Best Practices When Using Amazon EC2 Instances

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Learn whether Amazon EC2 instances are beneficial for your organization as it migrates to the cloud

If you’re new to the cloud computing world, you’ve likely heard of Amazon’s computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), but may not have direct experience with how it works. Let’s introduce you to the concept of AWS and explain the benefits and best practices of using EC2 instances as you begin your journey into the cloud.

What is Amazon AWS?

Amazon Web Services is a secure cloud platform that offers scalable computing solutions and infrastructure. The AWS cloud encompasses a wide array of offerings that are all available on-demand, with pay-as-you-go (and as-you-use) pricing.

What is Amazon EC2?

Amazon EC2 is just one of the services under the AWS umbrella, and simply refers to a network of virtual servers that can be launched using a wide variety of operating systems and hardware configurations. With Amazon EC2, you can easily scale your cloud computing needs up or down depending on your requirements at any given moment.

Amazon EC2 Best Practices

When it comes to Amazon EC2, keep the following best practices in mind to ensure you’re protecting your critical data while getting the most out of this highly-versatile platform.

Security

It’s critical that you properly manage access to AWS resources and APIs using IAM users and IAM roles. Utilize robust credential management policies when it comes to creating, distributing, and revoking AWS access credentials. Amazon has put together an IAM Best Practices section in their IAM User Guide to get you more information on keeping this access secure.

It’s also recommended that you launch your instances into a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) instead of what is known as an EC2-Classic instance. There are a host of benefits of the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, which can help to better explain why a VPC instance is much more secure than a standard EC2 instance.

Backup and Recovery

As is the case with any type of resource, whether it’s located in the cloud or in-house, backups are incredibly important. Be sure to regularly back up your EBS volumes using Amazon EBS snapshots. It’s also a good idea to create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from your instance to allow you to launch future instances, if necessary.

Resource Management

Be sure to keep a close eye on your current limits on Amazon EC2 based on your account level. Make it a habit to request limit increases well in advance of when you’ll actually need them so you can avoid problems when you scale upwards.

Storage

In addition to backing up your data, it’s also important to think about how your data will be housed in the cloud. You need to think about the implications of each storage device should you run into issues due to data loss. Amazon recommends that you use separate Amazon EBS volumes for the operating system of your EC2 instance as well as your data.

Still confused about Amazon’s cloud-based ecosystem?

If you’re still unsure of whether your business is a good fit for Amazon’s cloud ecosystem, don’t hesitate to reach out to CloudHesive today. We’ve routinely helped companies of all sizes navigate the complexities of cloud computing. To learn more about the benefits of moving to the cloud, and the best practices surrounding Amazon EC2 instances, feel free to reach out to our team today at 800-860-2040.

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