Amazon Elastic Block Storage
As we all know, Elastic Block Store (EBS), is block-level storage that increases the persistence and durability of data for EC2 instances. It was previously capable of storing storage sizes up to 1TB.
Amazon announced last week that EBS will now be larger and have higher IOPS. AWS GovCloud (US) now offers larger and faster volumes up to 16TB in all AWS regions. SSD EBS volumes now have 99.999% availability. EBS had previously only mentioned 10x durability over normal harddrives, but not availability.
Applications that required more than 1TB of storage capacity used multiple EBS volumes attached as an instance. Various striping techniques such as software RAID 0 or RAID 5 were used to combine these volumes into a single logical drive. LVM was used in Linux to combine multiple EBS volumes into a single logical volume.
EBS volume stripping was not perfect.
You can increase disk performance by stripping EBS volumes together with RAID 0. If you need to increase IOPS, this will increase IO throughput. This may not be the best alternative as it could cause the entire RAID array to fail if one of the EBS volumes fails.
It is now more difficult to take snapshots of EBS volumes as it is difficult to simultaneously freeze IO on all volumes and take a snapshot. It will also be difficult to restore EBS volumes from snapshots.
AWS does not recommend RAID 5 because parity byte operations reduce IOPS.
These issues can be overcome by the newly improved EBS volumes. EBS volumes can be purchased in three flavors. Here are the updates:
These volumes can store up to 16TB of general purpose SSD. These EBS volumes are the default storage type. They are great for small to medium IOPS workloads. They offer a consistent baseline performance of 3 to 10 IOPS/GB, with a maximum of 10,000 IOPS. General Purpose SSD storage capacities were 1TB with maximum 3000 IOPS. This means volumes can now be 16 times larger and the performance has been doubled.
Provisioned IOPS SSD- These volumes can store up to 16TB. They are designed to maximize throughput and IO performance. They have a baseline performance of up to 30 IOPS/GB and a maximum of 20,000. These volumes are ideal for applications that require I/O-intensive workloads, such as databases. The maximum storage size was 1TB and maximum 4000 IOPS.
Magnetic – Magnetic volumes are backed up by magnetic drives. They offer the lowest cost per gigabyte. These volumes can provide up to 100 IOPS. These volumes can store up to 1TB of data and have not seen their size increase. They are used when storage cost is an important consideration.
Now you can have larger capacity volumes without reducing smaller volumes. Both SSD volume types can be attached to EBS optimized instances to provide up to 320 megabytes per minute of throughput and five 9s (99.999%) in availability. The size of an EBS volume directly affects its throughput. Volumes smaller than 1TB can exceed their baseline IOPS and deliver up to 3,000 IOPS, while volumes larger than 1TB can have a baseline IOPS of up to 10,000.
You can increase the volume of your existing volumes to make use of this feature release. To do so, please refer to our previous blog post.
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