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June 3, 2019 By Sumo Logic

What Is AWS EC2?

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), one of Amazon Web Services’ most well-known services, offers businesses the ability to run applications on the public cloud. 

[Learn More: EC2 Monitoring]

What's the difference between EC2 and other Amazon AWS Offerings?

Amazon has a number of product offerings. Here we'll quickly describe the differences between EC2 and other AWS products like  S3 and ECS.

Difference between EC2 and S3

Where EC2 is like a remote computer running Windows or Linux, S3 is simply a storage service for storing large binary files.

Difference between EC2 and ECS

AWS EC2 lets you launch several individual instances, whereas ECS is a container service similar to Docker. ECS allows you to launch container applications. 

Is EC2 a Virtual Machine?

Developers can create instances of virtual machines and easily configure the capacity scaling of instances using the EC2 web interface.

What is the Use of AWS EC2?

EC2 also allows users to build apps to automate scaling according to changing needs and peak periods, and makes it simple to deploy virtual servers and manage storage, lessening the need to invest in hardware and helping streamline development processes.

How is EC2 Billed? 

EC2 pricing is based on the hours and size of an instance, region, and operating system.  

How Do You Setup AWS EC2?

EC2 setup involves creating an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), which includes an operating system, apps, and configurations. That AMI is loaded to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), and it’s registered with EC2, at which point users can launch virtual machines as needed.

Amazon offers different instance types of EC2 for different requirements and budgets, including hourly, reserved, and spot rates.

Amazon EC2 Features

A number of benefits and features draw developers to EC2 for cloud computing. Chief among these are:

Responsiveness to changing capacity requirements: The easy scaling of EC2 eliminates development obstacles that occur when applications require more resources.

Flexibility in configurations: Users can choose memory size, CPU, and boot partition size optimized for the OS they choose.

  • Integration: EC2 can integrate with other AWS services, such as RDS, SimpleDB, and SQS.

  • Precise control: Users get administrative access to their instances, can stop and start instances while retaining boot partition data, and can access console output for the instance.

  • Security: Users can control which instances remain private and which have internet exposure. EC2 leverages Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for security, and businesses can connect their secure IT infrastructure to resources in VPC.

  • Cost: Among a number of pricing options, EC2 offers affordable hourly rates.


What is an EC2 instance?

An EC2 instance is simply a virtual server in Amazon Web Services terminology. With an EC2 instance, AWS subscribers can request and provision a computer server within the AWS cloud. 

What does EC2 stand for?

EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud. 

How are CPU Credits Used in EC2 T2 instances?

CPU credits are a form of currency that allow T2 instances to expand CPU performance beyond the standard baseline of EC2. T2 instances earn CPU credits every hour and they equal one full minute of full CPU core. Once your T2 instance runs out of CPU credits, it’s performance will be reduced to the limited baseline. 

How Does EC2 Autoscaling Work?

AWS provides an Auto Scaling service designed to provide automatic scalability for their various services, including EC2. Auto scaling ensures that you have enough EC2 instances to run applications, and prior to running a service, you designate auto scaling groups. These groups can have a minimum or maximum number of EC2 instances that kick in automatically if there is an error or failure in an instance.  

How Many EC2 Instances Can You Have per Region?

AWS has a limit of 20 instances per region. 

How Much Does a Stopped EC2 Instance Cost?

Stopped EC2 instances do not incur any charges. However, you will be charged for Elastic IP addresses, EBS volume, or S3 storage that’s used. You’ll want to pause or delete these services to mitigate any extra charges.

How to Access EC2 Instance?

Connecting to your AWS EC2 console is very straightforward. You’ll want to:

  1. Begin by opening your Amazon EC2 console

  2. Choose your instance that you want to connect to

  3. Click “Connect”

How to Add EBS Volume to EC2 Instance?

Adding EBS volume to your EC2 instance is done in 4 steps.

  1. In EC2, select Volumes

  2. Choose your preferred size and type

  3. Select your newly created volume, and right click to attach the volume

  4. Select the EC2 instance from the menu

What are the AWS EC2 Instance Sizes

  • A1: a1.medium| a1.large | a1.xlarge | a1.2xlarge | a1.4xlarge | 1.metal

  • C4: c4.large | c4.xlarge | c4.2xlarge | c4.4xlarge | c4.8xlarge

  • C5: c5.large | c4.xlarge | c4.2xlarge | c5.4xlarge | c5.9xlarge | c5.12xlarge | c5.18xlarge | c5.24xlarge | c5.metal

  • C5a: c5a.large | c5a.xlarge | c5a.2xlarge | c5a.4xlarge | c5a.8xlarge | c5a.12xlarge | c5a.16xlarge | c5a.24xlarge

  • C5d: c5d.large | c5d.xlarge | c5d.2xlarge | c5d.4xlarge | c5d.9xlarge | c5d.12xlarge | c5d.18xlarge | c5d.24xlarge | c5d.metal

  • C5n: c5n.large | c5n.xlarge | c5n.2xlarge | c5n.4xlarge | c5n9xlarge | c5n.18xlarge | c5n.metal

  • C6g: c6g.medium | c6g.large | c6g.xlarge | c6g.2xlarge | c6g.4xlarge | c6g.8xlarge | c6g.12xlarge | c6g.16xlarge | c6g.metal

  • D2: d2.xlarge | d2.2xlarge | d2.4xlarge |d2.8xlarge

Are EC2 Instances Resizable?

You can resize instances in Amazon EC2 if the new instance types are compatible by:

  • Virtualization type - Linux AMIs are either paravirutal (PV) or hardware virtual machines (HVM). You cannot resize an instance that was launched as a PV to an instance of HVM. 

  • Architecture - New instances types can only be launched to the same processor architecture. For example, 32-bit AMIs can only be resized to other 32-bit instances.

  • Network - You cannot resize to an EC2-Classic from newer instance types. Newer instance types must be launched in a VPC.

  • Enhanced networking - Enhanced networking requires necessary drivers, and you cannot resize to an instance that does not support them.

  • NVMe - To resize to instances that use NVMe, you must first install the NVMe drivers on your existing instance.

AWS EC2 Benefits

EC2 has a number of benefits. One of the main benefits of AWS EC2 is its elastic load balancing. This automatically distributes incoming application traffic across several instances, while also identifying unhealthy instances and rerouting traffic to the healthy versions until restored. 

Additional benefits include:

  • EC2 reduces the time to boot new servers

  • Scaling capacity based on changes to computing requirements

  • Complete control of servers

  • Flexibility with operating systems

  • Built-in security 

Managing EC2 Clusters With ECS

The EC2 Container Service (ECS) uses EC2 instances for a quick and easy way to set up and scale a container cluster. This removes the headaches involved with having to manage an internal cluster management infrastructure, and it makes it simple-to-establish containers as the foundation of an application.

Like EC2, the ECS service is easy to scale, so it can readily adapt to an application’s changing capacity needs. It allows for scheduling of ongoing batch processes, services, and applications, and it offers integration—both with other AWS products and external programs—through its API. Interested in learning more about AWS services? Click here to learn more about AWS Monitoring.

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