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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Launch Your Instance

An instance is a virtual server in the AWS Cloud. You launch an instance from an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). The AMI provides the operating system, application server, and applications for your instance.

When you sign up for AWS, you can get started with Amazon EC2 for free using the AWS Free Tier. You can use the free tier to launch and use a micro instance for free for 12 months. If you launch an instance that is not within the free tier, you incur the standard Amazon EC2 usage fees for the instance. For more information, see the Amazon EC2 Pricing.

You can launch an instance using the following methods.

Method Documentation

[Amazon EC2 console] Use an AMI that you select

Launching an Instance

[Amazon EC2 console] Use an existing instance as a template

Launching an Instance Using an Existing Instance as a Template

[Amazon EC2 console] Use an AMI that you purchased from the AWS Marketplace

Launching an AWS Marketplace Instance

[AWS CLI] Use an AMI that you select

Using Amazon EC2 through the AWS CLI

[AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell] Use an AMI that you select

Amazon EC2 from the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell

After you launch your instance, you can connect to it and use it. To begin, the instance state is pending. When the instance state is running, the instance has started booting. There might be a short time before you can connect to the instance. The instance receives a public DNS name that you can use to contact the instance from the internet. The instance also receives a private DNS name that other instances within the same Amazon EC2 network (EC2-Classic or EC2-VPC) can use to contact the instance. For more information about connecting to your instance, see Connecting to Your Windows Instance.

When you are finished with an instance, be sure to terminate it. For more information, see Terminate Your Instance.