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AMI is an acronym for Amazon Machine Image and represents an EC2 instance which has been customised (Think of an AMI as a template).

There are three ways to instantiate an EC2 instance from an AMI:

  • From the library of available Amazon AMI images; an example is when we create a new t2 micro image via the AWS management console
  • From a library of commercially available AMI images via the AWM Marketplace AMI
  • By creating your own AMI template based on your own software, configuration

Note that AMI are built for a specific region and the use case is when you wish to have faster EC2 configuration and start times as the software is already pre-installed on the EC2 image

The process for creating an AMI is as follows:

  • Create a base EC2 instance and then customise the instance with the required configuration and software
  • Stop the instance to ensure data integrity (i.e. Nothing is being written to the instance whilst an AMI is being created from it)
  • Create the AMI; doing so will also create the necessary EBS volume snapshots

The AMI is now complete and available for other EC2 instances to be launched from it