Chapter 2: Compute Services in AWS

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Introduction to Compute Services

Compute services in AWS provide the necessary computing power to run applications, process data, and perform various tasks in the cloud. AWS offers a range of compute services that cater to different workload requirements and use cases. These services allow users to provision and manage virtual servers, run code without managing infrastructure, and orchestrate containerized applications. In this chapter, we will explore the key compute services offered by AWS and their features.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon EC2, or Elastic Compute Cloud, is one of the core compute services provided by AWS. It offers resizable compute capacity in the cloud, allowing users to provision virtual servers known as instances. EC2 instances can be easily scaled up or down based on demand, providing flexibility and cost optimization.

Key features of EC2 include:

1. Instance Types: EC2 offers a variety of instance types optimized for different workloads, such as general-purpose, memory-optimized, compute-optimized, and GPU instances.

2. Pricing Options: Users can choose between On-Demand Instances, which offer pay-as-you-go pricing, Reserved Instances for long-term commitments, and Spot Instances for obtaining spare capacity at discounted prices.

3. Auto Scaling: Auto Scaling allows users to automatically adjust the number of instances based on predefined conditions. It ensures the application can handle varying traffic loads without manual intervention.

4. Elastic IP Addresses: EC2 provides static IP addresses, known as Elastic IP addresses, which can be associated with instances. This enables users to maintain a consistent IP address even if the instance is stopped or replaced.

Elastic Container Service (ECS)

AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that allows users to run and manage Docker containers in the cloud. ECS simplifies the deployment, scaling, and management of containers, enabling users to focus on their applications rather than infrastructure.

Key features of ECS include:

1. Task Definitions: Task Definitions in ECS define how containers are configured and run. Users can specify container images, CPU and memory requirements, networking, and other parameters in a task definition.

2. Clusters: ECS clusters are logical groups of EC2 instances or AWS Fargate resources that run containers. Users can create and manage multiple clusters to organize and isolate their containerized applications.

3. Service Scaling: ECS provides automatic scaling options for services, allowing users to define scaling policies based on metrics like CPU utilization or request count. It ensures that the desired number of containers are running based on application demand.


AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows users to run code without provisioning or managing servers. With Lambda, users can execute code in response to events, such as changes to data in Amazon S3, updates to a DynamoDB table, or an HTTP request.

Key features of Lambda include:

1. Event-Driven Execution: Lambda functions are triggered by events, such as changes to data, incoming API requests, or scheduled events. Users define the events that trigger the execution of their code.

2. Serverless Scaling: Lambda automatically scales the execution environment based on the incoming request rate. It provisions and manages the required resources to handle the workload, ensuring high availability and performance.

3. Pay-per-Use Pricing: Lambda follows a pay-per-use pricing model, where users only pay for the compute time consumed by their functions. There are no upfront costs or minimum fees.

Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) that simplifies the deployment and management of applications. It supports a variety of programming languages, web servers, and application containers, making it easier for developers to focus on writing code rather than managing infrastructure.

Key features of Elastic Beanstalk include:

1. Application Deployment: Elastic Beanstalk supports various application deployment options, including web applications, APIs, worker environments, and more. Users can deploy their applications using popular frameworks and platforms.

2. Automatic Capacity Provisioning: Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles capacity provisioning, ensuring that the application has sufficient resources to handle traffic. It can scale up or down based on the application's needs.

3. Environment Management: Elastic Beanstalk manages the complete lifecycle of the application environment, including deployment, monitoring, scaling, and health management. Users can easily update or roll back their applications.


In this chapter, we explored the key compute services offered by AWS. We discussed Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for provisioning virtual servers, Elastic Container Service (ECS) for container orchestration, Lambda for serverless computing, and Elastic Beanstalk for simplified application deployment. These services provide users with the flexibility, scalability, and ease of management required to run various workloads in the cloud. AWS compute services empower businesses to focus on their applications while AWS handles the underlying infrastructure.

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