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In Cloud Computing Last updated: October 20, 2022
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AWS offers multiple types of instances to meet the business needs of each user.

An instance is a virtual server that runs applications on Amazon’s EC2. It can be viewed as a small part of a larger computer.

Each instance has its own Hard drive and network connection. Multiple “tiny” computers can be mounted on one physical machine. These tiny machines are known as instances.

In this article, I will talk about different types of AWS EC2 instances, instance sizes, pricing, etc.

AWS EC2 Introduction

AWS offers an on-demand EC2 instance, which allows users to rent virtual servers per hour and deploy their own applications.


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a web service that offers re-sizable cloud computing services. As a result, you can easily scale up or down the number of server instances that you use if your computing needs change.

Each instance will be charged an hourly rate, with different rates depending on the type of instance. You can rent an instance that you set up according to your CPU and memory requirements, and you can use it for as long as you like.

The instance can be terminated at any time, and you save money. The best thing about an on-demand instance is that you can save a lot of money on your CAPEX.

Let’s say you are a developer, and you decide to work on your own. You have calculated the right capacity, and you believe the computing power is sufficient. However, you now have to ensure security patches are updated every day.

Also, you need to troubleshoot problems that might arise at the back end of the servers. You don’t need to worry about these things if you purchase an EC2 instance. All you have to do is focus on your application.

Types of AWS EC2 Instances


AWS has many types of instances. Let’s start by understanding what AWS EC2 Compute Instances are. Here is a list of similar instances.

  • General Purpose (A1, T2, T3, and T4g),
  • Compute Optimized (C4,C5, C5a C5n,C6g)
  • Memory Optimized (R4, R5, R5a, and R5n), R6g, R6g, R1e, Z1d),
  • Accelerated Computing (P2, F3, F1, G3, and G4)
  • Storage Optimized (D2, I3, I3en).

It can be difficult to identify and number different AWS instance types. Each instance type is composed of three parts. The first part denotes the family, and then the number denotes its generation (A, C. D. I, F. G. H. M. P. R. T. X).

Each generation features a different set of features. A few AWS instances types have an extra letter to indicate how they were optimized. The “g” in the T4g or M6g General Purpose instances indicate that they are powered by Graviton 2, which is 40% more efficient.

Let’s begin by understanding them in this order.

General Purpose Instances

These instances offer balance in computation, memory, and network capabilities. These instances can be used for a variety of workloads. AWS EC2 general-purpose instances can be used if your applications require equal resources, such as repositories, servers, and so forth.

Here are some of its key features.

  • They are equipped with custom-built processors
  • Offer networking services that offer a high network bandwidth
  • EBS optimized volume

Compute Optimised Instances

AWS EC2 Compute-optimized instances are best suited for applications that require high-performance processors. They are best suited to Compute bound applications.

These instances can also be used to support Batch Processing types of workloads, media transcoding, and high-performance servers. Gaming servers, ad servers, and machine learning applications are just a few of the other notable applications.

Below are the features of compute-optimized instances:

  • They are compatible with custom-built processors, known as AWS Gravitation 2 processing units
  • These EBS-optimised instances are the same as general-purpose ones
  • Enhanced networking can be supported by up to 25GBPS of bandwidth
  • It is powered using AWS Nitro System, which combines a lightweight hypervisor and dedicated hardware.

Memory Optimised Instances

They are optimized for speed and optimization. This is a way to process large data sets in memory efficiently. These types of instances are considered memory optimized:

  • R6g
  • R5
  • R5aR5n
  • R4

AWS Gravition2 is the processor that powers the EC2 R6g instances. These processors are the most recent and offer 40% price performance. These are great for memory-intensive applications. These devices offer the following features:

  • They are compatible with 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores
  • Network support is available for up to 25GB of bandwidth
  • They are powered by Nitro systems

Storage Optimised Instances

These instances are used to manage large workloads that require high-speed read/write access. The data being handled are large and stored on local storage. These instances can deliver IO operations in the tens of thousands every second.

It supports the following families:

  • I3
  • I3en
  • D2
  • H1

These are its key features

  • It is powered by high-frequency Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 Processors with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz
  • It provides network bandwidth of up to 25 GB and utilizes Elastic Network Adapter, which is a network-based Enhanced Networking.
  • It has high I/O performance and even Sequential Read throughput
  • For workloads that need direct access to memory and processors, you can get support for the bare metal instance for up to 256 GB

Accelerated Computing

These are known as graphical processing-intensive types of instances. These instances may make use of hardware accelerators and co-processors to do intensive calculations or graphical processing. This is more efficient than normal software that runs on systems.

It supports the following types of family instance sets or types.

  • P3p2
  • Inf1
  • G4
  • G3
  • F1

That was all about the different EC2 instances based on their family type.

AWS EC2 Instance Size


AWS EC2 instances size indicates the number of resources (capacity) that have been provisioned to an instance. AWS instances can have different sizes and use the same hardware.

Instances of different sizes may run on different hardware. For example, SSD and HDD storage devices can be used. The smallest instance size has the least amount of memory. Larger AWS EC2 instances contain proportionally more memory.

There are many sizes available for all AWS instances types, including:

  • Nano
  • Micro
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • XLarge
  • 2XLarge
  • 4XLarge
  • 6XLarge
  • 8XLarge
  • 16XLarge
  • 32XLarge

AWS EC2 Pricing


Below are the different AWS EC2 instance pricing models:

Instances On-Demand

On-demand instances are simple in that you only pay for what you use. You are only charged for computing capacity consumed – per day or hour – when you use an EC2 instance. There is no upfront payment.

Reserved Instances

In return for an upfront payment, you will receive a discount of up to 75% on the cost of on-demand instances. Reserved instances are often more cost-effective than the on-demand pricing model.

Spot Instances

This pricing model allows you to bid on spare or unused EC2 computing resources for as much as 90% off the current pricing. Spot instance pricing is dependent on the demand and supply of unused AWS ECS2 cloud capacity.

Dedicated Hosts

This model provides you with an AWS EC2 server that is exclusively for your use. The number of instances you use is not the basis for billing. A dedicated host can be purchased either by paying an hourly rate or by making a reservation. The latter is typically 70% less than the on-demand pricing.

My Recommendations on AWS EC2


In my opinion, AWS EC2 is a flexible platform that allows you to set up your instance to suit your needs and budget. These tips will help you to choose the right instance and save money on EC2 instances:

Choose the EC2 instance with the lowest price that meets your needs

If you do not need expensive instance types, it is a good idea to save your money. If you have different loads on your applications, consider the auto-scaling group. Auto-scaling can be used to create cluster EC2 instances for your growing business.

You should aim for a minimum load

To reduce costs, you can decrease the instance load if your instance type has a high CPU or memory usage. You can also run your entire operation without any hassle.

Reserve or spot instances

Reserved or spot instances can be used to reduce costs. On-demand instances are best when your EC2 instances will only be used for a short time. Reserved or spot instances can be a better option if you are looking to use more of your instances.

When not needed, remember to disable EC2 instances

Sometimes, EC2 instances may continue running, increasing your costs. You can learn to turn off production systems that aren’t needed. Automation can be used to shut down such systems when they are not in use.

Identify and stop EC2 instances of low utilization

Identify idle or under-utilized EC2 instances. Then, you can reduce your costs by either stopping them or decreasing their size.

To optimize your ECS costs, you can use the AWS Billing and Cost Management Tool. You can also use the AWS Instance Scheduler for stop instances and the AWS Operations Conductor for reducing the number of EC2 instances.


This tutorial was a deep dive into AWS EC2. I hope you enjoyed it. This skill set is highly sought after by recruiters in the cloud domain. Learn more about cloud services to help you decide whether the cloud is right for your company.

You can select from a range of AWS EC2 services to meet your application requirements. This guide also explained the pricing model for the AWS EC2 cloud platform.

You may also explore some AWS Key Terminologies that advance your AWS Learning.

  • Avi
    Avi is a tech enthusiast with expertise in trending technologies such as DevOps, Cloud Computing, Big Data and many more. He is passionate about learning cutting-edge technologies and sharing his knowledge with others through… read more
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