ELI5: AWS Partitions

A Partition is a group of AWS Region and Service objects. There are currently five partitions:

  1. AWS: all standard commercial regions.
  2. AWS-cn.
    • Codes ZHY and BJS.
    • Has its own different domain, www.amazonaws.cn, and the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) syntax includes a cn. arnawscn
    • Its regions have no direct connectivity with AWS global.
    • You need a legal entity registered in China to open an account.
  3. AWS-us-gov. (GovCloud)
    • Codes OSU and PDT.
    • To serve the needs of federal, state, and local government agencies.
    • Operated by US citizens on US soil.
    • Lacks some services
    • Uses endpoints that are specific to AWS GovCloud and are publicly available from the Internet but are accessible only to AWS GovCloud customers.
  4. AWS-iso: secret government data.
    • Code: DCA
    • Launched in 2017.
    • Can operate workloads up to the Secret U.S. security classification level.
    • It can be used by any government agency.
  5. AWS-iso-b: top secret government data.
    • Code: LCK
    • Launched in 2014.
    • It’s not part of the public internet, but is air-gapped from the internet, providing maximum security.
    • Was built by AWS but is hosted on-premise at the CIA.

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