Differentiate between EC2 and S3.

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) are two core services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), but they serve different purposes in the cloud computing ecosystem.

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud):

  1. Description:
    • EC2 is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It allows users to run virtual servers, known as instances, on-demand.
  2. Use Case:
    • EC2 is suitable for applications that require scalable compute capacity, such as running web servers, application servers, and databases.
  3. Key Features:
    • Virtual Machines (Instances): Users can launch instances with different configurations based on their specific requirements, such as compute power, memory, and storage.
    • Elasticity: EC2 instances can be easily scaled up or down based on demand.
    • Variety of Instance Types: EC2 offers different instance types optimized for various use cases, such as compute-optimized, memory-optimized, storage-optimized, etc.
  4. Storage:
    • EC2 instances come with storage options, including instance storage (ephemeral) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes. EBS volumes provide persistent block-level storage.

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service):

  1. Description:
    • S3 is a scalable object storage service designed to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web.
  2. Use Case:
    • S3 is ideal for storing and retrieving large amounts of unstructured data, such as images, videos, log files, backups, and static website content.
  3. Key Features:
    • Scalability: S3 is highly scalable and can store an unlimited amount of data. It automatically scales to handle growing workloads.
    • Durability and Availability: S3 ensures durability by storing data redundantly across multiple devices and facilities. It also provides high availability.
    • Access Control: S3 supports fine-grained access control, allowing users to manage access permissions to their objects.
  4. Data Structure:
    • S3 stores data as objects in containers called "buckets." Each object has a unique key within the bucket, and these objects can be organized into a hierarchy using prefixes.


  1. Purpose:
    • EC2 is designed for scalable computing power and running virtual machines (instances).
    • S3 is designed for scalable and durable storage of objects.
  2. Use Case:
    • EC2 is used for running applications, databases, and services that require computational resources.
    • S3 is used for storing and retrieving large amounts of data, often for backup, archival, or static content serving.
  3. Storage vs. Compute:
    • EC2 provides virtual machines with associated storage for running applications.
    • S3 is purely a storage service, focused on storing and retrieving data.
  4. Data Access:
    • EC2 instances have direct access to their attached storage, and you can install a variety of operating systems and applications on them.
    • S3 is accessed over HTTP/HTTPS, and you interact with it through a RESTful API or AWS SDKs.