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A Comprehensive Look at AWS Compute Services

A Comprehensive Look at AWS Compute Services

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many cloud computing options available.

AWS compute services offer a vast number of choices, each with its own set of benefits. The question is how do you navigate through these choices and pick the right service? 

Whether you’re scaling a large enterprise or bootstrapping a startup, understanding the different AWS compute services is key. 

From Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to Lambda, each service is designed to meet specific needs. They provide everything from virtual servers to serverless computing solutions, ensuring there’s a perfect fit for your project. 

In this post, we’ll break down the various services available, highlight their benefits, and give you actionable insights into each. After reading, you’ll have a solid understanding of the options available to you. You’ll also be able to make an informed decision about which is right for your business. 

How many total computing services does AWS offer?

When you’re evaluating the extensive suite of AWS compute services, there are a vast array of options at your disposal. 

Amazon Web Services provides over 200 computing resources that can fit nearly any web application or business need. 

Obviously, we won’t be able to cover all of these resources in a single article. However, we can break them down into the core service categories to give you a clearer picture.

  • Amazon EC2: At its core, AWS offers Amazon EC2, with the flexibility to choose from a wide range of instances. EC2 instances provide scalable computing capacity, allowing you to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need, manage storage, and configure security and networking.
  • Containers: AWS is a dominant player in containerized applications, boasting services like Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) and Amazon EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service). ECS Anywhere extends the capability to run containers on customer-managed infrastructure, while EKS Anywhere lets you create and manage Kubernetes clusters on-premise. Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) offers you high-performance hosting. 
  • Serverless computing: AWS also provides serverless computing options like AWS Lambda, which lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers.

AWS isn’t just a single service, it is a full-stack cloud platform that supports your application with computing and storage services (like Amazon S3). 

While it’s not possible to quantify all the individual services because AWS continuously evolves and adds more, these highlighted services are the key options you need to know about. 

It doesn’t matter if you need a single virtual server or a robust container management system, AWS has engineered its numerous compute services to meet your technical and business requirements.

Benefits of AWS compute services

AWS offers an expansive suite of services that enhance business operations through helpful AWS cloud solutions. By leveraging these services, you can achieve operational excellence in various aspects key to maintaining a competitive edge in your industry.

Scalability and elasticity

Scalability is at the core of AWS compute services. You can easily adjust resources in response to fluctuating demand without significant upfront investment. Use AWS Auto Scaling to dynamically adjust capacity, ensuring your application maintains consistent high performance. This pay-as-you-go model manages costs efficiently while accommodating growth.

Reliability and security

AWS is renowned for its reliability and security, with a comprehensive compliance program that meets various regulatory standards. 

The infrastructure is designed for high availability, with data spread across multiple Availability Zones and Local Zones, ensuring continuous service and data integrity. AWS’s security measures safeguard your applications and data, bolstering your enterprise’s defense against threats.

Wide range of services

The depth of AWS compute services offers unparalleled flexibility. You can choose from a variety of instance types or access specialized services on the AWS Marketplace

From AWS Lambda for serverless computing to AWS Fargate for running containers, you have diverse options that fit different technical and business requirements, further optimized by tools like the AWS Compute Optimizer.

Global reach

Your applications can leverage the expansive network of AWS regions to deliver content quickly and reduce latency for international users. This wide geographical presence bolsters your service’s performance and ensures compliance with data residency requirements across the globe. 

Categories of AWS compute services

AWS compute services provide a range of solutions to meet the diverse computational needs for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re launching applications, running containers, executing code, or integrating with hybrid operating systems, AWS has services that can support your infrastructure.

Instances (Virtual Machines)

Virtual Machines on AWS, such as Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), offer versatile CPU power that allows you to scale up or down with the changing demands of your business. 

You have a choice between On-Demand Instances for short-term, irregular workloads, Reserved Instances for reduced costs on committed usage, and Spot Instances for accessing spare computing capacity at cost-effective rates.


For containerized applications, AWS offers services like Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) and AWS Fargate. ECS facilitates the orchestration of containers, allowing you to manage clusters of containers with ease. With Fargate, you can run containers without managing servers or clusters, thus simplifying the deployment process.


The serverless offerings on AWS (led by AWS Lambda) free you from provisioning or managing servers. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application with zero administration. This serverless architecture scales automatically, handling your code execution based on the incoming requests or events.

Edge and hybrid

AWS extends beyond traditional cloud boundaries through solutions like AWS Outposts and AWS Wavelength. Outposts bring AWS services to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. Wavelength caters to edge computing needs, bringing AWS services to the edge of the network, thus reducing latency for mobile and connected devices.

Cost and capacity management

AWS provides financial management tools such as Savings Plans, which offer significant savings over On-Demand pricing in exchange for a commitment to a consistent amount of usage (measured in $/hour) for a one- or three-year period. 

These plans manage and optimize costs without sacrificing computational needs. Each category supports a broad spectrum of industry demands and integrates with other AWS services, ensuring you can build and scale applications with confidence. 

Whether you require sheer compute power, want to harness the agility of containers, or move toward eliminating infrastructure management with serverless computing, AWS has a robust platform to support your growth. 

Compare AWS compute services and identify the right solution that aligns with your business strategies.

These services cater to varying requirements, such as managed container orchestration, serverless computing, and virtual servers, ensuring there’s a suitable solution for your specific workload needs. 

Each service comes with distinct features like cost-saving options with reserved or spot instances, simplified management with auto-scaling, or low-latency computing with specialized services for edge computing.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon EC2 allows you to deploy and manage virtual machines, giving you the flexibility to choose from a variety of instance types that match your workload. Optimize costs with pricing options such as on-demand, reserved instances, or spot instances to fit your budget.

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)

ECS provides a container management service that supports Docker containers and allows you to easily run applications on a managed cluster of EC2 virtual machines. Use ECS for efficient container images, orchestration, upgrades, and scaling requirements.

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

Leverage EKS for Kubernetes container management without needing to install, operate, and maintain your own Kubernetes control plane or nodes. It integrates with other AWS services to offer robust, scalable containerized application management.

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute engine that automatically runs your code in response to events, such as changes to data in an AWS service or an HTTP request. By using Lambda, you handle event-driven, serverless deployments without provisioning or managing servers.

Amazon Lightsail

For simpler projects, such as personal websites or small-scale applications, Amazon Lightsail provides virtual private servers that are easy to set up and manage, along with capabilities like managed databases and WordPress hosting.

AWS Batch

Use AWS Batch for efficient batch processing at scale. This service manages the execution of batch jobs as well as the necessary compute environments, optimizing resource allocation and reducing the need to manually manage infrastructure.

AWS Fargate

With AWS Fargate, you can run containers without managing servers or clusters. It allows you to focus on building and deploying applications, while Fargate provisions, scales, and manages the container infrastructure.

AWS Serverless Application Repository

This repository simplifies the discovery, deployment, and management of serverless applications. AWS Serverless Application Repository enables quick deployments and shares serverless architectures across organizations.

AWS Outposts

Useful for hybrid cloud or virtual private cloud (VPC) setups requiring on-premises integration. AWS Outposts brings native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility.

AWS Wavelength

For applications that require ultra-low latency, AWS Wavelength extends AWS infrastructure to 5G networks, enabling developers to build applications that can deliver single-digit millisecond latencies to mobile and connected devices.

Maximize your AWS savings with ProsperOps

Effectively managing AWS costs is crucial, and ProsperOps offers a powerful, automated solution for optimizing EC2, Fargate, and Lambda services in one platform. We help you automate the use of AWS Savings Plans and eliminate the need for manual oversight, giving you greater savings with less risk. 

With ProsperOps, there are no changes to your infrastructure or access to your data, and setup takes only a few hours. There’s no operational friction to worry about— there’s no ongoing coordination needed from your team and ProsperOps works silently 24 hours a day to ensure you’re getting the maximum savings.

For a deeper understanding of ProsperOps’ capabilities and use cases, book a demo today.



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