Downloadable content showing the lineage of all AWS instance families. Whilst the EC2 Instance History blog post by Jeff Barr give a good starting point about instance history it misses some important parts. As a result I’ve recently spent some time looking at the history of each EC2 compute family and produced a downloadable lineage map showing how each of the five groups of families have evolved since the first release in 2006!

UPDATE 4th June 2018 This post has been amended to show the M5d instance family.


Downloadable Lineage Map

Download the PDF version

EC2 Compute Instance Family Lineage

More Details

General Purpose

The launch of EC2 beta in 2006 provide the first ever EC2 Compute Instance Family (M1) and what would later turn out to be the first grouping of families. Several years later the arrival of T1 brought a new lineage to the grouping.

Included for reference is the introduction of AWS Lambda in 2015.

Family Generation Introduced
M5d Current Jun 2018
M5 Current Nov 2017
M4 Current Jun 2015
M3 Previous Oct 2012
M2 Previous Oct 2009
M1 Previous Aug 2006
T2 (Unlimited) Current Nov 2017
T2 Current Jul 2014
T1 Previous Sep 2010

Compute Optimized

Compute optimised grouping of families was the the first specialised computing group and launched in 2008. The grouping is mostly classified by the prefix ‘C’ with some caveats. In 2010 we saw the CC1 and CG1 instance families launch. These double alpha prefixes families only launched for a few years with the last of this type launched in 2013.

Family Generation Introduced
C5d Current May 2018
C5 Current Nov 2017
C4 Current Jan 2014
C3 Previous Nov 2013
CC2 Previous Nov 2011
CC1 Previous Jul 2010
C1 Previous May 2008

Memory Optimized

The instances in this grouping are idea for in memory workloads and databases. It is the newest optimized grouping having only been started by the CR1 instance family in 2013. As such it only has two previous generation instance families (the CR1 and R3).

Family Generation Introduced
X1e Current Sep 2017
X1 Current May 2016
R4 Current Nov 2016
R3 Previous Apr 2014
CR1 Previous Jan 2013

Accelerated Computing

The accelerated computing instance grouping initially started by providing Tesla GPU and catered to both the usual GPU use cases as well as General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU). In 2017 the F1 instance type provided the first field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) on AWS allowing ‘custom machines’ in the cloud.

Family Generation Introduced
F1 Current Nov 2016 *
P3 Current Oct 2017
P2 Previous Sep 2016
G3 Current Jul 2017
G2 Previous Nov 2013
CG1 Previous Nov 2010

* F1 instance family was launched as Developer Preview in Nov 2016 but was only Generally Available in April 2017.

Storage Optimized

The storage optimized grouping is probably the most complex grouping to follow due to the numerous families with specialisms in the group.

Also to note, the HS1 is the only double alpha prefix instance family to be superseded by an instance family which does not share the same letter (CC1 -> CC2 -> C3, CG1 -> G2, CR1 -> R3, HI1 -> I2 ).

Family Generation Introduced
H1 Current Nov 2017
I3 Current Feb 2017
I2 Previous Nov 2013
HI1 Previous Jul 2012
D2 Current Mar 2015
HS1 Previous Dec 2012