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Amazon EC2 Instances

Published On: December 8, 2023

What exactly is an Amazon EC2 instance?

An Amazon EC2 instance is a virtual server running on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and used to run programs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) architecture. AWS is a thorough, constantly-evolving cloud computing platform, and EC2 is a service that lets corporate subscribers run application programs in the computing environment. It can run an almost infinite number of virtual machines (VMs).

To meet customer needs, Amazon offers a range of instance types with varied configurations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources. To meet different workload requirements, each kind is offered in a range of sizes. To deepen your understanding, explore AWS Training in Chennai.

Types of EC2 Instances 

There are numerous EC2 instance types available from AWS, each of which has been optimized for particular use cases and workloads. For your application to run smoothly and cost-effectively, selecting the appropriate instance type is crucial.

The following are some of the most popular EC2 instance types:

General Purpose Instances: General purpose instances can be used for a variety of workloads such as web servers, simple databases, and development environments. They are available in a range of sizes and provide a balance of computing, memory, and network capabilities. The M5 and T3 instances are the most widely used general purpose instances.

Compute Optimized Instances: Compute optimized instances are made for workloads that demand a lot of processing power, like batch processing, scientific modeling, and high-performance computing. They are designed for tasks that need heavy computation and have a high CPU-to-memory ratio. The C5 and C4 instances are the ones that are most frequently used for compute optimization.

Memory Optimized Instances: Memory optimized instances are made for applications that need a lot of memory, like in-memory databases, real-time big-data processing, and high-performance computing. They are designed for tasks that require a lot of memory and have a high memory-to-CPU ratio. The R5 and X1 instances are the two that are most frequently used for memory optimization.

Storage Optimised Instances: Storage optimized instances are made for applications like large data processing, data warehousing, and log processing that need a lot of storage and a lot of disk throughput. They are designed for workloads that require a lot of storage and have great I/O performance. The I3 and D2 instances are the most often used storage-optimized instances.

GPU Instances: GPU instances are intended for tasks that demand high-performance graphics processing, such as machine learning, scientific modeling, and rendering. They are designed for GPU-intensive workloads and provide access to powerful GPUs. The P3 and G4 instances are the ones that are most frequently used with GPUs.

FPGA Instances: For applications requiring high-performance hardware acceleration, such as genomics, financial analysis, and machine learning, FPGA instances are created. They are prepared for FPGA-intensive tasks and provide access to programmable FPGAs. The F1 instances are the most often used FPGA instances.

Each instance type is available in different sizes, offering varying CPU, memory, storage, and network resources. For assistance in choosing the right resources, AWS provides a detailed overview, including specifications and pricing. Explore the benefits of AWS Training in Chennai to advance your IT career.

Features of Amazon EC2

The features offered by Amazon EC2 include:

  • Virtual computing environments, also referred to as instances
  • Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), which are pre-configured templates for your instances and contain the necessary server components (such as the operating system and additional software),
  • Various CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity configurations for your instances, referred to as instance types
  • Protect login data for your instances using key pairs (AWS holds the public key, while you keep the secret key in a secure location).
  • Instance store volumes, which serve as storage for temporary data that is removed when an instance is stopped, hibernated, or terminated.
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes, or persistent storage volumes for your data
  • The availability of multiple physical locations for your resources, including as instances and Amazon EBS volumes, known as regions and availability zones.
  • A firewall with security groups that let you define the protocols, ports, and source IP ranges that can access your instances
  • Static IPv4 addresses, also referred to as Elastic IP addresses, for dynamic cloud computing
  • The ability to generate and assign tags, or metadata, to your Amazon EC2 resources.
  • Virtual private clouds (VPCs), which you can build, let you create virtual networks that are logically separate from the rest of the AWS Cloud and that you can optionally link to your own network.

EC2 Instance Sizes

Each EC2 instance size offers a unique combination of computing, memory, and storage resources. The workload you are using and the resources your application needs will determine the size of the instance you choose. The number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and the amount of memory available are used to determine an instance’s size.

For instance, the t2.micro instance has one virtual CPU and one gigabyte of memory, whereas the c5.24 xlarge instance has 96 virtual CPUs and 192 gigabytes of memory. To prevent resource over- or under-provisioning, it’s critical to pick the appropriate size for your application.

Pricing for EC2 Instances

The cost of an EC2 instance is determined by the resources it uses, including CPU, memory, and storage. It is possible for consumers to only pay for the resources they actually use because of the flexible pricing structure. An EC2 instance’s price will vary depending on its size, region, and instance type.

For EC2 instances, various price options are available, including On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. While Reserved Instances and Spot Instances can provide significant cost savings for long-term and short-term workloads, respectively, On-Demand instances can be the most flexible but are also the most expensive.

Managing EC2 Instances

Launching, terminating, and maintaining security groups are just a few of the responsibilities involved in managing EC2 instances. Monitoring instance performance is another. AWS offers a number of management tools for EC2 instances, including the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, and AWS SDKs.

Users can launch new instances, attach storage, and manage security groups for their EC2 instances using the web-based AWS Management Console. With the help of the AWS SDKs, programmers may incorporate EC2 instance management into their applications. The AWS CLI is a command-line interface that offers a collection of instructions for controlling EC2 instances.

Auto Scaling

Auto Scaling is a feature of AWS that allows users to automatically scale their EC2 instances up or down based on demand. Auto Scaling helps ensure that the right number of instances are running at all times to meet the needs of the application while minimizing costs.

Auto Scaling works by monitoring the workload of an application and automatically launching new instances or terminating existing ones based on predefined policies. These policies can be based on metrics such as CPU usage, network traffic, or custom metrics defined by the user.

Auto Scaling also allows users to define minimum and maximum limits for the number of instances, ensuring that the application can handle sudden spikes in traffic while avoiding unnecessary costs during periods of low demand.

Load Balancing

Load balancing is another important feature of AWS that allows users to distribute traffic across multiple EC2 instances. Load balancing helps improve the availability and scalability of applications by ensuring that traffic is routed to healthy instances and by automatically scaling up or down the number of instances based on demand.

AWS provides two types of load balancers: Application Load Balancers (ALBs) and Network Load Balancers (NLBs). ALBs are designed for HTTP/HTTPS traffic and can route traffic based on rules defined by the user, such as path-based routing or host-based routing. NLBs are designed for TCP/UDP traffic and can handle millions of requests per second, making them ideal for high-performance applications such as gaming or streaming.

Security and Compliance

AWS provides a range of security and compliance features to help users protect their EC2 instances and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. These features include:

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): VPC allows users to create a private network within the AWS cloud and isolate their EC2 instances from other networks.
  • Security Groups: Security Groups are virtual firewalls that control inbound and outbound traffic to EC2 instances based on user-defined rules.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): IAM allows users to manage access to their AWS resources by creating and managing users, groups, and roles.
  • Encryption: AWS provides several encryption options for EC2 instances, including encryption of EBS volumes, encryption of data in transit, and encryption of data at rest.
  • Compliance: AWS offers a range of compliance certifications and accreditations, including PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOC 1, SOC 2, and ISO 27001.


AWS EC2 instances provide a powerful and flexible platform for running applications, websites, and databases in the cloud. With a range of instance types, sizes, and pricing models, users can easily choose the right resources for their application while minimizing costs.

Auto Scaling and Load Balancing features help ensure the availability and scalability of applications, while security and compliance features help protect sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance.

Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, AWS EC2 instances provide a potent and cost-effective solution for running applications in the cloud. For comprehensive knowledge, explore Cloud Computing training in Chennai.

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