Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Web Services LLC

Amazon EC2 is a platform that is offered by Amazon Web Services LLC (a division of Corp.) direct to customers with AWS's complete hosting infrastructure. The platform is also sold by other companies as part of an IaaS package using their own infrastructure and support services.

The EC2 platform is a virtual computing environment for running custom applications or images of your own pre-existing apps. EC2 provides a web interface with pre-configured, templated image to quickly build new apps. To port existing apps to EC2, you use an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to contain your applications, libraries, data, and associated configuration settings. It supports multiple operating systems (including Windows and various Linux builds) and leading SQL databases (Oracle 11g, DB2, Informix, MySQL and MS SQL Server 2005).

AWS sells EC2 on a pay-as-you-go basis and has optional premium plans that are designed to configure new instances.

EC2's web interface provides a variety of configuration options, such as a choice of running your applications in multiple locations, using static IP endpoints, or attaching persistent block storage to your instances. It is also tied in with several other Amazon services:

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS): persistent storage for EC2 instances that are isolated from the application. EBS volumes are highly available, highly reliable volumes that can be leveraged as an Amazon EC2 instance’s boot partition or attached to a running Amazon EC2 instance as a standard block device. When used as a boot partition, Amazon EC2 instances can be stopped and subsequently restarted, enabling you to only pay for the storage resources used while maintaining your instance’s state.
  • Amazon SimpleDB: a web service providing the core database functions of data indexing and querying in the cloud. It requires no schema, automatically indexing data and providies a simple API for storage and access.
  • Amazon RDS (Relational Data Services): a web service providing MySQL functionality and code compatibility. It is integrated with EC2 and is offered with automated backupsy.
  • Amazon SQS (Simple Queue Service) provides computing, query processing and storage across a wide range of applications.

Amazon Web Services sells EC2 on pay-as-you-go basis.