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Meet the family of AWS EC2 instance types

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The team of AWS EC2 instances

Source:  Jrcasas/iStock
Visual Editor: Sarah Evans/TechTarget

With a wide selection of Amazon Web Services EC2 instance types available, AWS meets a growing range of application and workload requirements for various levels of memory, storage, CPU and networking capacity.

The introduction of M4 and C4 instance types demonstrates the increase in capability and effectiveness of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, leading us into the next generation of remote computing. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 instance families have a wide range of specialties and relevant use cases. Here's a look at nine EC2 instance types and uses for each.

Before reviewing the families of AWS EC2 instances, it is important to learn about what AWS calls the "new instance generation." These include HVM Amazon Machine Image (AMI) based instances and PV-based instances. The main difference between PV and HVM AMIs is the way in which they boot up and whether they take advantage of special hardware extensions, such as CPU, network and storage, to improve performance. PV guests can run on host hardware that does not explicitly support virtualization but cannot take advantage of special hardware extensions such as enhanced networking or graphics processor unit (GPU) processing.

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