on multiple systems.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Distributed computing involves splitting a computing task into subtasks and running them concurrently across multiple systems.

Single Select: In context of AWS, what is a Region?

  • A) Physical location around the world
  • B) Isolated location within a region
  • C) Worldwide network used to deliver content

Answer: A

Explanation: A Region is a physical location around the world where AWS clusters data centers.

True or False: AWS has more geographic Regions than any other cloud provider.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Yes, The AWS Cloud spans 77 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions globally.

Single Select: Which AWS service helps to direct traffic based on multiple parameters?

  • A) Amazon Route 53
  • B) Amazon CloudFront
  • C) Amazon Lambda
  • D) AWS S3

Answer: A

Explanation: With Amazon Route 53, you can route traffic based on multiple parameters such as latency, Geo-location, and health checks.

Multiple Select: Which are the parts of AWS’s distributed computing environment?

  • A) EC2
  • B) S3
  • C) Lambda
  • D) Redshift

Answer: A, C

Explanation: Amazon EC2 and Lambda are the parts of AWS’s distributed computing environment. Amazon S3 and Redshift are storage and data warehouse services respectively.

True or False: Amazon Route 53 is a global DNS service.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Amazon Route 53 is a scalable and highly available Domain Name System service that AWS offers as part of its edge services.

Single Select: What is the purpose of AWS CloudFront?

  • A) Data warehousing
  • B) Content Delivery
  • C) Database Service
  • D) Machine Learning

Answer: B

Explanation: AWS CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency.

True or False: AWS global infrastructure implies the data can only be physically located in regions prescribed by AWS.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: While AWS does provide infrastructure support in various regions, it does not put constraints on the geographical dispersion of data, it’s up to users’ discretion and local laws.

Interview Questions

What is the AWS global infrastructure?

The AWS global infrastructure is made up of AWS Regions, Availability Zones, Local Zones, and Edge Locations worldwide, with each Region consisting of multiple, isolated Availability Zones.

How can AWS Edge locations improve customer experience?

AWS Edge Locations serve requests for Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53, ensuring low latency delivery no matter where the customer is. They receive requests for content, often already cached at the Edge Location, reducing delivery time.

What is Amazon Route 53?

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service designed to give developers and businesses a reliable and cost-effective way to route end users to Internet applications.

Is data stored in the ‘Availability Zones’ automatically replicated to other zones in the same region?

No, data is not automatically replicated to other zones in the same region. It needs to be configured based on user requirements.

What is AWS CloudFront?

AWS CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) that delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to users globally with low latency and high transfer speeds within an environment that’s easy to use.

What is Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration?

Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration enables fast, easy, and secure transfers of files over long distances between your client and an S3 bucket. This takes advantage of Amazon CloudFront’s globally distributed edge locations.

How does the AWS Shield service contribute to AWS global infrastructure?

AWS Shield is a managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection service that safeguards applications running on AWS. It provides seamless integration with AWS local and global infrastructure for resilient DDoS protection.

How do Amazon Local Zones contribute to AWS global infrastructure?

Amazon Local Zones extend AWS infrastructure closer to the end users in metropolitan areas, providing single-digit millisecond latency, and allowing customers to run low-latency applications closer to their end users.

How does the Amazon DynamoDB global table support distributed computing?

Amazon DynamoDB global tables replicate your tables automatically across your choice of AWS regions. It allows a fully managed, multi-region, and multi-master database that provides fast, local, read and write performance for massively scaled applications.

What is AWS Outposts?

AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, services, tools, and APIs in virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience.

How does AWS Lambda support distributed computing?

AWS Lambda allows running code without provisioning or managing servers. It automatically scales applications by running code in response to triggers such as changes made to data in an S3 bucket or a DynamoDB table, making it easier to build applications that respond quickly to new information.

What is AWS Wavelength?

AWS Wavelength enables developers to build applications that deliver single-digit millisecond latencies to mobile and connected devices. Wavelength deploys standard AWS compute and storage services at the edge of the 5G network, minimizing the latency to connect to an application from a mobile device.

What is an AWS Direct Connect?

AWS Direct Connect is a cloud service solution that establishes a dedicated network connection from a user’s premises to AWS regions, ensuring a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections.

What is the advantage of AWS Snowball in the global infrastructure?

AWS Snowball is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of the AWS Cloud, bypassing the internet to avoid network costs, long transfer times, and security issues.

What is Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)?

Amazon ELB distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, in multiple Availability Zones. This increases the availability of an application, ensuring that only healthy targets receive traffic.

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