How do I use AMI's?

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) provides the information required to launch an instance, which is a virtual server in the cloud. You specify an AMI when you launch an instance, and you can launch as many instances from the AMI as you need. You can also launch instances from as many different AMIs as you need.

An AMI includes the following:

A template for the root volume for the instance (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications)
Launch permissions that control which AWS accounts can use the AMI to launch instances
A block device mapping that specifies the volumes to attach to the instance when it’s launched.

AWS provides extensive documentation on AMI’s here: