Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Back to Basics - Part 2 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud aka EC2

As we have recently started another Back to Basics Series for AWS related blog posts, this is our second blog post dedicated toward the series. In our first blog post Back to Basics - Part 1 An Introduction to Amazon Web Services we had a quick overview about AWS and also talked about the various associate and professional level certifications available, dedicated this article to talk about Amazon EC2.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Is one of the most widely used web service which provides us resizable compute capacity and helps us to reduces the overall time which is required to obtain and boot new Amazon EC2 instance to minutes.Security is not a problem because we can make use of security groups and network access lists to control the incoming/outgoing connections of our instances.

When launching an EC2 Instance the initial software that run's on it is known as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) which includes operating system, application or system software. While working with AMI there are various options available to us to choose from including the one which is Published by AWS with different versions of operating system (Windows and Linux), The AWS Marketplace an online store where we can find the desired software from different vendors which will be running on our EC2 instance, we can also generate an Amazon Machine Image from an existing instance last but not the least we can also make us of AWS Import/Export Service and can create images which could be VMDK, VHD or OVA. 

When it comes to buying an EC2 Instance there are various options available to choose from depending upon the load/traffic/requirements.

On Demand Instance let us pay for compute capacity on an hourly basis and we can increase or decrease compute capacity depending on the demands of our application and can considered as one good option when we are planning to run our application for the very first time on AWS.

Reserved Instances will gives us the assurance of the instances which will always be available for us in the availability zone, including a discounted price as compared to the On demand Instance. When choosing our reserved instance we have three different options to choose from i.e All Upfront - Where we are paying for the entire reservation upfront, Partial Upfront - Paying small charges upfront and remaining as monthly instalments and the last option is No Upfront - Nothing to be paid in advance rather in monthly instalments.


Spot Instances allows us to specify the maximum hourly price which we are willing to pay to run a particular instance type. Amazon EC2 sets a Spot Price for each instance type in each Availability Zone, which is the price all customers will pay to run a Spot instance for that given period. One of the use case for spot instance could be the workloads which are not time critical wherein we can specify the price we are willing to pay and when our bid price is above the current spot price will receive the requested instance.

Dedicated Hosts as the name suggest is the EC2 Server with the overall capacity to be utilized by us and helping us reduce costs by using our existing server-bound software licenses, including Windows Server, SQL Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (subject to your license terms), and can also meet compliance requirements.

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