EC2 Instance Type Families

EC2 instances belong to different  instance types families and understanding them will help you chose the right instance for your use case. AWS currently have below categories and instance types.

  1. General Purpose -  T2, M5, M4, M3

  2. Compute Optimized - C5, C4, C3

  3. Memory Optimized - X1e, X1, R4, R3

  4. Accelerated Computing / Graphics - P3, P2, G3, F1

  5. Storage Optimized - H1, I3, D2


EC2 instance type descriptions

  1. T2

    • Specialty: General purpose, lowest cost.

    • Use: web servers, small databases, development environments, build servers, code repositories. 

  2. M5, M4, M3

    • Specialty: Main General Purpose

    • Use: Application Servers, small and mid-size databases, and for running backend servers for SAP, Microsoft SharePoint, cluster computing. 

  3. C5, C4, C3

    • Specialty: Optimized compute

    • Use: CPU intensive applications, databases, batch processing, distributed analytics.

  4. X1e, X1

    • Specialty: Extreme memory optimized

    • Use: Apache Spark, SAP HANA etc.

  5. R4, R3

    • Specialty: Optimized memory (RAM)

    • Use: Memory intensive applications, high performance databases, data mining & analysis, in-memory databases.

  6. G3

    • Specialty: Graphics Intensive

    • Use: 3D visualizations, graphics-intensive remote workstation, 3D rendering, application streaming, video encoding.

  7. P2

    • Specialty: Graphics/General-purpose GPU compute

    • Note: GPU-accelerated computing is the use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) together with a CPU to accelerate deep learning, analytics, and engineering applications.  

    • Use: Machine learning, high performance databases.

  8. F1

    • Specialty: Field Programmable Gate Array

    • Use: Hardware Acceleration for your code, financial analytics, real-time video processing, big data search.

  9. D2

    • Specialty: Dense storage

    • Use: file servers, data warehousing.

  10. I3

    • Specialty: High speed storage (IO).

    • Use: NoSQL DBs, Data warehousing etc.

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