Target Groups with ALB

Learn about target groups and how to use them with ALB.

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Target groups

Target groups are a logical grouping of targets (EC2 instances or ECS). Targets are the endpoints and can be EC2 instances, ECS containers, or IP addresses. Target groups can exist independently from the ALB.

  • Target groups can have up to 1000 targets.
  • A single target can be in multiple target groups.
  • Only one protocol and one port can be defined per target group.
  • The target type in a target group can be an EC2 instance ID, IP address (must be a valid private IP from an existing subnet), or AWS Lambda Function (ALB only).
  • Target groups are used for registering instances against an ALB or NLB.
  • ALB can route to multiple target groups.
  • Target groups are a regional construct.
  • Health checks are defined per target group.


  • You cannot use public IP addresses as targets.
  • You cannot use instance IDs and IP address targets within the same target group.
  • A target group can only be associated with one load balancer.

The diagram given below illustrates the basic components. Notice that each listener contains a default rule, and one listener contains another rule that routes requests to a different target group. One target is registered with two target groups.

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