What are the pros and cons of using Amazon EC2

What are the pros and cons of using Amazon EC2?

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Pros:

  • Instant provisioning of new servers.
  • Elastic growth for any workload with lots of instance types and ready to go images to launch an OS or software without doing all the setup.
  • Multiple geographic areas to run servers with a standard interface.
  • Programmatic/API access to do everything.
  • Multiple availability zones in each region for availability and capacity planning.
  • Entire AWS ecosystem of services and support and community to build on.
  • Spot market to bid on instances at cheap prices, in exchange for guaranteed capacity, which allows for some great cost savings on scalable workloads.
  • Long-term pricing available for discounts.
  • All accounts are in a Virtual Private Cloud by default (isolated private network for security).
  • Security groups make firewall access easy to setup.
  • ELB makes load balancing easy to setup.

Cons:

  • Instance types are rigid, must get entirely bigger instances even if just interested in more CPU or RAM.
  • Expensive at on-demand rates if elasticity is not needed (or expensive upfront payment if not using server for entire purchase length).
  • VM performance can be highly variable due to size, placement, and other uses on the same physical hardware.
  • No IPv6 support yet (as of 2015).
  • No VPN access to internal network (need custom software or DirectConnect service).
  • Networking is not as flexible as other providers or colo (no multicast support, low control over interfaces and bindings). Cross-region communication is more complex to setup.
Answered on June 12, 2019.
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