Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is part of Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows users such as small CPU and memory instances to rent virtual computers at a cost of approximately $15 a month to run their own computer applications without having to buy expensive hardware. Its flexibility to add or subtract capacity is one of the key elements of the service. The EC2 can serve as an unlimited set of virtual machines. Main features of the EC2 includes pre-configured templates if needed; various configurations of CPU, memory, storage and networking capacity; secure login; storage volume for temporary data that will be terminated later; multiple physical locations; a firewall with a specific protocol and ports; IP address for cloud computing and metadata.
Prior to subscribing to EC2, you need to create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) containing application programs and configuration settings. Then you can complete the tutorial for Amazon EC2. All technical documentation you need is provided by Amazon. Your cost will be based on computing and networking consumed.
Since November 2010 Amazon switched its own retail Web site to EC2. The EC2 help you to optimize cost, security and performance.