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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Best Practices for Amazon EC2

This checklist is intended to help you get the maximum benefit from and satisfaction with Amazon EC2.

Security and Network

  • Manage access to AWS resources and APIs using identity federation, IAM users, and IAM roles. Establish credential management policies and procedures for creating, distributing, rotating, and revoking AWS access credentials. For more information, see IAM Best Practices in the IAM User Guide.

  • Implement the least permissive rules for your security group. For more information, see Security Group Rules.

  • Regularly patch, update, and secure the operating system and applications on your instance. For more information about updating Amazon Linux, see Managing Software on Your Linux Instance. For more information about updating your Windows instance, see Updating Your Windows Instance in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

  • Launch your instances into a VPC instead of EC2-Classic. Note that if you created your AWS account after 2013-12-04, we automatically launch your instances into a VPC. For more information about the benefits, see Amazon EC2 and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

Storage

  • Understand the implications of the root device type for data persistence, backup, and recovery. For more information, see Storage for the Root Device.

  • Use separate Amazon EBS volumes for the operating system versus your data. Ensure that the volume with your data persists after instance termination. For more information, see Preserving Amazon EBS Volumes on Instance Termination.

  • Use the instance store available for your instance to store temporary data. Remember that the data stored in instance store is deleted when you stop or terminate your instance. If you use instance store for database storage, ensure that you have a cluster with a replication factor that ensures fault tolerance.

Resource Management

Backup and Recovery

  • Regularly back up your EBS volumes using Amazon EBS snapshots, and create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from your instance to save the configuration as a template for launching future instances.

  • Deploy critical components of your application across multiple Availability Zones, and replicate your data appropriately.

  • Design your applications to handle dynamic IP addressing when your instance restarts. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Instance IP Addressing.

  • Monitor and respond to events. For more information, see Monitoring Amazon EC2.

  • Ensure that you are prepared to handle failover. For a basic solution, you can manually attach a network interface or Elastic IP address to a replacement instance. For more information, see Elastic Network Interfaces. For an automated solution, you can use Auto Scaling. For more information, see the Auto Scaling User Guide.

  • Regularly test the process of recovering your instances and Amazon EBS volumes if they fail.