What is AWS EC2

Many companies rely on physical servers when deploying their applications and software. Due to the recent rise of cloud services, many companies manage and deploy their apps using cloud services. Amazon developed AWS EC2 to help developers address the issue. It has got rid of a complex infrastructure that used to mess up with the company's data and setup. The whole process has made the collaboration and teamwork of developer teams easier. Cloud services are for all types of apps. According to Cloudwards, the cloud services market will rise to $397.5 billion, pushing a lot of organizations to deploy cloud services in their infrastructure. The majority of the businesses believe this will help them protect their confidential data from hackers.

What is AWS EC2?

AWS EC2 is a cloud computing service provided by Amazon to help developers build and deploy applications quickly. It uses virtual machines instead of physical servers to deploy the software. 

It's more scalable, reducing companies' need to buy and configure servers and hardware. Using AWS EC2 gives users the chance to use a few resources that meet their budgets and the number of users.

In this article, we will cover the features, the cost of the service, the benefits of AWS EC2, and how to access it.

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What are the Features of Amazon EC2?

Amazon EC2 has the following features:

(i) It uses different instances

 Instances are virtual environments with computing resources like memory, storage, CPU, e.t.c, that help you assign different resources to your projects. The instances are in different categories: Examples are:

  • The general-purpose, e.g., m6g.medium, 4 GiB Memory, one vCPU, 64-bit.
  • Computing optimization, e.g., c6g.medium, 2 GiB Memory, 1 vCPU, 64-bit Arm.
  • Memory optimization, e.g., r6g.medium, 8 GiB Memory, 1 vCPU, 64-bit Arm platform.
  • Accelerated computing, e.g., p3.2xlarge: 1 GPU, 8 vCPUs, 61 GiB memory, 10 Gbps network performance.
  • Storage computing e.g i3.large: 15.25 GiB memory, 2 vCPUs, 1 x 0.475 NVMe SSD, for 64-bit platform
  • Micro instances, e.g., t1.micro.

(ii)It has fewer costs

When using this Amazon feature, you only pay for the software's uses. It gives you more time to work on other projects or new app features without worrying about having more costs.

(iii)It's easy to scale

When you host an app using the AWS EC2, it gives you the chance to set up conditions and policies that govern the infrastructure. It uses machine learning technology to allocate resources according to the project demands. Scaling reduces costs and helps in improving performance.

(iv)It has a higher performance

 Its infrastructure uses different clusters to provide high-performing network ability, making the software have good network operations and low computing network performance. It also has advanced networking that ensures low CPU utilization and increases I/O performances.

(v)It involves the use of an Elastic IP address

It uses firewalls that implement Elastic IP addresses that gives the software owners a chance to run different instances using different technologies like machine learning, modeling, and simulation to enable users to run applications that safely involve a lot of communication. AWS Private Link technology also ensures that all the traffic remains within the AWS network when a customer uses the software.

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vi)It comes with pre-configured templates

 Most of the AWSEC2 comes already configured with operating systems like Windows, Linux distributions, e.g., Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, e.t.c.It also provides a marketplace with free and paid software you can use. It gives developers many options to choose from. It also uses Amazon Machine Images, which makes the configuration of servers faster and easier.

(vii)It provides storage for all workloads

Every workload has its storage requirements. Amazon EC2 has  Amazon Elastic File System and Amazon Elastic Block Store that ensures that workload gets met. They provide consistent storage facilities that match with the instances to ensure it produces scalable and shareable cloud storage.

(viii)It supports the use of multiple locations

It provides locations using Regions and availability zones designed to reduce several system failures. It helps protect your software or app from experiencing failures that may occur due to having your software in one location. Amazon EC2 regions consist of more than one separate availability zone.

ix)It has a good precision time

AWS EC2 has Amazon Time Sync Service that ensures that the available time to access the AWS services is accurate and reliable. It makes sure that the user is doing the right thing.

X)It has instance store volume

It enables the owner of the applications to hide or pause some instances, which you can restart later. It helps you release your applications in several steps after a certain period.

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Pricing options of AWS EC2

There are several pricing options AWS EC2 offers for its customers. Some of the pricing plans depend on the resources used, the type of instanced used, e.t.c.The following are the pricing plans of AWS EC2:

1. Free plan

On the free plan, you have access to over 90 products, and you can have experience on the platform and different services. They offer three types of free trials: for a short period, 12 months, and free plans that don't expire. They also have some free plans for startups.

2. On-demand pricing

They charge according to the computing resources you run either per hour or per second. It's for the clients that don't like upfront payments and need low costs to run their applications. You have the power to increase the computing resources of your project depending on the needs.

It's suitable for users whose applications are in the beta phase to use the platform for testing purposes. Most of the applications in this plan are short-lived and have unpredictable workloads. You can check more of the demand prices categories according to different factors.

3. Spot Instances

They are set by Amazon EC2 and allow users to pay up to 90% on the On-demand pricing and make adjustments according to supply and demands. It works well with urgent users and requires large storage volumes at lower prices. Most of it varies with the region and type of instance. Its pricing changes after every few minutes.

4. Dedicated hosts

AWS EC2 provides you with a personal server to host your application in this plan. You can pay it hourly or 70% based on the On-Demand price. The main benefit is that it cuts costs by allowing you to use your license costs, e.g., Windows and SQL server, without purchasing again. It also ensures that you meet compliance requirements.

Some of the other features in this plan include: support of multiple instances, easy monitoring of resources, provides affinity, and the ability to view all the physical cores and sockets.

5. Saving Plans

Before using this plan, you have to understand how it works. It's a bit tricky but very flexible. You pay it based on the hourly rate, and AWS uses Cost Explorer to calculate the amount of your monthly bill.

It has two categories:

  1. Compute Savings plan that enables users to change the time, region, operating system, family, e.t.c.It has a lot of freedom, and users have to stick to the usage of EC2 and Fargate. 
  2. EC2 Instances Savings Plans force users to use one type of family instance within a particular region. It's difficult for users to change the type of instance. It has lower prices with little flexibility.

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How to Access AWS EC2?

There are several ways users can access the How to Access AWS EC2 platform. The three main ways are:

  • Use of the web interface. You can sign in to your AWS account and access the account under the AWS Management Console.
  • Use the provided AWS Command line on all the operating systems, i.e., Windows, Linux, macOS.
  • Use of AWS Windows Powershell. It gives you commands that work well with AWS products.
Benefits of using AWS EC2

There are several benefits of using AWS EC2 as your cloud platform. Some of the benefits include:

  • It's very reliable.
  • Easy to scale.
  • It's very secure due to the use of firewalls with different protocols.
  • It's very flexible.
  • It is cheap as you only pay for what you use.
  • It requires little knowledge to set it up.
  • It works well with other Amazon web services products like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Linux AMI, e.t.c.
  • It is easy to control. Due to the power to set and delete policies.

Problems that AWS EC2 face

Some tech companies and organizations like Outblaze and Spamhaus started blocking traffic from AWS EC2 due to suspected malware transmission. Some of the big websites like Reddit, Quora, and Hootsuite were among the affected, many people suspected it was a cyberattack, but Amazon denied saying it was a hardware issue.
AWS EC2 has had several outages, e.g., in Ireland, where people suspected it was a power fault. Still, the organization denied it, and people suspected Amazon of having bugs in this software. There have been several outages afterward, but Amazon keeps denying that they aren’t responsible for the issues.

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AWS EC2 is part of the Amazon Web Services, and it has played a significant role in ensuring most businesses use cloud services. It is due to the number of factors we discussed above. Deployment of an application is easier. All you need is to understand how it works. You can check their official documentation for more knowledge.

Related Article:

  1. AWS Elasticsearch
  2. AWS CloudWatch
  3. What is AWS glue?

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.