What is Compute?
What is Compute?

This course covers the fundamentals of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service, commonly known as EC2AWS Compute is a large element of the AWS infrastructure, and it's likely to be one of the first service types that you will use, or are already using. This course will focus on a single Compute service, EC2 and it covers all elements from the ground up, ensuring you have a full understanding of each feature discussed

Learning Objectives

Once you have completed this course, you will understand what is meant by Compute, and you will have a full understanding of EC2 and be familiar with its configuration

Intended Audience

This course has been designed for anyone looking to learn about the EC2 service and its configurable options.  This would also be advantageous to those looking to take any of the Associate level AWS certifications. 


This is a beginner's guide to Amazon EC2 and so no existing knowledge is required of the service.  Any basic knowledge of AWS would be advantageous, but not essential.




Hello, and welcome to this very short lecture where we are going to answer the question, what is Compute in AWS? Before we begin to explore Compute services, resources and features, we must first understand what is meant by the term Compute. So what is it? 

Put simply, Compute resources can be considered the brains and processing power required by applications and systems to carry out computational tasks via a series of instructions. So essentially Compute is closely related to common server components, which many of you will already be familiar with, such as CPUs and RAM. With that in mind, a physical server within a data center would be considered a Compute resource, as it may have multiple CPUs and many gigs of RAM to process instructions given by the operating system and applications. 

Within AWS, there are a number of different services and features that offer Compute power to provide different functions. Some of these services provide Compute, which can comprise of utilizing hundreds of EC2 instances, or virtual servers, which may be used continuously for months or even years, processing millions upon millions of instructions. On the other end of this scale, you may only utilize a hew hundred milliseconds of Compute resource to execute just a few lines of code within AWS Lambda before relinquishing that Compute power. Compute resources can be consumed in different quantities, for different lengths of time across a range of categories, offering a wide scope of performance and benefit options. So it will really depend on your requirements as to which Compute resource you use within AWS. 

As a quick high-level reference, AWS offers a Cloud Compute Index, which can be found using the link onscreen. And this shows different examples and scenarios of where you might use different Compute deployment units. That brings me to the end of this very short lecture. Now we are aware of what Compute is, let's start by looking at some of the services offered by AWS that provide this Compute resource, starting with Elastic Cloud Compute, EC2.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.