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Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides raw block-level storage that can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances. These block devices can then be used like any raw block device. In a typical use case, this would include formatting the device with a filesystem and mounting said filesystem. In addition EBS supports a number of 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.
Amazon EBS provides a range of options for storage performance and cost for 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).
The following table shows use cases and performance characteristics of current generation EBS volumes:
|Solid State Drives (SSD)||Hard Disk Drives (HDD)|
|Volume Type||EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) (since 2012) ||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|
|Volume Size||4 GB - 16 TB||1 GB - 16 TB||500 GB - 16 TB||500 GB - 16 TB|
|Max Throughput/Volume||500 MB/s||160 MB/s||500 MB/s||250 MB/s|
|Max Throughput/Instance||1,750 MB/s||1,750 MB/s||1,750 MB/s||1,750 MB/s|
|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
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