Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. EC2 is a pay-as-you-go cloud service which allows organizations to overcome the hardware and installation costs required for computation in a large number of applications.
EC2 allows you to handle changing requirements, reducing your need for provisioning of both hardware and software resources. Plus, you can configure security and networking, manage storage demands on a as-needed-basis.
It serves as a virtual machine in the cloud, which has a mirror image of your applications operating system, application programs and configuration settings.
Once the Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is created, it is then uploaded to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and registered with Amazon EC2, creating a unique AMI identifier (AMI ID).
The subscriber can then request for virtual machines on an as-needed basis. The capacity can be scaled in real time from one to more than 1000 virtual machines simultaneously. You pay for only the computing and network resources consumed.
Accessing Amazon EC2
A user friendly web interface is available for users to access the EC2 console. This is available through the AWS management console. You can also access it through the Command Line Interface (CLI).
In the AWS cloud environment, every virtual machine/server is considered as an EC2 Instance. You can use EC2 to launch as many virtual servers as you need. Various configurations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity for your instances are known as instance types.
Each EC2 instance can be used for creating, launching and terminating various AWS services, as needed. The user is billed only for the active servers, hence the name “elastic”.
How it helps your Business
- Support for multiple Operating systems like Linux and Windows without paying for any additional license fees. However, they must work in tandem with the AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
- Security is vital as all your computation is done in the cloud. Each EC2 instances is run in the AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), where you control the security. You specify the access control permissions based on which the instances will communicate with other instances in other groups.
- Automatic scaling depending on the site traffic allows the EC2 to adapt the computing power accordingly.
- Inexpensive as you pay only for the computing and network resources that you use.
- Designed for use with multiple Amazon web services such as Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), to compute a wide range of applications which require fast querying, processing and storage.
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