Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a leading infrastructure cloud service that offers scalable compute capacity in the cloud. It allows clients to rent powerful virtual computers and run their own applications. EC2 is a central part of Amazon.com's cloud computing platform that works with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Store (EBS) for a data storage infrastructure, Amazon Elastic MapReduce for data processing, and Amazon CloudFront for content distribution.

Amazon EC2’s provides a simple web service interface for scalable deployment of applications. Developers can have full root access to their computing resources and use reliable Amazon’s computing environment. With the EC2 less time is required to obtain and boot new server instances. As a result capacity can be quickly obtained, configured, and scaled according to changes in computing requirements.

To use the EC2, a user has to boot an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and create a virtual machine called “instance”. It contains the operating system, application programs, configuration settings, and any other desired software. The AMI is uploaded to the Amazon S3 and registered with Amazon EC2. Then user can create, launch, and terminate server instances as needed. The term "elastic" means that billing is counted per instance-hour (time instances are in a “running” state) consumed for each instance type. Amazon

EC2 features and benefits

One of the main advantages of the EC2 is its Elastic Load Balancing. It automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple instances. With this feature EC2 can find unhealthy instances and seamlessly reroute traffic to healthy instances until the unhealthy ones are restored. Load balancing capacity acts automatically in response to incoming application traffic. To make application performance even more consistent Elastic Load Balancing can be enabled not within only one Availability Zone, but across multiple zones.

Another important and complementary feature is Auto Scaling. Amazon EC2 capacity will be scaled up or down automatically according to conditions defined by client. The schedule-based (e.g. time-of-the-day) and rule-based (e.g. CPU utilization thresholds) mechanisms are efficient and easy to use. To provide the best performance at the lowest costs Auto Scaling coordinates the number of Amazon EC2 instances in use automatically in times of traffic demand spikes or lulls.

Persistent storage for the EC2 is ensured with Simple Storage Service (S3). Data in this storage system is accessible to EC2 instances. In fact, by applying Amazon S3, clients will receive access to the same highly scalable, quick, and reliable data storage infrastructure that Amazon itself uses to run its global network of websites. And what recommendation can be better than that.

Amazon EC2 supports elastic IP address feature. It is similar to static IP address in traditional data centers, but they can be programmatically mapped to any virtual machine instance. Mapping does not require assistance from a network admin or waiting for DNS to propagate the new binding. Elastic IP Address belongs to the account and not to an instance, so it remains associated with this account even when it is not associated with any virtual machine instance.

With Amazon EC2 users can get robust and feature rich, failure resilient, high performance environment for their business needs. Features like automated scaling, flexibility, elastic IP addresses and access to seemingly endless range of AWS services make it the most powerful cloud based infrastructure option on the market. For more information visit aws.amazon.com/ec2.

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