What are the differences between Amazon EC2 and Amazon Lightsail?

4 minute read

I want to use virtual servers to run my applications. I want to know the differences between Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Lightsail.


AWS offers Amazon EC2 and Lightsail to host applications. EC2 is a mix of multiple services and has its own features that you use to create a single architecture. Lightsail is an integrated product of services. Base the architecture on your application's requirements.

The following are the main differences between EC2 and Lightsail.

Amazon LightsailAmazon EC2
UsageUse for simple web applications and websites.Use for small scale to Enterprise applications such as HPC, big data, and analytics workloads.
PerformanceUse for applications with small to medium workloads.Use for small scale to higher workloads with complex architecture.
EaseDeploy applications with a with few clicks. Provides an all-in-one experience.Deployment in Amazon EC2 varies because of multiple factors, such as type of application or the type of components that you use. Each component has its own characteristics and features that you can modify in their consoles.
Administrative supportLess system admin and system architect effort.Based on the type of environment, the administrative effort varies. Most services in EC2 require a thorough understanding of the components.
NetworkManaged by AWS. You can add rules to a Lightsail firewall.Managed by you with VPC and related components.
SubnetsHas no private subnets.Create public or private subnets based on your application's needs.
ScalabilityAutomatic instance scalability isn't supported. You can't modify instances after launch. You must launch a new instance to change your plan.Use an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling group to automatically scale instances. You can modify EC2 instances to a new type or virtualization.
Flexibility in resource managementMinimal flexibility in resource management such as, networks, hard disk, and load balancers.You can manage all the related components based on the application's demands.
Elastic volumesNot supported.Supported.
Resource managementManage all resources from the same dashboard.Each resource has its own console and options.
PricePrices are low, and there is a fixed price model.Prices follow the pay as you go model.
Load balancingThe Lightsail load balancer is available to use with Lightsail instances.There are multiple types of load balancers available.
MonitoringLoad balance monitoring is restricted to a few options.Detailed monitoring options are available with Amazon CloudWatch.
BackupBackups are available with Lightsail snapshots.Backups are available as Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).
EncryptionEncryption is turned on by default and is managed by AWS.You can choose to turn on or turn off encryption.
AWS Free TierAWS Free Tier is available for 3 months from the day that you sign up.AWS Free Tier is available for 12 months from the day that you sign up.
SupportAWS Support provides support with limited application-level troubleshooting.AWS Support provides support with limited application-level troubleshooting.

For more information, see Amazon Lightsail or Amazon EC2.

For more information about limitations in Lightsail, see What should I consider before choosing Lightsail over Amazon EC2?

AWS OFFICIALUpdated 4 months ago