Amazon AWS and Amazon EC2

One of the questions that is often raised on the Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course is: “What is the difference between Amazon AWS and Amazon EC?” Both words are widely used when describing Amazons Cloud Computing offerings, but often the difference is not clear. The aim of this post is to explain the differences.

Starting with Amazon Web Services (AWS), these are a set of remote computing services (Web Services) that together make up a computing cloud delivered, on demand over the Internet. There are a wide range of services provided, such as:

  • Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) providing block storage devices
  • Amazon Relational Data Service (RDS) providing MySQL and Oracle databases
  • Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) providing bulk email sending facilities
  • Amazon Route 53 providing a scalable Domain Name System

The above list is just a small fragment of the total services that together enable an organisation to provision Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on demand from Amazon.

So where does Amazon EC2 fit in ? Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is one of the services provided by Amazon Web Services and provides access to server instances on demand as a service. EC2 is a core part of AWS providing the compute facility for organisations. Amazon provide various server images that users can provision as well as the ability for users to create their own virtual machine images for use on EC2.

So summarising, AWS is a set of services that form Amazons IaaS offering. These can be used individually or integrated to form a coherent whole. EC2 is one of the services that make up AWS – probably the most important one. If you would like to know more about AWS and EC2 and how they compare with offerings from other vendors, why not consider attending Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course where we explain and contrast the Cloud Computing products from major vendors such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.


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