Comparison of Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling & AWS Auto Scaling

Yurii Kucherenko

Yurii Kucherenko

As businesses increasingly turn to cloud computing, there is a growing need for solutions that can automatically scale resources up or down based on demand. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers two popular services for this purpose: Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling and AWS AutoScaling. While both services offer similar functionality, there are key differences between them that businesses should be aware of when deciding which one to use.

Key differences between Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling and AWS Auto Scaling

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling is a service that allows you to automatically scale EC2 instances based on demand. It is focused on scaling instances within an Auto Scaling group, and is commonly used to handle varying levels of traffic for web applications or batch processing jobs. It can be configured using either the EC2 console or the AWS CLI, and supports both launch templates and launch configurations.

AWS Auto Scaling, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive service that can scale not only EC2 instances, but also other AWS resources such as DynamoDB tables and Aurora DB clusters. It is designed to work with a wide range of workloads and is highly customizable. This service can be configured using the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDKs.

Use cases of Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling

One common use case for this service is to ensure that a web application can handle varying levels of traffic. For example, during periods of high traffic, it can automatically spin up additional EC2 instances to handle the increased load, and then scale back down when traffic subsides. This helps ensure that the web application is always responsive and available, even during peak periods.

Another use case is batch processing jobs. For example, if you have a large number of files to process, you can use EC2 Auto Scaling to spin up a fleet of instances to process the files in parallel. Once the job is complete, the instances can be terminated to save costs. This can help you complete batch processing jobs faster and more efficiently.

AWS AutoScaling use case

One use case for AWS Auto Scaling is to scale resources based on demand for a broader range of workloads. For example, you can use it to automatically scale Amazon RDS read replicas in response to changes in read traffic, or to scale DynamoDB tables in response to changes in the number of requests. This can help ensure that your applications and services are always running at optimal capacity, while also minimizing costs.

Another use case for AWS Auto Scaling is to scale resources across multiple availability zones for high availability. For example, you can use it to automatically launch instances in different availability zones to ensure that your applications and services are always available, even if one availability zone goes down.


In conclusion, both services are powerful tools for scaling resources in the cloud, but they have key differences in their capabilities and configurations. EC2 Auto Scaling is more focused on scaling EC2 instances within an Auto Scaling group, while AWS AutoScaling can scale a wider range of resources and workloads. By understanding these differences, businesses can make informed decisions about which service to use based on their specific needs and requirements.

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