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Let’s Discover the EC2 Service from Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Kushagramati Analytics was where I started in the vast world of data. The training opportunities provided by this job have been extraordinary to say the least, and the freedom to learn has been extremely encouraging. I began by learning Python, Pandas and NumPy, followed by numerous courses in Databricks and Boomi Integration, and then moved on to the Cloud platform.

Cloud computing is like a bus. You didn’t have to buy, maintain, or operate the vehicle, yet somehow you can still use it to get around and pay only for your trip. The cloud is like that, you don’t have to buy, maintain, or operate servers, you just pay for running your website or web service on them, and leave the maintenance and operations to someone else to deal with.

So, what does the cloud look like to someone using it? A lot of people are unaware that Amazon, in addition to being the most well-known online retailer, is also one of the top suppliers of cloud computing services i.e., Amazon Web Services.

AWS is the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centres globally. Google is another major cloud provider which is called Google cloud computing, we also have another player from Microsoft called Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing Platform & Services and IBM’s IBM Cloud. The list goes on. As you can see, cloud services are big business today; some of the tech industry giants are in on the game.


Let’s peek behind the scenes at what it looks like to be using the cloud. When we log into AWS, here is what we see:

This is a list of pretty much ALL the cloud services that AWS provides. A lot of them have very specific purposes, and most applications only need to use a fraction of these services. The reason there are so many is because the cloud industry has moved forward from just providing a “server” that looks and feels just like one you might set up yourself (known as “Platform as a Service”), to providing access to just the actual software you’d run, so you no longer have to even deal with installation, configuration, and upgrading (known as “Software as a Service”).

We are going to focus on the EC2 service (it’s the first one in the list). Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the AWS Cloud. Using Amazon EC2 eliminates your need to invest in hardware up front, so you can develop and deploy applications faster. You can use Amazon EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need,configure security and networking, and manage storage. Amazon EC2 enables you to scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity, reducing your need to forecast traffic. This is the traditional “We want a server; you set one up for me, you manage it, and just give me access to it” (PaaS) model that you would use if you just wanted a server but want Amazon to deal with it and just give you access to its computing power

First, we need to select which datacentre we want to use from the menu in the top right. AWS has multiple datacentres across the world. We are going to pick North Virginia (US East).


Then, we go to the EC2 section, and click on the big button that says, “Launch Instance” (which is effectively the “gimme new server” button).


Now, we must pick which operating system. The first four options in the list are various flavours of Linux, the next option is Windows. There are other options in the list with various pieces of software pre-configured. You could for example find a web server with WordPress all set up and pre-configured, and you’ll have your own ideas as soon as it finishes booting up. While most web servers these days run Linux, for this demonstration, we are going to pick the base Windows option, as it’ll be the one that most non-developers will be more familiar with.


Next, we pick what size of machine we want. These range from the tiny single core, 500MB RAM machine, to the enormous 128 virtual cores, 4TB RAM, with 4TB of SSD drive attached (and we could attach more drives if we needed to). For this demonstration, we are going to select the largest machine. Once we have selected it there are other options, we could set such as firewall and configurations, or we can accept defaults and launch it right away. Once we launch it, we must wait a couple of minutes for it to “spin up.” And then it becomes available for me to connect to it.

This is what my list of EC2 instance list now look like. You can see the x1e.32xlarge instance we just launched is at the top of my list.


In the details panel below it, you can see that Amazon has assigned me with a public IP address. That’s the address you could punch into a web browser to access our new machine if we were to set up a web server on it, or we could go configure a web address to connect to our server. AWS has many such services and EC2 is one of them which was detailed out in this blog. Hoping this write up interested you to experiment working on EC2. Let me know which other cloud services you would like to know I would be happy to explain and describe in my next blog.

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