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Chapter 5. EC2: Elastic Compute Cloud (Beta)

Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides an environment for running virtual servers on demand. You can manage each virtual server like a physical machine, installing the software you need and configuring it to work the way you want, or you can use preprepared servers created by third parties. The service allows you to create a resizable pool of servers for handling computing tasks. You can start as many virtual servers as necessary to perform a task, increase or decrease the number of servers as demand rises and falls, and stop them all when the task is finished. You pay only for the computing resources you use. In addition to scaling out by increasing the number of servers that will work on a task, you can scale your computing power up or down by using more or less powerful virtual server types.

To help you run your own instances in the EC2 service, we will need to discuss two things: how to use the service’s API interface to launch and manage your servers and how to create your own customized servers.

We will discuss the EC2 Application Programming Interface (API) in the current chapter. We will start by describing how to use the service’s API operations to start, stop, configure, and monitor EC2 server instances, and then we will look at the API operations for managing the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that will store your customized servers. This chapter will give you the information you need to interact with the EC2 service and ...

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