What is the Difference Between EC2 and AMI?

EC2 is an Amazon service that is used to create virtual computers to run on the cloud without needing to set up hardware on-premise. Simply run the virtual computer on your local system, and AMI is the image of that virtual machine being used in the EC2 instance. The user can create his own custom AMIs to use them again and again on the cloud.

Let’s start with the difference between AWS EC2 service and AMI.

What is EC2?

Thinking about the EC2 service of Amazon, simply imagine a computer as the EC2 instance is the virtual equivalent of the computer sitting on the user’s table. It might be a drastic oversimplification, but the concept of EC2 is that it basically contains a CPU for processing, OS such as Linux or Windows, Storage, Security, and RAM to access and run programs:

Advantages of EC2

Some of the important benefits of Amazon EC2 are mentioned below:

  • Elastic Web-scale computing
  • Flexible cloud hosting service
  • Security
  • Designed to use with other AWS services
  • Easy to start and use

What is AMI?

AWS EC2 service comes with many images like Ubuntu, Fedora, Windows, RedHat, etc., and these images can be customized at the runtime using EC2 user data. But the AWS platform offers users to create their own image and customize it according to their requirements, so they don’t have to reproduce the same setup every time:

Advantages of AMI

Some of the advantages of the Amazon Machine Image are mentioned below:

  • Pre-Installed packages needed
  • Faster Boot time
  • Control over the machine in the network
  • Control of the maintenance and updates of AMIs over time
  • Install the application ahead of time

EC2 vs AMI

Amazon EC2 is the server on which users can create and run instances using different operating systems such as Linux, Windows, etc. These operating systems are the Amazon Machine Images provided by the platform used on the EC2 instance. The user can create a customized AMI and save it to run again and again in the future.


Amazon EC2 service is used to create instances on the cloud that are virtual computers having all the components to run and access files. Operating systems used by these instances are known as Amazon Machine Images, as they are provided by the platform to be used with instances. The user can create a customized Machine image to get better control over his system.

About the author

Talha Mahmood

As a technical author, I am eager to learn about writing and technology. I have a degree in computer science which gives me a deep understanding of technical concepts and the ability to communicate them to a variety of audiences effectively.