Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Amazon EC2 Instance Types

Learn to differentiate between Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types and capabilities.
Now that we’ve learned about EC2 instances and the crucial role they play in AWS, let’s talk about the different types of EC2 instances that are available. Thinking back to our coffee shop analogy, you’ll remember that EC2 instances are like our employees and that they serve client requests. If we want to have a cafe that can serve a lot of customers, then we’re probably going to need multiple employees, right? And they all can’t just be cashiers. We also need someone to make the drinks, someone to handle the food, and maybe someone to do that cool latte art that our customers love so much.
Like any business, there are a variety of tasks that need to be done, and they often require different skillsets. If we want our business to operate as efficiently as possible, it’s important to make sure that an employee’s skillset suits their role. In the same way that our coffee shop has different kinds of employees, AWS has different types of EC2 instances that you can spin up and deploy into your AWS environment. Each instance type is grouped under an instance family and are optimized for certain types of tasks. Instance types offer varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity, and give you the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources for your applications.
The different instance families in EC2 are general purpose, compute optimized, memory optimized, accelerated computing, and storage optimized. General purpose instances provide a good balance of compute, memory, and networking resources, and can be used for a variety of diverse workloads like web service or code repositories. Compute optimized instances are ideal for compute-intensive tasks like gaming servers, high performance computing or HPC, and even scientific modeling. Similarly, memory optimized instances are good for memory-intensive tasks. Accelerated computing are good for floating point number calculations, graphics processing, or data pattern matching, as they use hardware accelerators. And finally, storage optimized are good for, can you guess it? Workloads that require high performance for locally stored data.
Now, if we map this back to our coffee shop, our cashier becomes a memory optimized EC2 instance, baristas become compute optimized instances, and our latte art employee is an accelerated computing instance type. And there you have it, EC2 instance types.
This article is from the free online

AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials: Jumpstart your journey within the AWS Cloud

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now