Introduction to Amazon EC2

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable computing capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

With Amazon EC2, you can launch virtual servers (called instances), choose from a variety of instance types optimized for different use cases, and configure the number of instances you want to deploy. You can also choose the operating system and software packages you want to use on your instances.

You can use Amazon EC2 to host your web applications, store data, and run other workloads. Amazon EC2 provides a secure and scalable computing environment, and it is a key component of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform.

AWS Free Tier

The AWS Free Tier is a program offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that provides new AWS customers with a free tier of service for a limited period of time. The free tier includes a variety of AWS services and resources, some of which have a free tier that does not expire, while others are only free for the first 12 months after signing up for an AWS account.

The AWS Free Tier is designed to help new AWS customers get started with the AWS cloud platform and familiarize themselves with the various AWS services. The free tier is available to new AWS customers and can be accessed by signing up for an AWS account. Details are below:

  • A free tier of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) that includes 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux, RHEL, or SLES t2.micro instance usage per month
  • A free tier of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) that includes 5 GB of standard storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests per month
  • A free tier of Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) that includes 750 hours of usage of a t2.micro instance and 20 GB of database storage per month

More specific free tier information for AWS EC2:

EC2 Free tier: In your first year includes 750 hours of t2.micro (or t3.micro in the Regions in which t2.micro is unavailable) instance usage on free tier AMIs per month, 30 GiB of EBS storage, 2 million IOs, 1 GB of snapshots, and 100 GB of bandwidth to the internet.

AWS Free Tier Documentation

Some AWS services have free tiers that last forever, while

How much does it cost?

After the free tier has expired or you want to use larger instances, you will pay for Amazon EC2 on a per-hour basis, with the option to choose from a variety of pricing plans based on your specific needs. With Amazon EC2, you have the flexibility to scale your computing resources up or down as needed, making it an ideal solution for businesses that need to handle fluctuating workloads or hobbyists that want to build their own IT labs or projects.

You can run an EC2 instance for as cheap as a few dollars per month if you only turn it on when you're using it and turn it off once your done.


When you create an Amazon EC2 instance, you are charged for the use of the instance on an hourly basis based on the type and size of the instance you choose.

You can choose from various instance types and sizes, each with different combinations of CPU, memory, and storage capacity. The cost of an instance depends on the type and size of the instance, the availability zone, and the operating system you choose.

In addition to the hourly cost of the instance, you may also be charged for the following:

  • Data transfer: If you transfer data in or out of an Amazon EC2 instance, you may be charged a fee based on the amount of data transferred and the location of the data.
  • EBS volumes: If you attach an Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume to your instance, you may be charged for the use of the volume on an hourly basis.
  • Elastic IP addresses: If you allocate an Elastic IP address and use it with an Amazon EC2 instance, you may be charged a small hourly fee for the allocation.

It's important to carefully review the pricing for the different components of Amazon EC2 to understand the total cost of running an instance. There is a pricing calculator, which we will cover in another lesson, that will help you understand exactly how much an AWS service will cost you.

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