AWS has two platforms for launching EC2 instances: EC2-Classic and EC2-VPC. This FAQ describes EC2-Classic. Not all accounts support EC2-Classic so this information may not apply to you. See the Answer section for details.
AWS introduced a new EC2 platform called EC2-VPC. Since the inception of EC2-VPC, all new AWS accounts are automatically on the EC2-VPC platform so you do not have the choice to launch instances into EC2-Classic if you are a new customer. You can find out what platforms are supported in your account by going to the AWS dashboard and checking the Account Attributes.
EC2-Classic is the original release of Amazon EC2. With this platform, instances run in a single, flat network that is shared with other customers. With EC2-VPC, instances run in a virtual private cloud (VPC) that is logically isolated to only one AWS account.
The following are some of the key attributes that comprise an EC2-Classic network:
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