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Introduction to Amazon EC2

Introduction to Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Published Nov 28, 2023
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud as Amazon EC2 instances.

General purpose instances balance computing, memory, and networking resources. You can use them for a variety of workloads, such as application servers, gaming servers, backend servers for enterprise applications, and small and medium databases.
Compute optimized instances are ideal for compute-bound applications that benefit from high-performance processors. Like general purpose instances, you can use compute optimized instances for workloads such as web, application, and gaming servers.
Memory optimized instances are designed to deliver fast performance for workloads that process large datasets in memory. In computing, memory is a temporary storage area. It holds all the data and instructions that a central processing unit (CPU) needs to be able to complete actions. Before a computer program or application is able to run, it is loaded from storage into memory. This preloading process gives the CPU direct access to the computer program.
Accelerated computing instances use hardware accelerators, or coprocessors, to perform some functions more efficiently than is possible in software running on CPUs. Examples of these functions include floating-point number calculations, graphics processing, and data pattern matching.
Storage optimized instances are designed for workloads that require high, sequential read and write access to large datasets on local storage. Examples of workloads suitable for storage optimized instances include distributed file systems, data warehousing applications, and high-frequency online transaction processing (OLTP) systems.

You only pay for the computing time you really utilize when using Amazon EC2. There are several price tiers available for Amazon EC2 depending on the use case. For instance, you can save using Spot Instances if your use case is resilient to disruptions. Reserved Instances allow you to lock in a minimum amount of use and save money by requiring early commitment.
On-Demand Instances are ideal for short-term, irregular workloads that cannot be interrupted. No upfront costs or minimum contracts apply. The instances run continuously until you stop them, and you pay for only the compute time you use.
Reserved Instances are a billing discount applied to the use of On-Demand Instances in your account. There are two available types of Reserved Instances
  • Standard Reserved Instances This option is a good fit if you know the EC2 instance type and size you need for your steady-state applications and in which AWS Region you plan to run them
  • Convertible Reserved Instances If you need to run your EC2 instances in different Availability Zones or different instance types, then Convertible Reserved Instances might be right for you.
You can purchase Standard Reserved and Convertible Reserved Instances for a 1-year or 3-year term. You realize greater cost savings with the 3-year option.
EC2 Instance Savings Plans reduce your EC2 instance costs when you make an hourly spend commitment to an instance family and Region for a 1-year or 3-year term. This term commitment results in savings of up to 72 percent compared to On-Demand rates. Any usage up to the commitment is charged at the discounted Savings plan rate (for example, $10 per hour). Any usage beyond the commitment is charged at regular On-Demand rates.
Spot Instances are ideal for workloads with flexible start and end times, or that can withstand interruptions. Spot Instances use unused Amazon EC2 computing capacity and offer you cost savings at up to 90% off of On-Demand prices.
Dedicated Hosts are physical servers with Amazon EC2 instance capacity that are fully dedicated to your use. You can use your existing per-socket, per-core, or per-VM software licenses to help maintain license compliance. You can purchase On-Demand Dedicated Hosts and Dedicated Hosts Reservations. Of all the Amazon EC2 options that were covered, Dedicated Hosts are the most expensive.