Amazon Elastic Block Store

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Amazon Elastic Block Store

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides raw block-level storage that can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances and is used by Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).[1]

Amazon EBS provides a range of options for storage performance and cost. 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 disk-backed storage for throughput intensive workloads, such as MapReduce and log processing (performance depends primarily on MB/s).

Use case[edit]

In a typical use case, using EBS would include formatting the device with a filesystem and mounting it. EBS supports advanced storage features, including snapshotting and cloning. As of June 2014, EBS volumes can be up to 1TB in size.

EBS volumes are built on replicated back end storage, so that the failure of a single component will not cause data loss.


EBS was introduced by Amazon in August 2008.[2] As of March 2018 30 GB of free space was included in the free tier of Amazon Web Services 2017.[3]

Volume types[edit]

The following table shows use cases and performance characteristics of current generation EBS volumes:[4]

Solid State Drives (SSD) Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
Volume Type EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) (since 2012) [5] EBS General Purpose SSD (gp2)* Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) Cold HDD (sc1)
Short Description Highest performance SSD volume designed for latency-sensitive transactional workloads General Purpose 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 HDD volume designed for less frequently accessed workloads
Use Cases I/O-intensive NoSQL and relational databases Boot volumes, low-latency interactive apps, dev & test Big data, data warehouses, log processing Colder data requiring fewer scans per day
API Name io1 gp2 st1 sc1
Volume Size 4 GB - 16 TB 1 GB - 16 TB 500 GB - 16 TB 500 GB - 16 TB
Max IOPS**/Volume 32,000 10,000 500 250
Max Throughput/Volume 500 MB/s 160 MB/s 500 MB/s 250 MB/s
Max IOPS/Instance 80,000 80,000 80,000 80,000
Max Throughput/Instance 1,750 MB/s 1,750 MB/s 1,750 MB/s 1,750 MB/s
Price $0.125/GB-month

$0.065/provisioned IOPS

$0.10/GB-month $0.045/GB-month $0.025/GB-month
Dominant Performance Attribute IOPS IOPS MB/s MB/s

*Default volume type

**io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DB Instance Storage - Amazon Relational Database Service".
  2. ^ "Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) - Bring Us Your Data". Amazon Web Services Blog. August 20, 2008. Archived from the original on March 28, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  3. ^ "AWS Free Tier". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  4. ^ "Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) – Details – Amazon Web Services (AWS)". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  5. ^ "Announcing Provisioned IOPS for Amazon EBS". Amazon Web Services, Inc.

External links[edit]