What is AWS ARN

AWS ARN (Amazon Resource Names) is essential for effective resource management and access control. AWS ARN serves as a unique identifier for AWS resources, enabling granular control and precise targeting of resources within the AWS ecosystem. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what AWS ARN is, its significance, common use cases, best practices, and how organizations can leverage its capabilities to optimize their AWS infrastructure.

Understanding AWS ARN

AWS ARN, or Amazon Resource Name, is a unique identifier assigned to each AWS resource within the AWS ecosystem. It follows a specific format and provides a standardized way to reference and access AWS resources across different AWS services and accounts. ARNs consist of various components that convey information about the resource type, region, AWS account, and resource name.

Key Components of AWS ARN:

  1. ARN Prefix: Identifies the AWS partition (e.g., “arn:aws” for commercial AWS, “arn:aws-cn” for AWS China, etc.).
  2. Service Name: Indicates the AWS service to which the resource belongs (e.g., “s3” for Amazon S3, “ec2” for Amazon EC2, etc.).
  3. Region: Specifies the AWS region in which the resource is located (e.g., “us-west-1” for US West (N. California), “ap-southeast-2” for Asia Pacific (Sydney), etc.).
  4. AWS Account ID: Unique identifier for the AWS account that owns the resource.
  5. Resource Type and Identifier: Identifies the specific resource within the AWS service (e.g., bucket name for S3, instance ID for EC2, etc.).

Uses of AWS ARN

  1. Identity and Access Management (IAM): ARNs are commonly used in IAM policies to grant or restrict access to AWS resources based on specific conditions, such as resource type, region, or account ownership.
  2. Resource Tagging and Management: ARNs facilitate resource tagging and management by providing a consistent and unique identifier for each resource, enabling organizations to track and manage resources more effectively.
  3. Cross-Region and Cross-Account Access: ARNs enable cross-region and cross-account access to AWS resources, allowing organizations to share resources securely across different regions or AWS accounts.
  4. AWS Services Integration: Various AWS services, such as AWS Lambda, Amazon S3, and Amazon SQS, utilize ARNs for resource configuration, event notifications, and cross-service interactions.

How to Use AWS ARN

Step 1: Identify the Resource

  • Determine the AWS resource for which you need the ARN, such as an EC2 instance, S3 bucket, or IAM role.

Step 2: Construct the ARN

  • Use the appropriate ARN format for the AWS service and region in which the resource is located, incorporating the AWS account ID and resource identifier.

Step 3: Use in IAM Policies or Service Configurations

  • Use the ARN in IAM policies, AWS service configurations, or API requests to reference and access the AWS resource securely.

Step 4: Validate and Test

  • Validate the ARN syntax and test its functionality to ensure proper resource access and permissions.

Best Practices for AWS ARN

  1. Follow Consistent Naming Conventions: Adopt consistent naming conventions for AWS resources to ensure clarity and consistency in ARN identification and management.
  2. Grant Least Privilege Access: Use ARNs in IAM policies to grant least privilege access, limiting access to only the resources and actions necessary for each user or role.
  3. Regularly Review and Audit ARNs: Periodically review and audit ARNs to ensure they align with organizational policies, security requirements, and resource usage patterns.
  4. Leverage Resource Tagging: Use resource tagging to categorize and organize AWS resources, facilitating ARN management and resource tracking.

How to get role arn in aws

To retrieve the ARN (Amazon Resource Name) of an IAM role in AWS, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console: Log in to your AWS account using your credentials.
  2. Navigate to the IAM Console: Go to the IAM service dashboard by clicking on “Services” in the top navigation bar and selecting “IAM” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the IAM Role: In the IAM dashboard, click on “Roles” from the navigation pane on the left side of the screen.
  4. Find the Desired Role: Locate the IAM role for which you want to retrieve the ARN from the list of roles displayed on the page.
  5. View Role Details: Click on the name of the role to view its details and configuration.
  6. Copy the Role ARN: In the role details page, you will find the ARN of the IAM role listed under the “ARN” (Amazon Resource Name) field. Simply copy the ARN to use it as needed.

By following these steps, you can easily retrieve the ARN of an IAM role in AWS for use in various AWS services, such as IAM policies, resource permissions, or AWS CloudFormation templates.

FAQs Related to AWS ARN

Q: Can ARNs be reused or modified?

A: No, ARNs are unique identifiers assigned to specific AWS resources and cannot be reused or modified once assigned.

Q: Are ARNs region-specific?

A: Yes, ARNs include the AWS region in which the resource is located, making them region-specific identifiers.

Q: Can I access resources in another AWS account using ARNs?

A: Yes, ARNs enable cross-account access, allowing you to reference and access resources in other AWS accounts securely.

Q: What happens if I delete a resource?

A: If a resource is deleted, its corresponding ARN becomes invalid, and any references or permissions associated with the ARN are revoked.


AWS ARN plays a critical role in identifying and accessing AWS resources securely within the AWS ecosystem. By understanding the structure and significance of ARNs, organizations can effectively manage and control access to their AWS resources, enforce security policies, and optimize resource utilization. Embrace AWS ARN as a fundamental component of your AWS infrastructure and unlock new possibilities for resource management, security, and governance in the cloud.

For further exploration of AWS ARN and its uses, check out the following resources:

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