What isAmazon Resource Name (ARN)

AWS resources are identified by ARNs which are required for clear specification across all AWS services, including IAM policies, Amazon RDS tags, and API calls.

What are Amazon Resource Names (ARNs)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud platform that offers a plethora of computing services and resources to companies worldwide. These resources include virtual machines, databases, networking tools, and many more. AWS resources are uniquely identified by their Amazon Resource Names (ARNs), which help to specify a particular resource across all of AWS.

Why do AWS Resources need ARNs?

There are several reasons why AWS resources need ARNs. Firstly, ARNs are necessary when a resource needs to be specified clearly across all of AWS platforms. For instance, ARNs are required for Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) tags, and API calls. This identification ensures that the resource is used correctly and as intended.

How do ARNs work in AWS?

AWS uses a standard format for ARNs, which is as follows:


Here is an explanation of each component:

– Partition: AWS uses a partition to logically separate different endpoints. The two endpoints are aws and aws-cn.
– Service: This specifies the AWS service followed by a service-specific string to identify the resource being created.
– Region: This is an optional field that specifies the region in which the resource is located.
– Account ID: This is the AWS account ID that owns the resource.
– Resource: This is a variable name that identifies a specific resource within an account and region.

For example, here is an ARN for an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance in the us-west-2 region:


What are the benefits of using ARNs?

ARNs have several benefits when it comes to managing AWS resources. Firstly, they provide a way to uniquely identify resources across all AWS accounts and regions. This makes it easier to manage resources consistently and efficiently. Secondly, ARNs allow for granular access control, as they can be used in IAM policies to specify which resources a user or group has access to. Finally, ARNs enable effective monitoring and auditing of AWS resources, as they provide a consistent way to track resource usage and changes over time.

The essence of the matter

In The essence of the matter, ARNs are a crucial aspect of managing AWS resources. They provide a standard way to identify resources across all AWS accounts and regions, and enable effective access control, monitoring, and auditing of resources. Whether you are a developer, system administrator, or cloud architect, understanding ARNs is essential for building, deploying, and managing AWS resources effectively.

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