Amazon EC2 for Dummies — Virtual Servers on the Cloud

Amazon EC2 for Dummies — Virtual Servers on the Cloud

Beginner’s guide to Amazon EC2. Learn about the concepts, features, and major components of the EC2 service. If you are new with cloud computing read my article AWS and Cloud Computing For Dummies to better understand what is cloud computing.

Beginner’s guide to Amazon EC2. Learn about the concepts, features, and major components of the EC2 service.

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Amazon is EC2 is one of the premier services offered by Amazon Web Services. EC2 is among the 3 introductory services that were offered by AWS when launched in 2006 (the other 2 being S3 and SQS). The EC2 service provides users with a secure, configurable, scalable, and resizable computing capacity. Users can provision any number of instances and any type of instances they want and pay only for the time service is used for. If you are new with cloud computing read my articleAWS and Cloud Computing For Dummies to better understand what is cloud computing.

This article will discuss the following:

  • Introduction to Amazon EC2.
  • Components of Amazon EC2.
  • Amazon EC2 Pricing Model.
  • Auto Scaling, Load Balancing, and High Availability.

Introduction to Amazon EC2

Whatever the type of application you want to run it would require some kind of server for that purpose. The choice of what type of server to choose and how many rely on the application that we’ll be running. We may require small or large or many or few depending upon our application needs. Traditionally, selecting a server is a very cumbersome and lengthy process. It requires a lot of research on the type of hardware to choose meeting the application needs, capital requirements, and budget approvals and then finally acquiring and setting up the servers on-site. All this can take up to weeks or even months and once acquired the organization is stuck with the hardware.

Need for EC2

Amazon EC2 or Elastic Compute Cloud eliminates most of these problems that come with physical servers by providing the users with virtual servers or computing capacity that can be acquired quickly and inexpensively at will and disposed of when no longer needed. The EC2 service belongs to the IaaS family of cloud services. The users only pay for what they use and have a huge selection of different types of computing capacity to select from that will meet their application needs.

AWS EC2 Overview

AWS provides a user-friendly management console that can be used to launch these servers or compute instance with a few clicks or the process can be automated via that APIs that AWS provides in the choice of the programming language the user wants. The users simply select the type of instance they want to launch, a template for launching the instance with either Linux or Windows OS, the number of instances they want to launch, and the instances are up and running within minutes with users having full administrative control like any other server.

Amazon EC2 provides a range of instances types to choose from. These can be small instances for low volume applications up to large instances with cluster computing capabilities for high-performance workloads. EC2 also offers a range of flexible pricing options which can be either on-demand, reserved pricing, and biding. EC2 also comes with several security options to prevent any security breaches that include launching instances in VPCs, security groups, ACLs, and IAM users and permissions. To handle abrupt and unpredictable demands, EC2 also offers auto-scaling and load balancing options which can easily handle increased and reduced demands based on different metrics.

Amazon EC2 is one of the most popular and most widely used services of AWS and we’ll talk about more of these above-mentioned features in the coming sections.

cloud-services cloud-computing amazon-web-services aws ec2 cloud

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