Introduction to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Blog > Introduction to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is a web service that aims to make life easier for business organizations by powering secure and resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is very easy to scale up or scale down our infrastructure based on demand. Amazon elastic compute cloud (EC2) is an elastic virtual server running inside the AWS cloud. AWS also helps construct and operate the data centers to put all the equipment in those data centers that users need to connect and access. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud EC2 is one of the most popular AWS offerings.

EC2 mainly consists of the capability of the following functionalities, such as:

  • Renting virtual machines (EC2)
  • Storing data on virtual drives (EBS)
  • Distributing load across machines (ELB)
  • Scaling the service using an auto-scaling group (ASG)

What makes Amazon EC2 different?

What makes Amazon EC2 different is that users use only the capacity that they need. Amazon EC2 eliminates the user’s need to make large and expensive hardware purchases, reduces the need to forecast traffic, and enables users to immediately deal with changes in requirements or spikes in popularity related to users’ applications or services.

EC2 Instances Overview

Instances have five characteristics advertised on the website:

  • The RAM (Type, amount, generation)
  • The CPU (Type, make, frequency, generation, number of cores)
  • The I/O (Disk performance, EBS optimization)
  • The Network (Network bandwidth, network latency)
  • The Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

EC2, the elastic compute cloud, makes it easy to access the following services such as:

  • Elastic Server Capacity
  • Instance Choice
    • CPU
    • Memory
    • Storage
  • Deployment Operations
  • OS: Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)
  • Applications

Amazon EC2 Instance Families

General Purpose: M1, M2, T2

Compute Optimized: C1, CC2, C3, C4

Memory-Optimized: M2. CR1, R3

Dense Storage: HS1, D2

I/O Optimized: HI1, I2

GPU: CG1, G2

Micro: T1, T2

EC2 Performance Factors: Networks

AWS Proprietary, 10Gb Networking

  • Highest performance in 8x large instance sizes
  • Full bi-section bandwidth in placement groups
  • No network oversubscription

Enhance Networking

  • Available on D2, C3, C4, R3, I2 (in VPC with HVM)
  • Over 1M PPS performance, reduced instance-to-instance-latencies, more consistent performance

EC2 Performance Factors: Storage

  • Locally attached or “Instance storage.”
  • Amazon EBS General Purpose (SSD) volumes
  • EBS Provisioned IOPS (SSD) volumes
  • Amazon EBS Magnetic volumes
  • Amazon S3/Amazon Glacier

Benefits of Amazon EC2

  • Elasticity
  • Reliability
  • Completely Controlled
  • Flexibility
  • Breadth of Functionality
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Scalability
  • Storage

Elasticity: EC2 gives the ability to add and remove instances to work on the applications’ demand elasticity to save money. It helps to handle cyclical and unexpected demands.

Scaling Automatically

Amazon EC2 provides automatic scaling. It provides services that can add servers automatically to a group to support the increased load. Users can monitor CPU across the fleet, and its CPU levels across the fleet raised above 80%; the user can add another EC2 instance.

Completely Controlled

  • User has the control of the instance
  • Log on as root (Linux) / Administrator (Windows)
  • Install the software according to the business needs
  • Start / Stop and control via console or APIs
  • Make the configuration changes
  • Create an AMI (Amazon Machine Image)


Customers also like the flexibility to run any application on the hardware configuration operating system they desire. With EC2 flexibility, users can choose which operating system they want to use, for example, Linux or Windows. It allows choosing instance type for CPU, Ram, or disk combination. Users can also stop an idle instance, add storage required in terms of volume and performance.


Elastic Compute Cloud provides high-security premises, secure access, built-in-firewalls in the form of security groups, and unique users. The Amazon EC2 also offers multi-factor authentication, private subnets, encrypted data storage, and direct connect service.

AWS Global Infrastructure

  • Over 1 million active customers across 190 countries
  • 1500+ government agencies
  • 3,600+ educational institutions
  • 11, 200+ Nonprofits
  • 11 Regions
  • 28 availability
  • 59 Edge locations

Author: SVCIT Editorial
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