2023.06.27 /

Different categories of EC2 instances


Amazon EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud) is a service that allows you to create virtual servers with an operating system in the cloud. These virtual servers are referred to as EC2 instances.

Instances are available in several types that are optimized for different tasks, and you can choose the one that suits your specific use case.

Today, let’s take a look at the characteristics of the five main categories of instance types, which help to classify them based on their capabilities.

・General Purpose Instances

General Purpose Instances are instances that are well-balanced with computing, memory, and network resources. They are suitable for workloads such as application servers, game servers, back-end servers for enterprise applications, and small to medium-sized databases.

・Compute Optimized Instances

Compute Optimized Instances are instances that have high-performance processors compared to General Purpose Instances. They are optimal for use cases that require higher CPU loads, such as high-performance web servers, computationally intensive application servers, and dedicated game servers.

・Memory Optimized Instances

Memory Optimized Instances are designed to deliver high-speed performance for workloads that require processing large datasets loaded into memory.

They are optimal for use cases such as high-performance databases and real-time processing of large volumes of unstructured data, where there is a need to load a significant amount of data into memory before executing the application.

・High Performance Computing Instances

High Performance Computing Instances are designed to execute certain functions more efficiently than software running on the CPU alone by utilizing hardware accelerators or coprocessors.

They are optimal for workloads such as graphic applications, game streaming, and application streaming, where the efficient execution of specific functions is crucial.

Storage-Optimized Instances

Storage-Optimized Instances are designed for workloads that require high-speed sequential reads and writes to large datasets on local storage.

They are optimal for systems such as distributed file systems, data warehousing applications, and high-frequency online transaction processing systems.


In this overview, we looked at the general types of EC2 instance types, but in reality, there are even more specific options available based on factors such as CPU and memory capacity. When using EC2, it’s important to assess the specific requirements and level of performance needed for your use case, and choose an instance type that meets those requirements. Understanding the differences between instance types is crucial in making the right selection. We hope you found this information interesting and useful.

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