Amazon Web Services Beefs Up Elastic Block Store

EBS is tuned for I/O intensive and bursty workloads. The larger, faster volumes unveiled in November are now available in all AWS regions.

Jason Verge

March 19, 2015

2 Min Read
Amazon Web Services Beefs Up Elastic Block Store
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels speaking at its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last November. (Screenshot: re:Invent live stream)

Amazon Web Services has announced that faster, larger Elastic Block Store volumes designed to deliver much higher, consistent baseline performance with burstable IOPS are now available in every AWS region.

Originally announced by the company's CTO Werner Vogels at the AWS re:Invent back in November, the beefed up EBS systems can also reduce complexity by using fewer volumes to accomplish more, making it is easier to configure and backup.

For use with Amazon EC2 instances, EBS is for I/O intensive or “bursty” workloads and supports two volume types: Provisioned IOPS (SSD), and General Purpose (SSD). Both are designed for single-digit millisecond latencies and five 9s (99.999 percent) availability.

As the default EBS volume type for Amazon EC2, General Purpose SSD serves small to medium databases, development and test, and boot volumes. Now users can create volumes that store up to 16 terabytes (compared to 1 terabyte) and up to 10,000 baseline IOPS, from the previous 3,000. It can also support bursting to higher performance levels, with maximum throughput at 160 megabytes per second. On the other hand, Provisioned IOPS SSD can store up to 20,000 baseline IOPS and operate at 320 megabytes per second.

“With this release, you no longer need to strip together several smaller volumes in order to run applications requiring large amounts of storage or high performance, including large transactional databases, big data analytics, and log processing systems,” wrote AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr. “The volumes also make backing up your data easier, since you no longer need to coordinate snapshots across many striped volumes.”

EBS has seen several enhancements in the last year. In addition to cranking up the performance, features added include: additional data protection via seamless encryption of EBS data volumes and snapshots, and the ability for customers to create and manage their volume encryption keys.

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