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Home > Clouds > AWS > AWS Basics > EC2 Instance Types

EC2 Instance Types

Table of Contents

EC2 offers a variety of 32-bit and 64-bit instance types.  Be sure to choose a size that best meets your requirements:

  • Standard Instances - Best if you are running an application on a server and will have more CPU Memory. Standard Instances are broken up into first generation (M1) and second generation (M3) instances. First generation instances come at a lower cost but also provide less processing performance. Second generation standard instances provide high CPU and memory performance and are best suited for high traffic content management systems, encoding, and memcaching.
  • Micro Instances - Provides a small amount of consistent CPU resources that can increase CPU capacity in small burst. Best suited if you want lower throughput for applications and websites.
  • High-Memory Instances - Best if you have memory-intensive, high throughput workloads like databases, memory caching, and rendering.
  • High-CPU Instances - Best for your compute-level intense applications that will require more CPU resources than memory (RAM).
  • Cluster Compute Instances - Provides increased network-performance for High Performance Compute (HPC) applications.
  • Cluster GPU Instances - Through the use of parallel computing power, provides low latency and high throughput to increase application performance.
  • High I/O Instances - Best for database workloads (provides high levels of CPU, memory, and network performance).

See Amazon's EC2 Instance Types for the current instance pricing structure. You can also use the Simple Monthly Calculator to estimate your usage costs.

EBS Optimized Instance

Amazon charges an additional fee to use an Optimized Instance type. Although this instance type is not necessarily required to utilize the functionality of Provisioned IOPS -- an Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volume type for running persistent, high-performance, and high-availability databases -- it can help communication between EC2 and EBS. Performance benefits can be seen if you're using high amounts of network bandwidth and disk bandwidth at the same time. Additionally, Amazon guarantees that when a Provisioned IOPS volume is attached to an Optimized Instance, the volume will perform within 10% of their provisioned performance 99.9% of the time.

Instance Type Optimized Instance Support
t1.micro  No
m1.small No
m1.medium No
m1.large Yes
m1.xlarge Yes
c1.medium No
c1.xlarge No
m2.xlarge No
m2.2xlarge No
m2.4xlarge Yes
m3.xlarge No
m3.2xlarge No
cc1.4xlarge No*
cg1.4xlarge Yes**
cc2.8xlarge Yes**
hi1.4large Yes**
hs1.8xlarge Yes**
cr1.8xlarge Yes**
c3.large No
c3.xlarge Yes
c3.2xlarge Yes
c3.4xlarge Yes
c3.8xlarge No
c4.large Yes**
c4.xlarge Yes**
c4.2xlarge Yes**
c4.4xlarge Yes**
c4.8xlarge Yes**


*Although not currently supported, these instance types can support high bandwidth networking and work with Provisioned IOPS. 
**These instances are EBS-optimized by default 

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Last modified
12:20, 21 Jan 2015



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