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What is Amazon Lightsail : EC2 vs Lightsail comparison

What is Amazon Lightsail : EC2 vs Lightsail comparison

What is Amazon Lightsail : EC2 vs Lightsail comparison

written by Hyojung Yoon


Hello everyone. Today, let's take some time to explore Amazon's cloud service called Lightsail. Understanding both Amazon Lightsail and Amazon EC2, two key cloud computing services, is essential. These two services are part of AWS's major cloud solutions, each with its unique features and advantages.


In this post, we'll delve into each service, especially focusing on the key features of Amazon Lightsail and when it's suitable. So, let's dive right in!

 
 

What is Amazon Lightsail?

1. Amazon Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail is a Virtual Private Server(VPS)created by AWS. It includes everything you need to quickly launch your project, such as instances, container services, managed databases, CDN distribution, load balancers, SSD-based block storage, static IP addresses, DNS management for registered domains, and resource snapshots (backups), and more. It's specialized in making it easy and fast to build websites or web applications.


2. What is a VPS?

What is a VPS? - Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting

A VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, which means taking a physical server and dividing it into multiple virtual servers. These segmented virtual servers are shared among various clients. While you share a physical server with others, each clients has its private server space.


However, since everyone shares computing resources on one server, a user monopolizing too many resources can affect others in terms of RAM, CPU, etc.


3. Components of Lightsail

Components of Lightsail
  • Instances

  • Containers

  • Databases

  • Networking

    • Static IP

    • Load Balancer(ELB)

    • Deployment(CDN)

  • DNS Zone : Domain & Sub-domain management

  • Storage(S3, EBS): Additional capacity available if instances run out of space

  • Snapshots(AMI) : Scheduled for automatic backups


Features of Lightsail

1. Advantages of Lightsail

Lightsail - Create Instance

AWS Lightsail allows for intuitive instance creation, which is less complex than EC2. With pre-configured bundles, users can swiftly deploy applications, websites, and development environments without a deep understanding of cloud architecture. Its user-friendly interface allows easy creation of containers, storage, and databases. This makes it ideal for beginners and smaller projects.


2. Disadvantages of Lightsail

However, the advantages mentioned above can become limitations of Lightsail. It may not be suitable for applications expecting rapid increases in traffic or resource demands, and pre-configured bundles can limit detailed settings. Additionally, integrating with other AWS services may require migration.


Other limitations include:

  • Up to 20 instances per account

  • 5 fixed IP addresses per account

  • Up to 6 DNS zones per account

  • Total 20TB block storage (disks) attachment

  • 5 load balancers per account

  • Up to 20 certificates



EC2 vs Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail

Amazon EC2

Pricing

Fixed monthly price including all necessary features

Pay-as-you-go pricing based on actual usage

Instance Type

Pre-configured instance types

Customizable instances depending on the need

Ease of Use

Quick start with Lightsail's simple console (fewer settings required)

Requires more setup and configurations, with a more complex dashboard

Server Management

Managed service with less effort

Full control with more detailed management

Networking

Integrated with AWS

Customizable with VPC and advanced networking settings

Scalability

Basic scalability

Advanced auto scaling for greater flexibility

Monitoring

Lightsail monitoring included

More detailed monitoring with CloudWatch

Storage Type

High-performance SSD-based storage

Various storage options, including EBS

Access Control

Simpler user access management

More detailed access control with IAM

Backup

Included AWS automatic backup, with some retention period

Advanced AWS backup solutions with more options

1. Differences Between Amazon Lightsail and EC2

1) Cost

Ligthsail - Choose your instance plan

Generally, Amazon Lightsail is cheaper. At 2GB memory, it charges $10, inclusive of 60GB SSD EBS volume and traffic costs. In contrast, EC2 charges $11.37 for a 3-year commitment (without upfront payment) for t3.small with 60GB EBS. Here, traffic costs are extra.


Therefore, Lightsail is more economical for continuous usage. However, if you only use EC2 for the necessary time, it might be cost-effective. EC2 charges are based on actual usage, making it a more flexible option for cost management.


2) Features

While EC2 offers more advanced features not available in Lightsail, it may lack some detailed options. Features not available in Lightsail include:

  • Limited VPC-related functions

  • Instance type changes

  • Scheduled snapshot creation

  • Detailed security group settings

  • IAM role assignment

  • Various load balancer options


2. Which one should you use?

Which one should you use? EC2 ? Lightsail?

1) Amazon EC2(Elastic Compute Cloud)

  • Powerful and flexible cloud computing platform offered by AWS

  • Customizable on-demand computing performance for all application needs

  • Scalable resources for anything from websites to high-performance scientific simulations

  • Seamlessly integrates with other AWS services

Ideal for businesses with infrastructure managers capable of managing virtual servers, networks, security groups, etc. It's particularly beneficial for CPU-intensive operations and on-demand functionalities, allowing for efficient cost management.


2) Amazon Lightsail

  • Simplifies the cloud experience

  • Offers virtual servers, storage, and networking in easy-to-understand packages

  • Ideal for simpler applications like personal websites, blogs, or small web apps

  • Fixed pricing model simplifies budgeting

Ideal for individuals looking for swift web service hosting without dedicated infrastructure management. It's more suitable for services emphasizing network traffic rather than CPU-intensive tasks.



Conclusion

Understanding the differences between Amazon EC2 and Lightsail is the first step toward harnessing cloud computing. EC2 offers high scalability and customization, while Lightsail provides a simple and intuitive cloud experience.


By selecting the most appropriate service based on your requirements, technical expertise, and project complexity, you can ensure success in the digital landscape. Both have unique advantages, so choose according to your needs and expertise.


So, enjoy your cloud surfing! ⛵⛵



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