What is Compute in AWS?

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Duration1h 19m


Understanding the fundamentals of AWS is critical if you want to deploy services and resources within the AWS Cloud.  The Compute category of services are key resources that allow you to carry out computational abilities via a series of instructions used by applications and systems.  These resources cover a range of different services and features, these being:

  • EC2 - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud 
  • ECS - Amazon Elastic Container Service
  • ECR - Amazon Elastic Container Registry
  • EKS - Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Batch
  • Amazon Lightsail

This course will provide the fundamental elements of all of these Compute services and features that will allow you to select the most appropriate service for your project and implementations. Each have their advantages by providing something of value that’s different to the others, which will all be discussed.

Topics covered within this course consist of:

  • What is Compute:  This lecture explains what 'Compute' is and what is meant by Compute resources and services
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): This is one of the most common Compute services, as a result this will likely be the longest lecture as I want to cover a lot of elements around EC2 to ensure you are aware of how it’s put together and how it works
  • Amazon ECS (EC2 Container Service): Within this lecture I will provide a high level overview of what the EC2 Container Service is and how it relates to Docker
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry: In this lecture I explain how this service links closely with ECS to provide a secure location to store and manage your docker images
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS): Here I look at how EKS, provides a managed service allowing you to run Kubernetes across your AWS infrastructure without having to take care of running the Kubernetes control plane
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk:  This lecture will provide an overview of the service, showing how it’s used to automatically deploy applications using EC2 and a number of other AWS services.
  • AWS Lambda:  This lecture covers the Lambda ‘serverless’ service, where I shall explain what serverless means and how this service is used to run your own code in response to events.
  • AWS Batch: Here I will provide a high level overview of this service that relates to Batch Computing
  • Amazon Lightsail: Finally we will look at Amazon Lightsail, a Virtual Private Server solution used for small scale projects and use cases

If you want to learn the differences between the different Compute services, then this course is for you! 

With demonstrations provided, along with links to a number of our Labs that allow you to gain hands on experience in using many of these services will give you a solid understanding of the Compute services used within AWS.

If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at support@cloudacademy.com.


Resources referenced within this lecture:

Cloud Compute Index



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. AWS Lambda is a serverless Compute resource in AWS, and I'll cover more on this service later in this course. 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. 

In this course, we'll discuss them all, allowing you to decide which is best for your implementation. 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 paths31

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

To date Stuart has created over 40 courses relating to Cloud, most within the AWS category with a heavy focus on security and compliance

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.