Amazon EC2 provides an elastic compute cloud (EC2) power in the Amazon cloud infrastructure that is able to handle big data. It enables customers to create virtual machines and provides functionality to manage end user accounts during the use of the cloud infrastructure. In other words it provides not only virtualized CPU computing power to end users but also the management tools of the provisioned computing resources. The Name suggests elastic load balancing services and so-called auto-scaling. This auto-scaling enables EC2 users to automatically scale their VM instance capacity up or down depending on the workload of the cloud. This property of a cloud service is often named user demand-driven resource provisioning. It ensures that a sufficient number of Amazon EC2 instances are provisioned to meet the expected performance. It will also scale down the VM instance capacity in order to reduce costs in cases where the workload is reduced.
Amazon EC2 is supported in the Amazon Web Services platform. Amazon EC2 uses the virtual machine monitor, also named Hypervisor XEN. It provides several predefined virtual machine templates and users can choose different kinds of virtual machines based on these templates. Users of EC2 can run any kind of applications within a virtual machine instance. These instances are publicly reachable since EC2 automatically assigns a public IP address to them.
One EC2 application example is from the New York Times that uses Amazon EC2 and S3 in order to quickly retrieve pictorial Information from millions of archived articles and newspapers. The benefit for the New York Times is that it significantly reduced the time and cost in getting this information.
More about Amazon EC2
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