Use the Same Architecture (64-bit) on All EC2 Instance Types

A few hours ago, Amazon AWS announced that all EC2 instance types can now run 64-bit AMIs.

Though t1.micro, m1.small, and c1.medium will continue to also support 32-bit AMIs, it is my opinion that there is virtually no reason to use 32-bit instances on EC2 any more.

This is fantastic news!

Sticking with 64-bit instances everywhere all the time gives you the most flexibility to switch the instance type of your running instances, reduces the choices and work necessary when building your own AMIs, and just makes life simpler.

In fact, to celebrate this occasion, I have dropped my listing of 32-bit Ubuntu AMI ids at the top of The new simplified AMI id table listing only 64-bit Ubuntu AMIs now fits into the right sidebar.

Simply pick an EC2 region in the pulldown in the right sidebar, and you’ll get a clean listing of current available Ubuntu AMIs. Click on the orange arrow to the right of the AMI id to launch an instance of Ubuntu in your AWS console.

Note that reserved instances only specify an instance type not an architecture, so if you have already purchased reserved instances for m1.small or c1.medium, you can switch from 32-bit to 64-bit and still have your new instance be covered by the reserved instance pricing.

Do you have reasons why you might still need to run 32-bit instances on EC2? How much work is it going to take you to convert your existing instances and AMIs from 32-bit to 64-bit?