15 AWSome years of Amazon EC2 and still going strong!

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Amazon EC2

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Amazon EC2(Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud), marking a landmark milestone for both the firm and the computing industry it serves. The EC2 instance is at the heart of the AWS cloud platform, allowing users to rent storage, network connectivity, and computation resources.

It’s difficult to conceive a corporate product or service that hasn’t been influenced by EC2 in some way over the last 15 years. The cloud behemoth that is AWS was driven by elastic resources given in an as-a-service model, which now accounts for roughly half of its parent company’s overall operational profitability. In this blog, we will be discussing 15 years of AWSome journey of Amazon EC2. 

In this blog, we will cover:

  • What is Amazon EC2?
  • Major milestones of Amazon EC2
  • Building Blocks of Amazon EC2
  • Features of Amazon EC2
  • Amazon EC2 Instance Types
  • Amazon EC2 instances naming pattern 
  • Amazon EC2 M6i Instances
  • 15 Years of Optimizing Compute for Capacity and Cost
  • Recent Innovations 
  • Testimonials of proud customers 
  • Conclusion

What is Amazon EC2?

Mr. Alan uses the Windows operating system, but he wishes to execute some minor activities on Linux for data analysis. Alan runs a Windows operating system and is unable to install dual boot due to storage and time constraints. The deadline for the analysis report is approaching, and Alan needs a rapid solution to get Linux in his hands and finish the analysis. Now, because the duty is only for a short time, Alan is unable to purchase a new system. As a result, he decides to employ an EC2 Linux Instance to perform the operation as rapidly as possible at the lowest cost and within the specified time frame.

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a cloud computing service that offers safe, scalable compute power. It’s intended to make web-scale cloud computing more accessible to programmers. The easy web service interface of Amazon EC2 allows you to quickly obtain and configure capacity. It gives you complete control over your computing resources and allows you to run on Amazon’s tried-and-true computing infrastructure.

Why do customers use Amazon EC2?

Major milestones of Amazon EC2

In August 2006, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) began limited beta testing, kicking off the cloud computing revolution. EC2 has drastically altered how millions of businesses around the world – from startups to Fortune 500 firms – operate various workloads on a daily basis, with over 400 instance types now available.

Let’s take a look at the major milestones of Amazon EC2!

Major milestones of Amazon EC2

Building Blocks of Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 provides the widest and most comprehensive range of instances, all of which are built on cutting-edge compute, storage, and networking technologies and are optimized for maximum performance and security.

Building Blocks of Amazon EC2

Faster innovation and increased security with AWS Nitro System: The AWS Nitro System is the foundation for our next generation of EC2 instances, which offloads many traditional virtualization responsibilities to dedicated hardware and software to provide high performance, high availability, and high security while lowering virtualization overhead.

Choice of processors: You can choose from a variety of latest-generation Intel Xeon, AMD EPYC, and AWS Graviton CPUs to discover the best performance and price for your tasks.

High-performance storage: Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is a high-performance block storage service that works with Amazon EC2.

Enhanced networking: AWS is the first and only cloud to provide compute instances with 400 Gbps upgraded Ethernet networking. You can receive much more packets per second (PPS), lower network jitter, and lower latency with enhanced networking.

Choice of purchasing model: With On-Demand, Spot Instances, and Savings Plans, you may choose from a variety of purchase options.

Features of Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 has a variety of useful tools for developing enterprise-class applications that are scalable and fail-safe. Let’s discuss some features in detail.

  • Bare Metal Instances: Amazon EC2 bare metal instances provide your apps direct access to the underlying server’s processor and memory. These instances are appropriate for workloads that require access to hardware feature sets (such as Intel® VT-x), as well as programs that must run in non-virtualized environments for licensing or maintenance reasons. 
  • Optimize Compute Performance and Cost with Amazon EC2 Fleet: Amazon EC2 Fleet enables you to provision compute capacity across EC2 instance types, Availability Zones, and purchasing models with just a single API call, allowing you to optimize scale, performance, and cost. You can use EC2 Fleet to specify the amount of On-Demand and Spot capacity to launch. You can also choose between several instance kinds and scale capacity based on cores, instances, or memory. 
  • Pause and Resume Your Instances: Your Amazon EC2 instances that are backed by Amazon EBS can be hibernated and resumed at a later time. This functionality is useful for applications that take a long time to bootstrap and preserve the state in memory (RAM). Hibernation provides all of the benefits of Stop and Start, plus the ability to save data from memory (RAM) between sessions. While your instance is hibernated, you will not be charged for its consumption. The normal EBS rates apply to storage.
  • GPU Compute Instances: Customers who require significant floating point processing capability will benefit from Amazon EC2 P3 instances with up to 8 NVIDIA® V100 Tensor Core GPUs, which are the latest generation of general-purpose GPU compute instances from AWS. P3 instances offer the mixed-precision performance of up to 1 petaFLOPS, single-precision performance of 125 teraFLOPS, and double-precision performance of 62 teraFLOPS.
Features of Amazon EC2

  • GPU Graphics Instances: GPU graphics instances will help customers who require a lot of graphics power. The G3 GPU graphics instance gives you access to NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs, which have up to 2,048 parallel processing cores, 8 GB of GPU RAM, and a hardware encoder that can handle up to 10 H.265 (HEVC) 1080p30 streams and 18 H.264 1080p30 streams.
  • High I/O Instances: High I/O instances are beneficial to customers who require very high, low latency, random I/O access to their data. High I/O instances are an Amazon EC2 instance type that can deliver random I/O rates of more than 3 million IOPS to clients.
  • Dense HDD Storage Instances: Dense Storage instances are ideal for customers who need a lot of storage per instance and a lot of sequential I/O for data-intensive applications like MPP data warehouses, MapReduce and Hadoop distributed computing, and log and data processing. Dense Storage instances are an Amazon EC2 instance type that can provide customers with sequential I/O throughput of up to 3.9 GB/s and up to 48 TB of instance storage across 24 hard disc drives, or a balance of storage and memory per vCPU with ENA-based networking for up to 25 Gbps of Network Bandwidth within a placement group.
  • Optimized CPU Configurations: On two fronts, the Optimize CPUs function gives you more control over your Amazon EC2 instances. To begin, when starting new instances, you can specify a custom number of vCPUs to save on vCPU-based licensing fees. Second, for workloads that operate best with single-threaded CPUs, such as certain high-performance computing (HPC) programs, you can disable multithreading.
  • Flexible Storage Options: Varying Amazon EC2 workloads require significantly different amounts of storage. Amazon EBS provides low-latency block storage volumes that are persistent, highly available, and consistent. Amazon EFS is a cloud file storage service that is simple to use, scalable, persistent, and completely managed.

Amazon EC2 Instance Types

Amazon EC2 is the most comprehensive platform for running workloads ranging from simple web apps to mission-critical applications. To get the optimum price performance in the cloud for each workload, you may choose from over 400 EC2 instance types.

  • General Purpose: General-purpose instances have a good combination of computation, memory, and networking capabilities and can handle a wide range of applications. These instances are appropriate for applications like web servers and code repositories that require these resources in equal amounts. Mac, T3, T2, M6i, and M5 are some of the General Purpose instances.
  • Compute Optimized: Compute Optimized instances are suited for compute-intensive applications that benefit from high processor performance. Batch processing workloads, media transcoding, high-speed web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), scientific modeling, specialized gaming servers, intensive applications, ad server engines, and machine learning inference are all well-suited for instances in this family. C6g, C6gn, C5, and C4 are some of the Compute Optimized instances.
Types of Amazon EC2 Instances
  • Memory Optimized: Memory-optimized instances are geared for workloads that require big data sets to be processed in memory.R6g, R5, R5a, R5b, R5n, and high memory are some of the Memory Optimized instances.
  • Accelerated Computing: Hardware accelerators, also known as co-processors, are used in accelerated computing instances to perform functions more effectively than software running on CPUs, such as floating point number calculations, graphics processing, and data pattern matching. P4, P3, P2, G3, and G4ad are some of the Accelerated Computing instances.
  • Storage Optimized: These instances are designed for workloads that require high, sequential read and write access to very large data sets on local storage. They are optimized to deliver tens of thousands of low-latency, random IOPS to applications. I3, I3en, D3, D3en, and H1 are Storage Optimized instances. 

Amazon EC2 instances naming pattern

Family: Diverse instance types with resources for different use cases make up a family.

Generation: AWS uses these figures to demonstrate which technologies are which as they phase out older ones and bring in new ones with higher resources.

Size: The price of resources, as well as the size of the resources, increases in a linear fashion.

Amazon EC2 M6i Instances

The new general-purpose Amazon EC2 M6i instances, which offer up to a 15% price/performance gain over equivalent fifth-generation instances, are now available. The new instances are powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors with an all-core turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz (code-named Ice Lake). The “i” suffix in the instance type indicates that the instances are Intel-based.

This new instance type provides: 

  • A bigger instance size (m6i.32xlarge) with 128 vCPUs and 512 GiB of RAM, making it easier and more cost-effective to consolidate workloads and scale out applications as compared to M5 instances utilising an Intel processor.
  • Improvement in compute price/performance of up to 15%.
  • Up to a 20% increase in memory bandwidth.
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) speeds up to 40 Gbps, and networking speeds up to 50 Gbps.
  • Always-on memory encryption.

The new instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, which is a set of building blocks that offloads many of the typical virtualization responsibilities to dedicated hardware, resulting in high-performance, high-availability, and high-security cloud instances.

15 Years of Optimizing Compute for Capacity and Cost

Pricing Reduction: Regular price reductions on all of AWS’s services have been a common approach for the company to pass on the cost savings obtained from its scale to its clients. Since its inception in 2006, AWS has dropped pricing 107 times as of April current year.

  • Purchase Options: Depending on your workload pattern, you can pay for your EC2 resources on an as-needed basis at the On-Demand rate, or choose one of the one- or three-year term-based commitment programmes, such as Reserved Instances or Savings Plans, and save up to 72 percent. You can also use EC2 Spot Instances to take advantage of unused EC2 capacity at a substantial discount of up to 90%.
  • Cost Optimized Resources: To better match your EC2 capacity with demand, ensure your development and management teams who make technological design and purchase choices are aware of all the resources available. Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling’s dynamic and predictive features help add and delete EC2 instances based on changing demand. You may use AWS Instance Scheduler to set up start and stop schedules for your EC2 instances.

Recent innovations

  • Innovation based on processors: AWS has made a frenzy of announcements surrounding its hallmark product in the lead-up to this month’s celebration. The announcement that EC2-Classic, which was introduced at the start of EC2 in 2006, will be decommissioned later this year was the most remarkable. Customers that are currently using EC2-Classic will be transferred to an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. AWS also released Warm Pools for EC2 Auto Scaling in May and debuted five additional EC2 instances in December, reducing the time and cost of scaling out applications.

However, much of the EC2 innovation has occurred on the processor side. AWS has linked its EC2 instances to advances in chip processing capability over time.

  • Developing the telecom industry: Amazon’s efforts with EC2 and Graviton are laying the groundwork for a major new initiative: telecoms. AWS has set its sights on the 5G telco cloud, and beginning next month, radio access network sites will run on Graviton2-equipped Amazon Outposts servers.
  • The scope of services: What does EC2 have in store for the future? Aside from EC2’s significance as a major strategic piece in AWS’ telecom cloud strategy, the firm has expressed interest in expanding the 15-year-old technology to include a variety of new use cases. AWS released EC2 Mac instances late last year, allowing users to execute on-demand macOS workloads on the Amazon platform for the first time. AWS is also enhancing EC2’s security capabilities with Nitro Enclaves, which provide CPU and memory isolation for EC2 instances. AWS made PrivateLink for Amazon S3 broadly accessible in February to enable secure private connectivity between S3 and on-premises services. Elastic Block Store volumes with 4x higher throughput and IOPS than earlier io2 volumes are now generally available, according to the cloud provider. Amazon EBS volumes are an important part of the EC2 system.

Testimonials of proud customers 


“Like other home entertainment services, Netflix has seen temporarily higher viewing and increased member growth during this unprecedented time. In order to meet this demand our control plane services needed to scale very quickly. This is where the value of AWS cloud and our strong partnership became apparent, both in being able to meet capacity needs in compute, storage, as well as providing the necessary infrastructure, such as AWS Auto Scaling, which is deeply ingrained in Netflix’s operations model.“

Nils Pommerien, Director Cloud Infrastructure Engineering at Netflix


“The management and analysis of genomic data at the scale needed to power large-scale genome studies requires computational and storage infrastructure that exceeds the capacity of most institutions”

Richard Daly, CEO – DNAnexus


15 AWSome years of Amazon EC2 and still going strong! In this blog, we have explored 15 years of the journey of Amazon EC2. We have also discussed Amazon EC2 features, benefits, instance types, major milestones, testimonials of proud customers, and also about the new instance M6i.

If you still don’t know how to launch a virtual machine in the cloud, then you are too late! Start exploring cloud computing and AMAZON EC2 now!

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