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Amazon EC2 OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Amazon EC2 is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Compute Service tools. It is most often compared to Apache NiFi: Amazon EC2 vs Apache NiFi

What is Amazon EC2?

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

Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate them from common failure scenarios.

Amazon EC2 is also known as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2.

Amazon EC2 Buyer's Guide

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Amazon EC2 Customers

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Amazon EC2 pricing:
  • "For our usage, the cost is approximately $20,000 to $23,000 per month."

Amazon EC2 Reviews

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OU
Security & DevOps Analyst at Newtopia Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Makes it easy to either transfer data as an S3 bucket or increase the drive storage on the server

Pros and Cons

  • "Amazon EC2 is highly scalable."
  • "It's not the best of the best because we still have issues with downtime. We still have issues with the cost of storage, with all these different instance styles, and how much it costs. They cost an arm and a leg the higher you go."

What is our primary use case?

We have a couple of primary use cases. We have an internal password server that we use for one of them. The other use case is file transfer. We have set apart an in-house SFTP process and it is all there. ETL enterprise trends and the data transformation process also run on one of the servers.

We have databases that run on one of the EC2 docs. We have a direct database that runs AWS Postgres. We don't separate that, but we do have a part of the business that runs on the server as well.

My company has a couple of servers on EC2 that we manage across defined regions. We have roughly 11 servers currently in operation for live production services and around 5 staging environments.

We have Windows and Linux servers. I think there are less Linux servers than Windows at present. I would say there are two to three Linux centers and the rest are Windows. That's what we use. Of course we have detailed information of what we do but I can't go into too much information because our company is public.

How has it helped my organization?

I wouldn't say it's improved our company, to be honest, because sometimes we do have issues with it. Because as much as the increase in data storage is good it is also a problem. That is because of the cost. But I would say it's good because it helps us. I would say AWS generally helps us. I'm going to talk a bit about other AWS applications, because it's kind of difficult to just dwell on EC2 and not talk about other applications since we do not just use EC2.

We also use Cloud HSM. Cloud HSM is easy to install. It has really helped us in regard to security. Now we can have our own key to encrypt our stuff. And having EC2 available is also very useful because sometimes with the configuration of Amazon stuff, if it's not done on Amazon Linux servers, it gets pretty difficult to wiggle your way around it. But with the Amazon Linux server, it's just on the fly because of their image. The fact that Amazon has their own image really helps to make your job easier and faster to configure and save.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found most valuable are that we can increase the storage of EC2. This is very helpful because sometimes when it comes to data transformation in far transfer, it gets really big because of the number of clients we have. Then we have to find a way to sort out archive data, etc.

It really makes it easy to either transfer data as an S3 bucket or increase the drive storage on the server. That is really useful. Another thing I really like about the services is that you can install Trend Micro Security on it. Most of the AWS services have gone with Trend Micro Security, which you can get installed on it. It helps to protect the servers and gives you that additional level of security.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, it depends on the server. I would say they are so much better these days with updates, especially when it comes to Linux servers and there are so many material updates. AWS is really on the ball with ensuring that security practices are there, etc.. Windows is just the same old Windows. The problem is not Amazon but Windows itself.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Amazon EC2 for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable regarding downtime. We probably get one downtime a month, for a few seconds up to a minute, but it rarely happens. The helpful thing about having EC2 instances is that you have CloudWatch. So it gives you logs of your downtime or the off time of the server. It gives you all that information if something is gone wrong with your server and you can fix it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Amazon EC2 is highly scalable. But one thing I found that may be an issue is moving from one instance type to another. Because I found that you can't just switch instances. It seems you're limited to a certain category depending on the one you initially started with. But I'm not a hundred percent sure because I've only found that issue on one server and I know we've switched instance types before. Maybe just with that particular server I can't switch out of the categories of instances. I have to remain on the I's and I can't go to the M's or the C's or anything like that. I don't know if it's specific to that instance, though.

I don't know how many users are on it in total. I'd say less than 10. Most of them do data integration and team reporting, sometimes IT administration, and security, which is my team.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used technical support for EC2. I've used it for other AWS solutions, but not for EC2.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I am familiar with Azure servers and I find them more expensive than EC2. I find them quite difficult to use and they are not as scalable as AWS. They are not even that robust. I don't like Azure that much. The setup is also confusing.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is actually very straightforward because if you follow the guidance given on AWS you can get everything done pretty quickly without any problems. The only way it gets difficult is when you try to configure things your own way. Of course, sometimes you need to do things your own way because you have certain requirements for that particular server. Then it could get complex.

It depends, again, on the server. If it's a Windows server it is very easy, like on the fly. If it is Linux, you might find it difficult to install some AM-AWS services. So that configuration may be tough. But if you're using the basic, it's pretty easy. 

But then you need to know what each of the instances are. You need to know what you're using it for and how these instance sites apply to your organization. You need an understanding of the basic information about AWS before you can just configure it. It's not like every person can just come in and configure it. It's easy to configure, but then it may not be what you need it for.

It is project dependent. Sometimes we follow the basic strategies. Sometimes we have to consider it based on the particular project which we're working on at the time.

What about the implementation team?

We usually configure it ourselves in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think Amazon EC2 has fair pricing. I actually think the pricing is manageable. I have Free Tiers, as well. You can get on the Free Tier pricing and they just charge you for data storage.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anyone considering this is that they need to evaluate if it's necessary to have EC2, or if it is cheaper to run something in-house. It's very important because you don't want to throw money at cloud service providers if you can do it yourself. But the good thing is that cloud service providers take care of all the infrastructure and everything so you don't have to worry about that. It's nice to also have someone else accountable for your every structure rather than employing so many people at your job to do the work. That's the only good side about it. It is easy to learn Azure and all those GCP products.

On a scale of one to ten I would give Amazon EC2 an 8. 

I definitely would not give it a 10. It's not the best of the best because we still have issues with downtime. We still have issues with the cost of storage, with all these different instance styles, and how much it costs. They cost an arm and a leg the higher you go. Sometimes performance is an issue because of the kind of incidents that you have. That is why it cannot be a nine or a 10. But because CloudWatch is embedded in it, it lets you know when your system fails by sending you an email. It also has Trend Micro included. I think you may have to pay for it, am not sure. So it has benefits if you use it with other AWS services.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Venkateswarlu Paturu
Service Delivery Manager / Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good user interface with great built-in monitoring and very good documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "All of my lower maintenance overheads are taken care of. I don't have to worry about it."
  • "Technical itself could be a bit more helpful, especially when it comes to integration assistance. When we talk to the technical team, often it's some issue with integration and they'll tell us to talk to the other company. Often, the other company will look at everything and not see an issue from their end and then we are at an impasse."

What is our primary use case?

We've been using the solution basically for provisioning our development in a less production-heavy environment. 

What is most valuable?

It's been quite easy for solutioning. 

It's easy to manage. 

There's a lot of support from the built-in framework.

The integration has been great.

The solution is very stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard.

The user interface is great.

The built-in monitoring is great. The reporting and analytics are pretty decent.

All of my lower maintenance overheads are taken care of. I don't have to worry about it.

There's great documentation available. 

What needs improvement?

The issue that I have seen, earlier, not now, maybe around 2014, was that the ports that we wanted to deploy to weren't all open. In general, we need to have a specific request made to get these ports opened. We had to go through a little bit of analysis and it was not quite straightforward. We needed to raise a request to open such ports. That was the only problem I've not seen it in a long time, and that was with AWS in a special case. However, these days, I don't have any such port issues right now. We don't have any custom ports used at this point in time. 

Technical support could be more helpful when it comes to dealing with integration issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for three or four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is pretty stable. We haven't had any issues with it per se. It's not buggy or glitchy. It doesn't freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We build department dashboards for schools in the United States, so there are a number of users using it at any given time. It's likely in the hundreds of users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is okay. I'm not talking about the support from the team perspective, but rather from the framework. It's the mission framework side of it. The framework has got a lot of features, which supports the monitoring, and other things. It's all how you configure it.

If a person does need help troubleshooting, there's great documentation available for them. 

Technical itself could be a bit more helpful, especially when it comes to integration assistance. When we talk to the technical team, often it's some issue with integration and they'll tell us to talk to the other company. Often, the other company will look at everything and not see an issue from their end and then we are at an impasse.

The technical support teams should understand how to give some pointers with their experience due to the fact that AWS is huge and vast and spread across different industries, and different regions. They should have some kind of knowledge or insights. We can't be the only clients facing these issues. I'm not sure if this is an issue across the board, or just a problem with the current team we're dealing with.

In the end, in a specific example, we were trying to use Monitor with AWS and we really tried to make it work. However, it did not. AWS did not help us, and from iMonitor's side, everything should have just worked.

How was the initial setup?

As long as you are prepared with the groundwork, the implementation is okay. You need to have the specifications ready in terms of what kind of environment you want to create. 

Once you know what kind of environment you want to create it takes about five to ten minutes. That's all.

We only have one person that handled the deployment and maintenance. It was a pretty easy build, so it doesn't even really take up a person's full time.

We don't even really have any maintenance overhead. For us to actually deploy one particular individual or a resource for a full FTE isn't necessary. This is due to the fact that the infrastructure, the framework commission, has a lot of things that are already taken care of from a maintenance perspective and from a monitoring perspective. It's an easy job that isn't time-consuming.

We'll continue to use the solution in the future. We may expand its usage.

What about the implementation team?

We did not get someone to help us with the implementation. We handled the solution in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is fine. It's not too expensive.

That said, if you don't have the right model in place, then the cost factor could be one thing that people need to think about because it's based on usage. For example, how long the server is up and running will contribute to the cost.

The model needs to be very concrete and work on how we want to use it. Based on that, if these factors are not known and if you don't take care of this, then the cost factor might go up as so it'll only take that one week to take care of any issues. We've never faced such a scenario because we are very clear on how we want to use it every time.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer.

I'd recommend this solution to others.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I'd rate it at a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Amazon EC2. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,108 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VK
Lead Data Engineer at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Offers compute services with a stable and maintenance-free structure, but the upgrade process needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the ability to have standard operating systems along with the Windows, Linux operating systems, and their maintenance-free structure, which we prefer."
  • "One of the challenges is the AMI upgrades."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for relational DB servers, application servers, and IaaS. We are also using it for SMTP and HTTP services, for compute services.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ability to have standard operating systems along with the Windows, Linux operating systems, and their maintenance-free structure, which we prefer.

What needs improvement?

One of the challenges is the AMI upgrades. For example, EC2 is running on a different AMI, and when we are trying to upgrade, it has mandatory manual processes involved. This is a problem for us. This is an area that we are looking forward to being taken care of or augmented.

Also, when we start doing upgrades, we start losing network connectivity.

We have some issues with the cost, as it's expensive.

They don't have much in the way of optimized support or OS-level support. Also, there is not much visibility in terms of the upgrade. This is an issue that we are facing at the moment.

We would like to see it have something quicker. When we reboot the EC2 instance, the time it takes to come up is a little on the higher side. We are not sure if it is better on the reserved instance, but with the on-demand instances, it's not great. There is no easy way that a preliminary support guy can quickly check why the system is down, or whether there is a network issue or not. These are things that are still convoluted and could be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is fine, we don't have any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is easy to scale, but it is not easy to change the generation or the instance title. If you are in the same generation it's fine, but upgrading older generations to new generations is painful.

We have more than 80 users in our company. Most of the users are using it daily. The Dev tech team uses it daily.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a premium support license and they are efficient, but we have a few instances where the technical support was not very good. A few cases for support were not good but for the most part, they are efficient.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple with a few moderate complexities, but it's ok.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use an integrator or reseller, we managed ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The costs are quite high. For our usage, the cost is approximately $20,000 to $23,000 per month.

What other advice do I have?

Know your use cases. You have to analyze your load and use case before you select a particular EC2 machine. You also need to look into the availability and the stability of that particular version of EC2 that you are going for.

Mainly Windows is secure, but Linus and others are difficult to secure.

I would rate this solution a seven out ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SS
Founder & CEO at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 10
Encryption of the data being saved and cloud storage very helpful

Pros and Cons

  • "The Key Management Service (KMS) feature is very helpful for security. It encrypts the data that is being saved. Cloud storage is also very helpful, and it could be AWS S3, which a lot of people use."
  • "They should fix the key pair name functionality and provide the ability to assign multiple key pair names to an EC2 instance. It is a key pair feature, and it provides you the ability to actually log into the server. It is basically like a password. In terms of new features, it should have the ability to increase and decrease the instance size based on certain times of the day. We should be able to do this without turning off the EC2 instance. Currently, you have to turn it off and then turn it back on. It should also have HTTPS or SSL integration."

What is our primary use case?

I build solutions in the infrastructure of my clients. I use Amazon EC2 in their AWS cloud. 

With EC2, there are many different operating systems that you can use. If we were to talk about the size, I use the T2 and T3 instances and central apps for production and for Windows.

What is most valuable?

The Key Management Service (KMS) feature is very helpful for security. It encrypts the data that is being saved. Cloud storage is also very helpful, and it could be AWS S3, which a lot of people use.

What needs improvement?

They should fix the key pair name functionality and provide the ability to assign multiple key pair names to an EC2 instance. It is a key pair feature, and it provides you the ability to actually log into the server. It is basically like a password.

In terms of new features, it should have the ability to increase and decrease the instance size based on certain times of the day. We should be able to do this without turning off the EC2 instance. Currently, you have to turn it off and then turn it back on. It should also have HTTPS or SSL integration. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very powerful platform. I feel very comfortable and confident while deploying on this platform. I also feel confident in telling my clients that it is very stable and very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I know it can scale. I have no doubts about its scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used their technical support, and I would say that they are pretty responsive and helpful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

EC2 was the first service that I used. If we are talking about cloud platforms, I actually started with Azure eight years ago. I went for the AWS platform because it had a maturity of services over Azure in the past, that is, a year or two ago. If I were to do it over again, I would choose Azure based on what the customer needed at that point in time.

How was the initial setup?

I am pretty technical, so I kind of knew how to do it. I also use Hydra. When comparing both platforms, I would say that AWS is just a bit more confusing or complex. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend identifying the active directory configuration of your clients. The majority of client type integrations will have some active directory involved, and they also have Office 365 now. Getting a better understanding of that configuration will help the solution implementer in using the AWS platform.

I would rate Amazon EC2 a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RR
Associate Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Good virtual applications, excellent scalability and a straightforward setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The scalability of the solution is fantastic. It's one of our favorite features."
  • "The customization could be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

Basically, whatever we're trying to do with physical VMs on-premise, we can directly replicate them on Amazon EC2.

What is most valuable?

The solution's most valuable features are the virtual applications and the scalability.

What needs improvement?

The customization and configuration could be simplified.

Updates could be automated and simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is fantastic. It's one of our favorite features.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never had to contact technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously we were using VMware. We decided to use the current solution to take advantage of its ability to scale.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple. Deployment was fast. We could do it in about 75 minutes. It might even take as little as five to ten.

We have about five people handling deployment and maintenance. Mostly, they're architects.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation ourselves.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're charged depending on the run time, but there are other costs as well, including costs for transactions and storage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated all of the other VM's.

What other advice do I have?

We use the cloud deployment model.

I'd advise others to understand the costs involved before implementing the solution. There are transaction and storage costs as well as running costs.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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