When you no longer need your Ryft AWS instance, you can stop or terminate it. If you stop the instance, the instance remains available and can easily be accessed. Whereas terminating your instances makes it inaccessible and you lose your data.
NOTE: When you stop or terminate your instance, all data, storage and information on your ephemeral storage is lost; the data does not persist. Make sure to save the data on your instance ephemeral volumes that you want to use in the future before you stop or terminate your instance.
Stop your Instance
To keep your instance and all of your data and storage available, just not running, go to the EC2 Console and select your instance, click the Actions button and select Instance State > Stop. You can also right click on your instance name, and select Instance State > Stop.
Take heed of the warning message though - if you have any data on the ephemeral storage of your instance, you'll lose that data.
When you're ready to re-use your instance, select it from the EC2 Console, and then choose Instance State > Start.
Terminate your Instance
When you're ready to completely delete your instance, all of your data and storage, then terminate it. From the EC2 Console, select your instance, and select Instance State > Terminate from the Actions button. If you have an ssh session open, it is also automatically closed.
You'll see a warning message asking "Are you sure you want to terminate..."
Read the warning message that displays - the root EBS volume is deleted when you terminate, and you lose storage on local drives. Also, verify the instance name that it displays, and once sure, click Yes, Terminate.
Remember, there is no undo, and no trace of your instance once you terminate it.