Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ruminating on dedicated instance vs. dedicated host

 Many folks get confused between the AWS terminology of 'Dedicated Instance' vs 'Dedicated Host'.

A simple way to understand the difference is to remember that a "host" is a physical machine that can host many virtual machine instances. 

Hence a "dedicated host" is a physical machine that is dedicated to your organization. On this physical machine (host), you can install many VMs/containers. So you control what VMs (instances) are going to run on that host. 

So what is a dedicated instance then? A dedicated instance is a virtual machine that runs on hardware that is not shared with other accounts. Dedicated instances are physically isolated at the host hardware level from instances that belong to other AWS accounts. Hence you can only be certain that the underlying hardware that is hosting your VM is not shared with someone else. But you have no fine-grained control over which VM would be launched on which host, etc. 

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