Amazon Web Services or AWS is the largest cloud platform among cloud services. It powers numerous digital infrastructures for private and public organizations of all sizes. When AWS first launched in 2006, it started with a few core services. Two of them are EC2 and S3. These first-generation services have been the cornerstone of AWS, and fifteen years later people are still actively using them. In this article, we'll find out what S3 and EC2 are and their similarities and differences.
EC2 stands for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. EC2 is one of the first generation services in AWS. EC2 is basically a server running in the cloud. Traditionally, to run your system on servers, you had to buy servers and install them in-house. From ordering to maintaining this infrastructure themselves, their tasks are unimaginably demanding. It's expensive and inefficient. When they get old, you're going to have to replace them and migrate all your software over to the new one.
When EC2 came along, it was a game changer. I still remember my first experience with EC2. I was able to get a server for a really low price with just a few clicks. The entire industry benefits from this new way of owning servers. What's even more amazing is that upgrading EC2 hardware, for example, higher CPU, RAM or larger storage, you can also do it with a few clicks, without worrying about migrating your software. When you upgrade, AWS automatically moves all your software to the new software. This makes vertical scaling so easy. Additionally, you have the flexibility to mount storage of various sizes (EBS or Elastic Block Storage) on different Amazon EC2 instances.
S3, or Simple Storage Service, is an object storage service. This is the storage infrastructure Amazon.com uses for its global e-commerce network. You can use this service to store all types of files of any size (e.g. local hard drive) at an affordable price. You might think of it as similar to cloud file storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box. Well, it's somewhat similar to how you can store files in the cloud. However, it's not just about storing files.
In addition to file storage, Amazon Simple Storage Service provides additional functionality that allows users to build Internet applications, perform file backup and recovery. You can also use S3 as data lake storage and hybrid cloud storage for big data workloads and analytics. The service is known for its scalability, high availability, and low latency, with a durability of 99.999999999% and availability between 99.95% and 99.99%, according toWikipedia. This reliability is critical to business continuity.
S3 and EC2 are separate services, so they are more different than similar. However, they still have something in common.
Similarities exist in the functional and architectural domains. However, S3 and EC2 have different design goals. Therefore, the best use cases for the two should be different. Substituting one for the other is difficult and not advisable.
Application front-end code base
An EC2 instance is a server. In EC2, you can store code and other files such as images, video, audio, etc. for use by your application. You can also run backend and frontend code together. This is not surprising.
In AWS, it provides a serverless ecosystem through Lambda. AWS Lambda is basically a function that can be invoked from different points including EC2, API Gateway, CloudWatch, etc. When you adopt the serverless concept, you put the backend code in Lambda and the frontend code in S3. We'll cover this in more detail in the use case section below. For the similarities here, remember that you can use S3 for your front-end code. When you plan to build a static website, this architecture can help you reduce costs significantly.
When you're working with S3 on the AWS web console, you might forget that S3 basically runs on the server as well. AWS provides a convenient UI-based management console where users can upload and download files and use other extensible features. However, S3 is basically a server like EC2. You can store files in S3 and EC2. If we were to argue about the best use case, AWS generally recommends users to use S3 for storing files. In terms of functionality, you can use both to place files.
S3 provides almost unlimited storage size, while with EC2 you can increase the storage size and add the number of EC2 instances to get more storage. Likewise, AWS does not recommend that you scale EC2 just for storage size. For file management, S3 offers more robust options and an affordable pricing structure. In addition, it provides easy data backup.
Compatible with other AWS services
In AWS, there are no completely isolated services. All AWS services can interact with other AWS services. EC2 and S3 are no exception. They can be called by other services and vice versa. EC2 can access S3 to use and manage files. AWS has an extensive library of APIs for all major programming languages. Users can use them to programmatically interact with resources in AWS.
Because they are different services, there are more differences than similarities. The difference lies in the purpose of EC2 and S3.
Servers and Storage
Although you can find similarities in some of the features shared above, each of them is designed for different goals. EC2 is a server service. It has become one of AWS's most important trademarked services. EC2 is also used for other AWS services that require a server. For example, when you train a machine learning model, it requires a lot of computing power. In AWS SageMaker, when you execute a training job, SageMaker allows you to choose the number and type of instances so that you are free to use EC2 instances for training.
Redshift is AWS's data warehouse service that runs on servers. You can scale up and down horizontally by determining the number of instances and their specifications. There are many more use cases that explain what EC2 is for.
S3 is a storage service in AWS. But, there's more. Just as other AWS services use EC2 instances, S3 is also used when storage is required. For example, S3 is used to build data lakes in AWS. Due to the nature of file storage, you can store structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data in Amazon S3 buckets. This is in contrast to relational databases which can only store structured data. You can then query this data using AWS Athena. S3 can be used to store code files to be run in other services. S3 is a scalable storage service in AWS.
Another major difference is their pricing structure. For EC2, AWS bills you based on the hours your EC2 instance runs. For S3, you are charged by the total data size in the S3 bucket. Costs can be further differentiated by the type of EC2 instance. It gets more expensive when you use a more powerful EC2 instance with more storage attached. In S3, you can save costs by using a different storage type such as IA (Infrequently Accessed) or Glacier.
A good way to learn about EC2 and S3 is to look at the examples. Here, we'll look at five use cases for EC2 and S3 in different industries. As you read through, you'll probably be able to get a good idea of how you want to use the services.
Edmoto, a global online education technology company, has seen a 1,500% surge in users during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet surging demand, Edmoto had to scale up quickly. Edmoto uses EC2 and CloudFront. Patchin, Vice President of Marketing at Edmodo,explain, "Using Amazon EC2 instances, we have been able to rapidly increase site capacity by 15 times to continue providing teachers and students with uninterrupted access to our solution for their distance learning needs." Since EC2 instances can easily scale up and out , Edmodo was able to meet the growing demand.
INEOS UK Team
INEOS TEAM UK is a British sailing team based in Portsmouth, UK. The team was formed in 2018 to bring the America's Cup, the world's oldest international sporting trophy, to the UK. The upcoming race will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021. Like all other teams, the team will compete on a team-designed boat. Race organizers have developed guidelines to test the sailing skills of the crew. Part of the purpose of the restrictive rules is to control the cost of entering the competition so that many entrants can participate.
Despite these limitations, the team was able to design the shape of the boat's monohull and hydrofoils. However, it was impossible to physically create various designs and test them on water. To solve this problem, engineers turn to computer-based simulations to optimize their designs. Tested over thousands of simulations to find the best boat shape and position at sea. INEOS TEAM US needed to run 2,000 – 3,000 simulations for their boat.
For speed and cost-effectiveness, the team chose AWS EC2 instances and used spot instances, which give users access to unused Amazon EC2 capacity at a lower price. "Combining the speed and low cost of Amazon EC2 Spot Instances means we can do more simulations within our design budget,"explainHolroyd, Head of Design. He added, "One of the questions I often ask myself is whether we are spending our money wisely. With AWS, I have no doubts because it dramatically compresses compute turnaround time and minimizes design time."
BandLab is a music cloud company that helps users create, mix, revise, sync and collaborate across digital devices (smartphones, tablets and computers). Since people have access to these everyday digital tools, they can enjoy the convenience and convenience of making music. The BandLab app attracts over 40,000 new users every day around the world. With constant growth, BandLab had to find a place to store 4PB of data and prepare additional storage space for the future. To meet the demands of massive data, BandLab chose AWS S3.
Nick den Engelsman, Senior Cloud Systems Engineer and Architect,explain, “We made a decision in early 2017 that anything related to audio—transcoding, mixing, you name it—would be done on AWS.” He added: “The main reason we want to move Because we expect the number of users to increase in the future, and therefore the number of audio samples uploaded by users, we have to transcode. We know that Amazon S3 can handle it because it has almost unlimited scale.” By using AWS S3, to At the end of 2020, the company was able to serve 26 million users at an optimized cost.
AsiaNet News Media & Entertainment
Asianet News uses Amazon Relational Database (RDS) and EC2 to run its applications—content management system, news web application, and mobile application. The media company experienced thousands of concurrent users per second and unforeseen traffic spikes. Their RDS usage is read-centric rather than write-centric, which makes the company pay higher infrastructure costs during peak periods. Anoop Mohan, Product Manager of Subnet News,explainThat said, with EC2's hourly pricing, they still pay for low-traffic or idle EC2 instances during low-traffic periods.
To optimize data and server infrastructure usage and their costs, they decided to migrate from RDS to DynamoDB and Lambda instead of EC2. The company achieved low-latency performance from the backend by integrating Lambda with API Gateway, DynamoDB, S3, and CloudWatch. “Thanks to Lambda’s sub-second metering model, we only pay for the milliseconds consumed instead of every hour, and we reduced our overall operating costs by 50 percent,” Mohan said. Moving to DynamoDB also allowed us to easily sync and Operating multiple events in parallel helped us further reduce database costs by a factor of 48."
MilesWeb builds, hosts and manages websites for businesses worldwide. The company provides services for various types of websites, including blogs, personal websites, and e-commerce websites. The company provides 24/7 technical support to more than 10,000 customers. MilesWeb was launched in 2012. Since then, it has bought or leased on-premises servers and data centers to run its clients' websites. Chinmay Dingore, Co-Founder and Executive Director, MilesWeb,explain, “One of the challenges we faced was downtime, which increased to 12 to 16 hours over a six-month period. For our clients with high-traffic e-commerce sites, this level of disruption is unacceptable."
Other significant challenges include the lengthy process of attaching storage or upgrading RAM, which causes downtime. After they migrated their infrastructure to AWS, they experienced high performance and low cost. Their website latency has dropped by 30%, and their administrative costs have dropped by 30%. Chinmay Dingore, co-founder and executive director of MilesWeb, said: "The website took 5 to 6 seconds to load, but since migrating to AWS, the load time has dropped to 3.5 to 4 seconds -- a reduction of about 30 percent." He added : "Through the migration, our management costs have been reduced by 30%."
To increase the storage size in EC2 instances, you can use Amazon Elastic Block Store. You can attach EBS volumes to server instances so that you can have scalable file storage in your cloud infrastructure.
In this article, we looked at the similarities and differences between S3 and EC2. These two AWS services play key roles in the AWS ecosystem and exist to empower each other. As you read the case studies, you now have a better understanding of both services and AWS in general. The good news is that AWS offers a free trial, and there's no better way to learn than by doing it yourself.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) are two major storage services for AWS. S3 is more lightweight and provides the capability to store data. EC2, on the other hand, is a web service that provides secure, resizable computing capacity in the cloud.What are the different use cases where you can use EC2? ›
- Hosting environments. One of the foremost uses of EC2 is for hosting a variety of applications, software and websites on the cloud. ...
- Development and test environments. ...
- Backup and disaster recovery. ...
- Banking and financial sector. ...
- Marketing and advertisement. ...
- High performance computing.
It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon's proven computing environment. EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change.What is the recommended use case for Amazon EC2 on demand instances? ›
On-demand instances are ideal for users that cannot or do not want to make upfront payments or long-term cost commitments. Organizations that require low-cost, flexible and resizable compute capacity like that provided by Amazon EC2 can also benefit from on-demand instances.What is the difference between container and EC2 instance? ›
An Amazon ECS container instance is an Amazon EC2 instance that is running the Amazon ECS container agent and has been registered into an Amazon ECS cluster. When you run tasks with Amazon ECS using the EC2 launch type or an Auto Scaling group capacity provider, your tasks are placed on your active container instances.What is the difference between AWS and AWS EC2? ›
AWS is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform; EC2 is a service that enables business subscribers to run application programs in the computing environment. It can serve as a practically unlimited set of virtual machines (VMs).What are the practical use cases of AWS S3? ›
- Backup File System. ...
- Infrequent Access, Reduced Redundancy & Archival Storage. ...
- Host Static Website. ...
- Create Private Local Repository. ...
- Improve File Sharing. ...
- Take the Most Out of S3!
- Option 1: Automatically connect – EC2 console. Task 1: Create an RDS database – optional. Task 2: Launch an EC2 instance – optional. ...
- Option 2: Automatically connect – RDS console. Task 1: Launch an EC2 instance – optional. ...
- Option 3: Manually connect (create security groups) Task 1: Launch an EC2 instance – optional. ...
- Clean up.
Amazon EC2 is a popular solution for running various applications in the cloud. However, these applications might need some static data to operate with. For those use cases, Amazon S3 offers an easy and highly scalable storage for any static data, such as data for website hosting, for example.What are two benefits of Amazon EC2? ›
- Elastic Web-Scale Computing. Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. ...
- Completely Controlled. You have complete control of your instances including root access and the ability to interact with them as you would any machine. ...
- Flexible Cloud Hosting Services.
Disadvantages/Drawbacks of EC2
AWS imposes resource limits by default, which vary by region. You can only launch a certain number of instances per area. Hardware-level changes occur in your application, which may result in poor performance and usage of your applications.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is the Amazon Web Service you use to create and run virtual machines in the cloud (we call these virtual machines 'instances').What type of Amazon EC2 Instance would be a best practice for selection? ›
Storage Optimized instance type. The storage optimized AWS EC2 instance type provides the best storage capabilities for Amazon instances.What would be the best Amazon EC2 Instance type to use for batch processing? ›
Compute-optimized instances are suitable for workloads that require high-performance processing capacity, such as batch processing and high-traffic web servers. Memory-optimized instances are ideal for workloads that require processing large data sets in memory.What would be the best Amazon EC2 Instance type to use for batch processing workload? ›
As Spot Instances can be reclaimed with a two-minute warning, they are ideal for fault tolerant applications. Since Batch workloads are containerized, Batch is a perfect fit for Spot Instances.What are two key differences between a container and a VM? ›
Key differences: containers vs. virtual machines. Containers virtualize the operating system so the application can run independently on any platform. Virtual machines go beyond that to virtualize physical machines, so you can use your hardware resources efficiently.How many containers can run on an EC2 instance? ›
Docker containers improve efficiency by providing a lightweight, efficient isolation model. Unlike a heavier virtual machine, you can run many small docker containers on a single machine. It isn't uncommon to fill an EC2 instance with 10–20 Docker containers.What is the main difference between a container and a virtual machine? ›
The key differentiator between containers and virtual machines is that virtual machines virtualize an entire machine down to the hardware layers and containers only virtualize software layers above the operating system level.What are the 3 types of EC2? ›
Here are different types of EC2 Instances: General Purpose Instances. Compute Optimized Instances. Memory-Optimized Instances.What is EC2 and S3 in cloud computing? ›
EC2 is the AWS computing service, which offers computing capacity on demand with immediate availability and no set commitment to length of use. S3 is the AWS's first service. It offers the object storage over the web.
Using this solution you can store and share large files by mounting Amazon S3 as an NFS volume to an Amazon EC2 instance, and thereby achieve a cost-effective, performant, scalable, and highly available storage for applications dealing with large files without needing to change any source code.Is AWS S3 case sensitive? ›
Unlike standard Windows file systems, the Amazon S3 storage is case-sensitive. To ensure consistent behavior, Kentico automatically converts all file and folder names to lower case when processing files on Amazon S3.What are the benefits of using S3 instead? ›
- Budget-friendly. As we discussed earlier, Amazon provides services based on a pay-as-you-go model. ...
- High scalability. Scalability is the measure to increase or decrease the resource as per need. ...
- Durability. ...
- High availability. ...
- Security. ...
- Easy to manage.
Many customers use Amazon S3 to store enterprise application data, as well as to store cloud native application production data. With Amazon S3, you can upload any amount of data and access it anywhere in order to deploy applications faster and reach more end users.Can S3 be used with multiple EC2 instances? ›
S3 is scalable, like EFS, and has access to multiple EC2 instances.What are the three components of EC2 scaling? ›
The three components of EC2 Auto Scaling are scaling policies, scaling activities, and scaling processes.How does EC2 communicate with S3? ›
- Create an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) profile role that grants access to Amazon S3.
- Attach the IAM instance profile to the instance.
- Validate permissions on your S3 bucket.
- Create an IAM role with S3 write access or admin access.
- Map the IAM role to an EC2 instance.
- Install AWS CLI in EC2 instance.
- Run the AWS s3 cp command to copy the files from S3 to EC2.
Amazon S3 offers flexible security features to block unauthorized users from accessing your data. Use VPC endpoints to connect to S3 resources from your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) and from on-premises. Amazon S3 encrypts all new data uploads to any bucket (as of January 5, 2023).Why do customers use EC2? ›
Scalability. Amazon EC2 provides a highly scalable compute capacity in the cloud and enables companies to increase and decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days.
Using AWS EC2 is good for running high-performance applications, long-running applications, and the applications that must not have a delay at the start time. If you use AWS EC2 instances, don't forget to back them up to avoid losing your data.What is AWS EC2 general purpose? ›
General Purpose. General purpose instances provide a balance of compute, memory and networking resources, and can be used for a variety of diverse workloads. These instances are ideal for applications that use these resources in equal proportions such as web servers and code repositories.What are the disadvantages of S3? ›
Amazon's S3 Limits
Unfortunately, one of the main disadvantages of Amazon S3 is that AWS limits resources by location, so some areas may have fewer resources than others. It can also be challenging to find out how many resources you've used, although you can request a resource increase if needed.
Amazon EC2 provides the broadest and deepest instance choice to match your workload's needs. General purpose, compute optimized, memory optimized, storage optimized, and accelerated computing instance types are available that provide the optimal compute, memory, storage, and networking balance for your workloads.Why not to use EC2? ›
EC2 is probably not a good fit for your application when…
You can't afford to pay for redundancy, but your application has high stability/availability requirements. EC2 instances fail, EBS volumes fail or slow down randomly, entire availability zones fail.
In contrast, the self-managed database on the EC2 option requires you to manually set up, configure, manage, and tune the various components, including Amazon EC2 instances, storage volumes, scalability, networking, and security.Does EC2 come with a database? ›
Amazon EC2 supports a self-managed SQL Server database. That is, it gives you full control over the setup of the infrastructure and the database environment. Running the database on Amazon EC2 is very similar to running the database on your own server.Is EC2 a software or hardware? ›
The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud. This means that it provides computing power and resources that you can use for a fee. You take care of running the software; Amazon EC2 provides the hardware.What is the clock speed of EC2? ›
Amazon EC2 instances feature 1st Gen AMD EPYC™ 7000 series processors with an all core clock speed of 2.5GHz and 2nd Gen 7002 series processors with an all core clock speed of 3.3GHz. The 2nd Gen AMD EPYC™ processors also have improved memory bandwidth and increased connectivity for peripherals.Why is an Amazon EC2 instance more beneficial than an on premise data center for running applications? ›
It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon's proven computing environment. EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change.
In what scenarios would a customer most likely use Amazon EC2 Cluster instances? To support workloads such as applications for science and engineering that require super computing performance.Which EC2 instance type is ideal for high performance databases? ›
AWS recommends that you choose db. m- based or r-based Amazon RDS instances for any enterprise database workloads. R5 instances are well suited for memory intensive applications such as high-performance databases.What is the recommended use case for Amazon EC2 On-Demand instances? ›
On-demand instances are ideal for users that cannot or do not want to make upfront payments or long-term cost commitments. Organizations that require low-cost, flexible and resizable compute capacity like that provided by Amazon EC2 can also benefit from on-demand instances.Which EC2 instance type family would be best used for demanding webservers and CPU heavy workloads? ›
Hpc instance family
Hpc is the high performance computing family that belongs to the compute-optimized AWS EC2 instance type intended for high-performance compute-intensive workloads.
Storage-optimized instance—suitable for storage-intensive workloads requiring sequential read and write access to locally stored datasets. This instance type is useful for running applications with low-latency operations.Is S3 attached to EC2? ›
The S3 File Gateway uses the VPC gateway endpoint to connect privately to the S3 service and your S3 bucket mounted to your EC2 instance.How is EC2 connected to S3? ›
For your EC2 instance to connect to S3 endpoints, the instance must be one of the following: EC2 instance with a public IP address and a route table entry with the default route pointing to an Internet Gateway. Private EC2 instance with a default route through a NAT gateway.What is AWS S3 used for? ›
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. You can use Amazon S3 to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time, from anywhere.How do I push files from S3 to EC2? ›
- SSH into the EC2 instance.
- Run aws sts get-caller-identity to confirm that the EC2 instance has the correct role attached and AWS CLI is working properly.
- Run aws s3 <S3_Object_URI> <Local_File_Path> to copy files from S3 bucket to the EC2 instance.
Can S3 be cast-off with EC2 Instances, If yes specify how? Answer: Yes, it is possible to cast off with EC2 instances by using root approaches which have the backup of native occurrence storage.
The total volume of data and number of objects you can store in Amazon S3 are unlimited. Individual Amazon S3 objects can range in size from a minimum of 0 bytes to a maximum of 5 TB.How much is S3 transfer to EC2? ›
Data transfer is free between EC2 and S3 in the same region. Downloading files from another AWS region will cost $0.02/GB.Can S3 be used as database? ›
AWS S3 is a key-value store, one of the major categories of NoSQL databases used for accumulating voluminous, mutating, unstructured, or semistructured data.What are the key features of S3? ›
S3 features include capabilities to append metadata tags to objects, move and store data across the S3 Storage Classes, configure and enforce data access controls, secure data against unauthorized users, run big data analytics, monitor data at the object and bucket levels, and view storage usage and activity trends ...What are the benefits of Amazon EC2? ›
Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.What is general purpose EC2? ›
General Purpose. General purpose instances provide a balance of compute, memory and networking resources, and can be used for a variety of diverse workloads. These instances are ideal for applications that use these resources in equal proportions such as web servers and code repositories.