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What is the relation between Instance and AMI?

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An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a template that contains a software configuration (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications). From an AMI, you launch an instance, which is a copy of the AMI running as a virtual server in the cloud. You can launch multiple instances of an AMI, as shown in the following figure.

Launch multiple instances from an AMI
Instance:
You can launch different types of instances from a single AMI. An instance type essentially determines the hardware of the host computer used for your instance. Each instance type offers different compute and memory capabilities. Select an instance type based on the amount of memory and computing power that you need for the application or software that you plan to run on the instance.

After launch an instance, it looks like a traditional host, and you can interact with it as you would any computer. You have complete control of your instances; you can use sudo to run commands that require root privileges.

Your AWS account has a limit on the number of instances that you can have running.

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An EC2 instance is a virtual server in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for running applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) provides the information required to launch an instance, which is a virtual server in the cloud. You specify an AMI when you launch an instance, and you can launch as many instances from the AMI as you need. You can also launch instances from as many different AMIs as you need.

An AMI includes the following:

  • A template for the root volume for the instance (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications)
  • Launch permissions that control which AWS accounts can use the AMI to launch instances
  • A block device mapping that specifies the volumes to attach to the instance when it’s launched
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