Amazon EBS allows you to create storage volumes and attach them to Amazon EC2 instances. Once attached, you can create a file system on top of these volumes, run a database, or use them in any other way you would use block storage. Amazon EBS volumes are placed in a specific Availability Zone where they are automatically replicated to protect you from the failure of a single component. All EBS volume types offer durable snapshot capabilities and are designed for high availability.
Amazon EBS provides a range of options that allow you to optimize storage performance and cost for your workload. These options are divided into two major categories: SSD-backed storage for transactional workloads, such as databases and boot volumes (performance depends primarily on IOPS), and HDD-backed storage for throughput intensive workloads, such as MapReduce and log processing (performance depends primarily on MB/s).
SSD-backed volumes include the highest performance in Amazon EBS storage option Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) for latency-sensitive transactional workloads and General Purpose SSD (gp3 and gp2) that balance price and performance for a wide variety of transactional data. HDD-backed volumes include Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) for frequently accessed, throughput intensive workloads and the lowest cost Cold HDD (sc1) for less frequently accessed data.
Elastic Volumes is a feature of Amazon EBS that allows you to dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of live volumes with no downtime or performance impact. This allows you to easily right-size your deployment and adapt to performance changes.
Amazon EBS volume types
The following table shows use cases and performance characteristics of current generation EBS volumes:
|Solid State Drives (SSD)
|Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
|EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1)
|EBS General Purpose SSD (gp2)*
|EBS General Purpose SSD (gp3)
|Throughput Optimized HDD (st1)
|Cold HDD (sc1)
Highest performance in Amazon EBS storage options SSD volume designed for latency-sensitive transactional workloads
General Purpose SSD volume that balances price performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads
|Lowest cost SSD volume that balances price performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads
|Low cost HDD volume designed for frequently accessed, throughput intensive workloads
|Lowest cost in Amazon EBS storage option HDD volume designed for less frequently accessed workloads
|99.8% - 99.9% durability
|99.8% - 99.9% durability
|99.8% - 99.9% durability
|99.8% - 99.9% durability
|99.8% - 99.9% durability
I/O-intensive NoSQL and relational databases
Boot volumes, low-latency interactive apps, dev and test
|Virtual desktops, medium sized single instance databases such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, latency sensitive interactive applications, boot volumes, and dev/test environments
|Big data, data warehouses, log processing
|Colder data requiring fewer scans per day
4 GB - 16 TB
1 GB - 16 TB
|1 GB - 16 TB
|125 GB - 16 TB
|125 GB - 16 TB
¥ 0.448/provisioned IOPS
3,000 IOPS free and ¥0.0373//provisioned IOPS-month over 3,000;
125 MB/s free and ¥0.2984/provisioned MB/s-month over 125
Dominant Performance Attribute
*Default volume type
**io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size
***volume throughput is calculated as MB = 1024^2 bytes
SSD-backed volumes (IOPS-intensive)
Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) volumes
IO1 is backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and is the highest performance EBS storage option designed for critical, I/O intensive database and application workloads, as well as throughput-intensive database and data warehouse workloads, such as HBase, Vertica, and Cassandra. These volumes are ideal for both IOPS-intensive and throughput-intensive workloads that require extremely low latency.
IO1 is designed to deliver a consistent baseline performance of up to 50 IOPS/GB to a maximum of 64,000 IOPS and provide up to 1,000 MB/s of throughput per volume1. To maximize the benefit of io1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances. When attached to EBS-optimized EC2 instances, io1 is designed to achieve single-digit millisecond latencies and is designed to deliver the provisioned performance 99.9% of the time. For more information about instance types that can be launched as EBS-optimized instances, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types. For more information about Amazon EBS performance guidelines, see Increasing EBS Performance.
1To achieve the limit of 64,000 IOPS and 1,000 MB/s throughput, the volume must be attached to a Nitro System EC2 instance
General purpose SSD (gp3 and gp2) volumes
General-purpose volumes are backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and are suitable for a broad range of transactional workloads, virtual desktops, medium sized single instance databases, latency sensitive interactive applications, dev/test environments, and boot volumes. Amazon gp3 volumes are the latest generation of general-purpose SSD-based EBS volumes that enable customers to provision performance independent of storage capacity, while providing up to 20% lower pricing per GB than existing gp2 volumes. The new gp3 volumes deliver a baseline performance of 3,000 IOPS and 125 MB/s at any volume size. Customers looking for higher performance can scale up to 16,000 IOPS and 1,000 MB/s for an additional fee. Both gp3 and gp2 volumes are designed to offer single-digit millisecond latency and deliver the provisioned performance 99% of the time. If you need a greater number of IOPS than gp3 can provide, or if you have a workload where low latency is critical or you need better performance consistency, we recommend that you use io2 volumes. To maximize the performance of gp3, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.
HDD-backed volumes (MB/s-intensive)
Throughput optimized HDD (st1) volumes
ST1 is backed by hard disk drives (HDDs) and is ideal for frequently accessed, throughput intensive workloads with large datasets and large I/O sizes, such as MapReduce, Kafka, log processing, data warehouse, and ETL workloads. These volumes deliver performance in terms of throughput, measured in MB/s, and include the ability to burst up to 250 MB/s per TB, with a baseline throughput of 40 MB/s per TB and a maximum throughput of 500 MB/s per volume. ST1 is designed to deliver the expected throughput performance 99% of the time and has enough I/O credits to support a full-volume scan at the burst rate. To maximize the performance of st1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.
Cold HDD (sc1) volumes
SC1 is backed by hard disk drives (HDDs) and provides the lowest cost per GB of all EBS volume types. It is ideal for less frequently accessed workloads with large, cold datasets. Similar to st1, sc1 provides a burst model: these volumes can burst up to 80 MB/s per TB, with a baseline throughput of 12 MB/s per TB and a maximum throughput of 250 MB/s per volume. For infrequently accessed data, sc1 provides extremely inexpensive storage. SC1 is designed to deliver the expected throughput performance 99% of the time and has enough I/O credits to support a full-volume scan at the burst rate. To maximize the performance of sc1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.
Amazon data lifecycle manager for EBS snapshots
Data Lifecycle Manager for EBS snapshots provides a simple, automated way to back up data stored on EBS volumes by ensuring that EBS snapshots are created and deleted on a custom schedule. You no longer need to use scripts or other tools to comply with data backup and retention policies specific to your organization or industry.
With lifecycle management, you can be sure that snapshots are cleaned up regularly and keep costs under control. Simply tag your EBS volumes and start creating Lifecycle policies for creation and management of backups. Use Cloudwatch Events to monitor your policies and ensure that your backups are being created successfully.
Amazon EBS Elastic Volumes
Elastic Volumes is a feature that allows you to easily adapt your volumes as the needs of your applications change. Elastic Volumes allows you to dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of any new or existing current generation volume with no downtime or performance impact. Easily right-size your deployment and adapt to performance changes.
Simply create a volume with the capacity and performance needed today knowing you have the ability to modify your volume configuration in the future, saving hours of planning cycles.
By using Amazon CloudWatch with Amazon Lambda you can automate volume changes to meet the changing needs of your applications.
The Elastic Volumes feature makes it easier to adapt your resources to changing application demands, giving you confidence that you can make modifications in the future as your business needs change.
Amazon EBS Snapshots
Amazon EBS provides the ability to save point-in-time snapshots of your volumes to Amazon S3. Amazon EBS Snapshots are stored incrementally: only the blocks that have changed after your last snapshot are saved, and you are billed only for the changed blocks. If you have a device with 100 GB of data but only 5 GB has changed after your last snapshot, a subsequent snapshot consumes only 5 additional GB and you are billed only for the additional 5 GB of snapshot storage, even though both the earlier and later snapshots appear complete.
When you delete a snapshot, you remove only the data not needed by any other snapshot. All active snapshots contain all the information needed to restore the volume to the instant at which that snapshot was taken. The time to restore changed data to the working volume is the same for all snapshots.
Snapshots can be used to instantiate multiple new volumes, expand the size of a volume, or move volumes across Availability Zones. When a new volume is created, you may choose to create it based on an existing Amazon EBS snapshot. In that scenario, the new volume begins as an exact replica of the snapshot.
The following are key features of Amazon EBS Snapshots:
- Direct read access of EBS Snapshots - Customers can use EBS direct APIs for Snapshots to read data off snapshots and identify differences between two EBS snapshots without needing to create EBS volumes and EC2 instances. EBS direct APIs for Snapshots enable backup partners to track incremental changes on EBS volumes more efficiently, providing faster backup times and more granular recovery point objectives (RPOs) to customers at a lower cost. For more information, see the EBS direct APIs for Snapshots technical documentation and pricing page.
- Creating EBS snapshots from any block storage - Using EBS direct APIs, you can create EBS snapshots directly from any block storage data, regardless of where it resides, including data on-premises, and quickly recover into EBS volumes. This allows you to meet your disaster recovery objectives in Amazon Web Services at lower costs. For more information, see the EBS direct APIs for Snapshots technical documentation and pricing page.
- Immediate access to Amazon EBS volume data - After a volume is created from a snapshot, there is no need to wait for all of the data to transfer from Amazon S3 to your Amazon EBS volume before your attached instance can start accessing the volume. Amazon EBS Snapshots implement lazy loading, so that you can begin using them right away.
- Instant full performance on EBS volumes restored from snapshots - For an additional hourly charge, you can enable Fast Snapshot Restore (FSR) capability for low latency access to data restored from snapshots. EBS volumes restored from FSR-enabled snapshots instantly receive their full performance. For more information, see the FSR technical documentation and pricing page.
- Resizing Amazon EBS volumes - There are two methods that can be used to resize an Amazon EBS volume. If you create a new volume based on a snapshot, you can specify a larger size for the new volume. With the Elastic Volumes feature you can dynamically grow live volumes without the use of snapshots. Make certain that your file system and application supports resizing a device.
- Sharing Amazon EBS Snapshots - Amazon EBS Snapshots’ shareability makes it easy for you to share data with your co-workers or others in the Amazon Web Services China community. Authorized users can create their own Amazon EBS volumes based on your Amazon EBS shared snapshots; your original snapshot remains intact. If you choose, you can also make your data available publicly to all users of Amazon Web Services China regions. You can also restrict public access to snapshots in an account by enabling Block Public Access for EBS Snapshots. For more information about how to share snapshots, see Modifying Snapshot Permissions.
- Locking Amazon EBS Snapshots - You can lock your Amazon EBS Snapshots to protect them against accidental or malicious deletions, or store them in WORM (write-once-read-many) format for a specific duration to comply with regulatory requirements. While a snapshot is locked, it cannot be deleted by any users, regardless of their IAM permissions. For more information, see Locking Snapshots.
- Copying Amazon EBS Snapshots across Amazon Web Services regions - Amazon EBS’s ability to copy snapshots across Amazon Web Services China regions makes it easier to leverage multiple Amazon Web Services China regions within China for geographical expansion, data center migration and disaster recovery. You can copy any snapshot accessible to you: snapshots you created; snapshots shared with you; and snapshots from the Amazon Web Services Marketplace, VM Import/Export, and Amazon Storage Gateway. For more information, see Copying an Amazon EBS Snapshot.
Amazon EBS-Optimized instances
For an additional low, hourly fee, customers can launch certain Amazon EC2 instance types as EBS-optimized instances. EBS-optimized instances enable EC2 instances to fully use the IOPS provisioned on an EBS volume.
EBS-optimized instances deliver dedicated throughput between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS, with options between 500 and 19,000 Megabits per second (Mbps) depending on the instance type used. The dedicated throughput minimizes contention between Amazon EBS I/O and other traffic from your EC2 instance, providing the best performance for your EBS volumes.
EBS-optimized instances are designed for use with all Amazon EBS volume types.
For more information about the instance types that can be launched as EBS-Optimized instances, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types.
Amazon EBS availability and durability
Amazon EBS volumes are designed to be highly available and reliable. At no additional charge to you, Amazon EBS volume data is replicated across multiple servers in an Availability Zone to prevent the loss of data from the failure of any single component. For more details, see the Amazon EC2 and EBS Service Level Agreement.
Amazon EBS volumes are designed for an annual failure rate (AFR) of between 0.1% - 0.2%, where failure refers to a complete or partial loss of the volume, depending on the size and performance of the volume. This makes EBS volumes 20 times more reliable than typical commodity disk drives, which fail with an AFR of around 4%. For example, if you have 1,000 EBS volumes running for 1 year, you should expect 1 to 2 EBS also supports a snapshot feature, which is a good way to take point-in-time backups of your data. To learn more about Amazon EBS Snapshots and how to take point-in time backups of your volumes please visit here.
Amazon EBS encryption and Amazon Identity and Access Management
Amazon EBS encryption offers seamless encryption of EBS data volumes, boot volumes and snapshots, eliminating the need to build and manage a secure key management infrastructure. EBS encryption enables data at rest security by encrypting your data volumes, boot volumes and snapshots using Amazon-managed keys or keys you create and manage using the Amazon Key Management Service (KMS). In addition, the encryption occurs on the servers that host EC2 instances, providing encryption of data as it moves between EC2 instances and EBS data and boot volumes. For more information, see Amazon EBS encryption in the Amazon EC2 User Guide.
Access to Amazon EBS volumes is integrated with Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM). IAM enables access control to your Amazon EBS volumes.
Amazon EBS Torn Write Prevention
Torn Write Prevention (TWP) ensures that full 16KiB write operations are persisted to the block storage. With this feature, customers can turn off the double write operation that MySQL and MariaDB databases perform for increased database write throughput. These customers can increase the number of transactions processed per second (TPS) by up to 30% without having to over-provision or scale up their clusters, thereby reducing storage cost. By eliminating the second write operation, TWP decreases the write latency and variability in the number of TPS by up to 50%, enabling customers to improve their Service Level Agreement (SLA) without compromising the resiliency of their workloads.
TWP supports all Amazon EBS volumes attached to EC2 Nitro-based instances. To learn more, see Torn Write Prevention technical documentation.
on this page GB = 1024^3 bytes