The compute service provides scalable on-demand compute capacity for your applications in the form of compute instances. Functioning similarly to virtual computers, these instances provide compute capacity for whatever task you need. The key difference between the two is the on-demand nature of the cloud. Our compute instances can be scaled up, down, or horizontally (by adding and removing more compute instances) at any time; meaning that you are able to meet the demands of your business faster and more efficiently.

Another important feature that the compute service provides is the level of abstraction between you as a user and the physical machines you consume. When you provision a compute instance, you are given access to an instance that has all of the preferences you specify, provided that the resources you request do not exceed your quota. However, you do not have to worry about the physical condition of the instance or the resources it uses, that is all taken care of by the Cloud. So should some maintenance need to be performed on the physical components your system lies on, there should be no impact to your instances or your business while it is performed. This means that your system is overall more resilient and reliable.

Please refer to the Launching your first instance tutorial for step by step guidance on how to launch your first compute instance (and the pre-requisites to do so).

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