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Things you should know about Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
amazon elastic ec2 cloud



Things you should know about Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for the capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate them from common failure scenarios. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

Amazon EC2 offers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate themselves from common failure scenarios. When designing a system, a good practice is to assume things will fail. In this way, you will always develop, implement and deploy with automatic recovery and restore strategy. With Amazon EC2, you can provision multiple instances at once, so that even if one of them goes down, the system will still be up and running.

EC2 is a computer-based service. It is not serverless. You are physically connecting to a virtual server. Always design for failure and provision at least one EC2 instance in each availability zone to avoid a system failure in case if anyone’s instance goes down.

EC2 Instance Types

Amazon EC2 offers an extensive variety of instance types optimized for different use cases. Instance types consist of varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity with one or more instance sizes giving you the flexibility to select computational resources according to the requirements of your target workload.

amazon elastic compute cloud

Figure: Amazon EC2 Instance Types

The instance type is the virtual hardware, which is supporting an Amazon EC2 instance. The classification of these instance types is as below:

  • Virtual CPUs (vCPUs)
  • Memory
  • Storage (size and type)
  • Network performance

Instance families are a collection of EC2 instances that are grouped according to the ratio of memory, network performance, CPU size, and storage values to each other. For example, the m4 family of EC2 provides a balanced combination of computing, memory, and network resources. Different instance type families are designed to accommodate different types of workloads, but they all have the same linear scale-up behavior within the family.

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Type Description


General Purpose To provide a balance of computing, memory, and networking resources for a variety of workloads


Compute Optimized For workloads requiring significant processing


Memory Optimized For memory-intensive workloads


Storage Optimized


GPU-based Instances

For workloads requiring high amounts of storage. Intended for graphics and general-purpose GPU compute workloads
t1 Micro

To provide a small number of consistent CPU resources

Table: EC2 Instance Families

On customer demand and need, AWS occasionally introduces new instance families. You can check the list of the latest instance families in AWS documentation.

Amazon EC2 provides the following features:

  1. Virtual computing environments, known as instances
  2. Preconfigured templates for your instances, known as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), that package the bits you need for your server (including the operating system and additional software)
  3. Various configurations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity for your instances, known as instance types
  4. Secure login information for your instances using key pairs(AWS stores the public key, and you store the private key in a secure place)
  5. Storage volumes for temporary data that are deleted when you stop or terminate your instance, known as instance store volumes
  6. Persistent storage volumes for your data using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), known as Amazon EBS volumes
  7. Multiple physical locations for your resources, such as instances and Amazon EBS volumes, known as regions and Availability Zones
  8. A firewall that enables you to specify the protocols, ports, and source IP ranges that can reach your instances using security groups
  9. Static IPv4 addresses for dynamic cloud computing, known as Elastic IP addresses
  10. Metadata, known as tags, that you can create and assign to your Amazon EC2 resources
  11. Virtual networks you can create that are logically isolated from the rest of the AWS cloud and that you can optionally connect to your own network, known as virtual private clouds(VPCs)


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using Amazon EC2 eliminates your need to invest in hardware upfront, so you can develop and deploy applications faster. You can use Amazon EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need, configure security and networking, and manage storage. Amazon EC2 enables you to scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity, reducing your need to forecast traffic.


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