September 2011 Archives

The Amazon EC2 Forum has been around since the beginning of EC2 and has always been a place where you can get your EC2 questions in front of an audience of experts and Amazon employees.

Though I’m still listed as one of the top posters (scored by questioners marking my answers as helpful) I’ve slowed down my activity on that forum due to the sheer volume of support requests, many of which are commonly asked questions or things that only Amazon can help with.

When you reboot a physical computer at your desk it is very similar to shutting down the system, and booting it back up. With Amazon EC2, rebooting an instance is much the same as with a local physical computer, but a stop/start differs in a few keys ways that may cause some problems and definitely have some benefits.

When you stop an EBS boot instance you are giving up the physical hardware that the server was running on and EC2 is free to start somebody else’s instance there.

Your EBS boot volume (and other attached EBS volumes) are still preserved, though they aren’t really tied to a physical or virtual server. They are just associated with an instance id that isn’t running anywhere.

When you start the instance again, EC2 picks some hardware to run it on, ties in the EBS volume(s) and boots it up again.

Things that change when you stop/start include:

Ubuntu AMIs

Ubuntu AMIs for EC2: