What is an Instance in Cloud Computing? – Cloud Instances Explained

In a cloud computing context, a cloud instance is a virtual server. Cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services build and supply it to multiple users. A cloud platform provides computing resources as well as services.

An instance is similar to a physical or virtual server representation of a computing resource, such as a server, database, or virtual machine. However, it does not depend on hardware or a data center location to make things work. To provision the instances remotely, you need a cloud platform like – AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure for your cloud computing systems.

You can choose the instance capacity for your workloads. It includes components such as CPU, memory, network, etc. The cloud platform also offers different cloud computing models. It comes in private, public, or hybrid cloud services.

Techopedia explains that an instance is a single occurrence or example of a particular object or system. An instance is like a clone or snapshot of a predefined setup that can be created and used independently. It embodies the specifications, configurations, and states of a particular object or system at a particular instance or specific point in time.

For example, in cloud computing, an instance refers to a virtual machine (VM) provisioned by a cloud service provider. Each VM represents an individual instance with its own operating system, applications, and resources. It can be created, modified, and terminated separately from other instances.

What is a Server Instance?

In the cloud, server instances are like machines you can call from a cloud service provider. They come in different sizes and configurations. You can customize the CPU, memory, storage, and network capacity to suit your needs.

These server instances offer scalability and flexibility and can grow or shrink on demand, adapting to the user and workload like elastic spandex. And if you don’t need them anymore, you can bid them farewell.

In the traditional world, server instances are physical servers that take up space in your data center.

Whether in the cloud or on-premises, server instances are the workhorses that run your applications, websites, and services. They’re the unsung heroes of the digital world, silently powering everything behind the scenes, ready to fulfill your computing needs.

How do Cloud Provider Instances Work?

Imagine you want a virtual machine, like a computer in the cloud, that you can use for your applications or projects. Cloud service providers have you covered with their fancy instance magic!

First, they use a clever hypervisor or virtualization layer to manage the host machine’s physical resources and make it run multiple instances on virtual machines with a single physical server possible. It’s like fitting multiple rabbits in one hat without them bothering each other.

When you want to create an instance, you tell the cloud provider what kind of machine you need. It could either be a speedy one with many CPUs or a memory monster with oodles of RAM. These cloud providers have all sorts of options to cater to your computing needs.

Once you’ve made your choice, the cloud provider gets to work. They create a virtual machine tailored to your specifications, like a personalized dream computer made just for you. It’s as if the cloud provider summoned a genie to bring your machine to life.

Now, this virtual machine is not just an ordinary program running on your computer—it’s isolated and behaves like a separate entity. It’s like having your little universe where you can install software, configure settings, and even run multiple instances without causing chaos.

The cloud provider manages these instances so well that they can adjust the allocated resources dynamically. If your application suddenly needs more power, the cloud server can wave its magic wand and allocate one instance with extra CPU cores or memory. Take a look at affordable cloud hosting for your new servers today!

You have complete control over your virtual machine. You can start, stop, restart, and even terminate instances at will using management interfaces and APIs. And the best part? You only pay for what you use! It’s like a meter that tracks your instance’s resource consumption. So, if you only need an instance for a short period, you won’t have to pay for its existence after you’re done.

Cloud provider instances combine the power of virtualization and resource management to give you flexible, scalable, and personalized virtual machines.

That is not all; there are different ways an instance can work. Let’s get right into it.

What are the Different Cloud Instance Types?

Cloud service providers offer various instance types to cater to computing needs and workloads. Here are some common cloud instances:

General Purpose Instance:

The General Purpose instance is your best bet for application workload. It offers a well-balanced combination of cloud computing, memory, and networking capabilities. They are appropriate for various applications and workloads with no particular requirements.

Memory Optimized Instance:

It is another way to say it does all the heavy lifting, as the name implies. It was made and created for running memory-intensive workloads. With a lot of RAM to process data, they are the best for applications that need to process massive datasets, do in-memory analytics, or use caching methods.

GPU Instance:

GPU instances are outfitted with powerful graphics processing units called (GPUs) to expedite operations requiring parallel processing, such as machine learning, deep learning, video rendering, and scientific simulations.

Accelerated Computing Instance:

Accelerated computing is the new computing approach method in which the data-intensive aspects of an application are separated and executed on a separate acceleration device. At the same time, the control functionality is done on the CPU. It is one of the most recent innovations in the history of cloud computing. Fintech companies use this method of instance for fast trading and minimal latency.

Storage Optimized Instance: 

These instances are intended for large storage capacity and throughput applications. They provide local storage alternatives with high IOPS and low latency, making them useful for databases, data warehousing, and big data processing.

Computing Optimized Instance: 

Computing optimized instances are meant to provide high-performance computation capabilities. They offer a high CPU instance power-to-memory ratio and are best suited for applications requiring significant computational power, such as high-performance computing (HPC), scientific modeling, and batch processing.

High CPU Instance:

These instances are designed for CPU-intensive tasks that demand a lot of processing power. They provide more virtual CPUs (vCPUs) than other instances, making them appropriate for batch processing, distributed analytics, and gaming servers.


As a distinct representation of a computing resource, we have discussed instance in detail and how it works to help you and your company grow. ServerMania is a cloud hosting company that provides dedicated hosting for servers of all kinds. If you would also like to read about how to start a Mastodon server, we have you covered. Remember, instances can be created, manipulated, and used for various computing environments.