Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) allows users to rent virtual private servers on which they can run their own computer applications. It makes deploying a website and storing web components faster, easier, and more affordable.

No Investment in Hardware Required

EC2 is a commercial web service from Amazon Web Services (AWS),’s cloud computing platform. Amazon EC2 provides resizable computing capacity by allowing developers to rent virtual servers from the AWS cloud. Using Amazon EC2 eliminates the need to invest in hardware up front, so web applications can be developed and deployed faster.

EC2 allows scalable deployment of applications by providing a web service through which developers can boot an Amazon Machine Image to create a virtual machine, which Amazon calls an "instance", containing any software desired.

Scale Your App in Minutes

Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing the developer to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as web traffic and his computing requirements change. A developer using Amazon EC2 can create, launch, and terminate as many virtual server instances as needed, configure networking and security, and manage storage.

EC2 is also relatively affordable because Amazon allows its users to pay only for the capacity that they actually use—active servers by the hour, hence the term “elastic”. In short, Amazon EC2 is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

An Impressive Client List

Amazon EC2 boasts an impressive list of clients–everything from start-ups like FourSquare, Pinterest, Etsy, and Airbnb, to global enterprises like Dole Foods, Comcast, Expedia, and Adobe Systems. Amazon EC2 is especially popular with web application companies like Netflix and Reddit.

Security, Redundancy, Versatility

From Amazon’s docs, here is an overview of the features provided by Amazon EC2: