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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

General Purpose Instances

General purpose instances provide a balance of compute, memory, and networking resources, and can be used for a variety of workloads.

M5 Instances

M5 instances are the latest generation in Amazon EC2's General purpose instance family. M5 instances give you an ideal cloud infrastructure, offering a balance of compute, memory, and networking resources for a broad range of applications that are deployed in the cloud. M5 instances are well-suited for the following applications:

  • Web and application servers

  • Small and medium databases

  • Gaming servers

  • Caching fleets

  • Running backend servers for SAP, Microsoft SharePoint, cluster computing, and other enterprise applications

Note: M5 instances require EBS-backed AMIs with the NVMe and Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) drivers installed. For more information, see the Release Notes.

T2 Instances

T2 instances provide a baseline level of CPU performance with the ability to burst to a higher level when required by your workload. A T2 Unlimited instance can sustain high CPU performance for any period of time whenever required. For more information, see T2 Instances. T2 instances are well-suited for the following applications:

  • Websites and web applications

  • Code repositories

  • Development, build, test, and staging environments

  • Microservices

Hardware Specifications

The following is a summary of the hardware specifications for General purpose instances.

Instance type Default vCPUs Memory (GiB)
t2.nano 1 0.5
t2.micro 1 1
t2.small 1 2
t2.medium 2 4
t2.large 2 8
t2.xlarge 4 16
t2.2xlarge 8 32
m4.large 2 8
m4.xlarge 4 16
m4.2xlarge 8 32
m4.4xlarge 16 64
m4.10xlarge 40 160
m4.16xlarge 64 256
m5.large 2 8
m5.xlarge 4 16
m5.2xlarge 8 32
m5.4xlarge 16 64
m5.12xlarge 48 192
m5.24xlarge 96 384
m5d.large 2 8
m5d.xlarge 4 16
m5d.2xlarge 8 32
m5d.4xlarge 16 64
m5d.12xlarge 48 192
m5d.24xlarge 96 384

For more information about the hardware specifications for each Amazon EC2 instance type, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types.

For more information about specifying CPU options, see Optimizing CPU Options.

Instance Performance

EBS-optimized instances enable you to get consistently high performance for your EBS volumes by eliminating contention between Amazon EBS I/O and other network traffic from your instance. M4, M5, and M5d instances are EBS-optimized by default at no additional cost. For more information, see Amazon EBS–Optimized Instances.

The m4.10xlarge and m4.16xlarge instance types provide the ability to control processor C-states and P-states on Linux. The m5.12xlarge, m5.24xlarge, m5d.12xlarge, and m5d.24xlarge instance types provide the ability to control processor C-states. C-states control the sleep levels that a core can enter when it is inactive, while P-states control the desired performance (in CPU frequency) from a core. For more information, see Processor State Control for Your EC2 Instance.

Network Performance

You can enable enhanced networking capabilities on supported instance types. Enhanced networking provides significantly higher packet-per-second (PPS) performance, lower network jitter, and lower latencies. For more information, see Enhanced Networking on Linux.

Instance types that use the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) for enhanced networking deliver high packet per second performance with consistently low latencies. Most applications do not consistently need a high level of network performance, but can benefit from having access to increased bandwidth when they send or receive data. Instance types that use the ENA and support up to 10 Gbps of throughput use a network I/O credit mechanism to allocate network bandwidth to instances based on average bandwidth utilization. These instances accrue credits when their network throughput is below their baseline limits, and can use these credits when they perform network data transfers. For workloads that require access to 10 Gbps of bandwidth or more on a sustained basis, we recommend using instance types that support 10 Gbps or 25 Gbps network speeds.

The following is a summary of network performance for General purpose instances that support enhanced networking.

Instance type Network performance Enhanced networking
t2.nano, t2.micro, t2.small, t2.medium, t2.large, t2.xlarge, t2.2xlarge Up to 1 Gbps ENA

m4.large

Moderate

Intel 82599 VF

m4.xlarge, m4.2xlarge, m4.4xlarge

High

Intel 82599 VF

m4.10xlarge

10 Gbps

Intel 82599 VF

m4.16xlarge

25 Gbps

ENA

m5.large, m5.xlarge, m5.2xlarge, m5.4xlarge, m5d.large, m5d.xlarge, m5d.2xlarge, m5d.4xlarge

Up to 10 Gbps

ENA

m5.12xlarge, m5d.12xlarge

10 Gbps

ENA

m5.24xlarge, m5d.24xlarge

25 Gbps

ENA

Instance Features

The following is a summary of features for General purpose instances:

VPC only EBS only Placement group

T2

Yes

Yes

M4

Yes

Yes

Yes

M5

Yes

Yes

Yes

M5d

Yes

Yes

For more information, see the following:

Release Notes

  • M4, M5, M5d, and t2.large and larger T2 instance types require 64-bit HVM AMIs. They have high-memory, and require a 64-bit operating system to take advantage of that capacity. HVM AMIs provide superior performance in comparison to paravirtual (PV) AMIs on high-memory instance types. In addition, you must use an HVM AMI to take advantage of enhanced networking.

  • M5 and M5d instances have the following requirements:

    • Must have the NVMe drivers installed. EBS volumes are exposed as NVMe block devices.

    • Must have the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) drivers installed.

    The following AMIs meet these requirements:

    • Amazon Linux 2

    • Amazon Linux AMI 2014.03 or later

    • Ubuntu 14.04 or later

    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 or later

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 or later

    • CentOS 7 or later

    • FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 or later

  • M5 and M5d instances support a maximum of 27 EBS volumes plus elastic network interface attachments. For example, m5.2xlarge instances support four network interfaces. Every instance has at least one network interface. If you have a m5.2xlarge instance with three additional elastic network interface attachments, you can attach 24 EBS volumes to that instance.

  • M5 and M5d instances should have acpid installed to support clean shutdown through API requests.

  • ClassicLink is not supported for M5 and M5d instances—you cannot use ClassicLink to link your EC2-Classic instances to these instances in your VPC.

  • There is a limit on the total number of instances that you can launch in a region, and there are additional limits on some instance types. For more information, see How many instances can I run in Amazon EC2?. To request a limit increase, use the Amazon EC2 Instance Request Form.