What is Amazon EBS?
Amazon EBS or Elastic block store is one of the important block storage services provided by Amazon web services popularly AWS for data storage solutions. It has provisions to automatically manage the storage components based upon the data volumes. It is a highly scalable component that is configured implemented with Amazon EC2 instances. EBS is very efficient in reading and writing operations. It is persistent in nature which is generally associated with the same availability zone as of EC2 instances. It is known for its reliability and security, that is the feature ebs is preferred for the database storage in AWS.
It provides two major options, i.e. SSD-backed storage for transactional workloads and HDD-backed storage for throughput intensive workloads, which are further categorized into four volumes:
- General Purpose SSD (gp2).
- Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1).
- Throughput Optimized HDD (st1).
- Cold HDD (sc1).
These volumes differ in performance, characteristics, and cost.
Uses of Amazon EBS
It includes advanced storage features. It is majorly used in the following areas:
1. Big Data Analytics Engines
It offers the following for big data analytics engines such as Hadoop and Spark:
- High performance.
- Reduced cost.
- Data persistence.
- Ability to resize clusters according to dynamic requirements.
- Ability to attach, detach and reattach volumes easily.
- Ability to adjust performance dynamically.
2. Relational Databases
- Whether you are supporting millions of customers or billions of transactions, it automatically scales with your performance needs.
- It provides wide deployment facilities for a broad variety of databases such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP HANA, and PostgreSQL.
- It is offered at reduced costs.
3. NoSQL Databases
- These volumes offer consistent, and low-latency performance for running various NoSQL databases.
- It provides block storage facility for a wide variety of NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, CouchDB, Cassandra, etc.
4. Enterprise Applications
- It offers high availability and a high durability block storage facility for various enterprise applications.
- It runs mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, SAP, and VMware applications reliably on AWS.
5. Business Community
- It provides the ability to regularly back up your data and logs files across different geographic areas, thus minimizing data loss and recovery time.
- To launch applications in new regions, it restores new volumes quickly.
6. File Systems and Media Workflows
- To support enormously growing file systems, it lets you scale additional volumes easily.
- It also lets you the choice of four different volumes to optimize performance and cost.
Benefits of Amazon EBS
Here are the benefits of Amazon EBS given below
1. High Performance
- It offers very high performance for any workloads.
- It offers high performance even for mission-critical applications like Oracle, SAP HANA, and Microsoft products.
- General Purpose volume i.e. HDD-backed volumes offers strong performance for any workloads.
- The HDD-backed volume offers high performance for large, sequential workloads such as data warehousing, big data analytics engine, and log processing.
- SSD-backed options include a dedicated volume for higher performance.
- The SSD-backed volume also offers consistent i/o operations of the applications.
- Multiple volumes can be clubbed together for higher storage performances.
- Amazon EBS encryption provides faultless encryption of data.
- Its volumes are integrated with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), which enables flexible access control to your volumes letting you specify which EBS can be accessed by whom.
- IAM provides access controls to your Amazon EBS volumes.
- It can be encrypted by default with a single setting in your account.
- EBS is built to be secure for data consent.
- EBS offers encryption for data-at-rest and data-in-transit.
- It even offers encryption for all volume backups.
- All EBS volumes support encryption, without affecting performance in anyways.
- EBS volume encryption also includes a built-in key management facility i.e. AWS Key Management Service (KMS).
- Encryption also occurs on servers that host EC2 instances, providing encryption of data as it moves between EC2 instances and EBS data.
3. Highly Reliable, Available and Durable
- It is designed to be highly reliable and available for mission-critical applications like Oracle, SAP HANA, Microsoft products, etc.
- All the EBS volumes offer high fault tolerance by replicating within Availability Zone (AZ), i.e. Amazon EBS volume data is replicated across multiple servers in the Availability Zone for free of cost.
- All the EBS volumes automatically respond to its Availability Zone to protect from component failure.
- It is designed for the availability of 999% and an Annual Failure Rate (AFR) of between 0.1%-0.2%.
- It is 20 times more reliable than typical commodity disk drives.
- Snapshot management can be automated using Amazon EBS Snapshots along with Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM) for simple backups.
4. Highly adaptable to dynamic requirements
- These volumes are very easy to create, use, encrypt, and protect.
- It can easily adapt to the dynamic requirements of your application and performance changes.
- It lets you dynamically increase storage capacity, tune performance up and down, and change the type of volumes without affecting the performance.
- To meet the dynamic requirements of your application, you can automate volume changes by using Amazon CloudWatch with AWS Lambda.
- It gives you confidence that you can make modifications in volume, according to changes in business needs in the future.
- Geographic protection of your data can be achieved by taking regular backups of your data using Amazon EBS Snapshots.
- Snapshot management can be easily automated using Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM), without any charges.
5. Effective Cost
- Four different volumes offered by Amazon EBS have various pricings depending upon their performance.
- You can choose the correct storage for your application’s needs, to optimize costs.
- A wide range of options is available, from a highly cost-effective dollar per GB volumes to high-performance volume with high performance.
- Taking regular backups using EBS Snapshots also helps in cost reduction by not duplicating data.
6. Highly Scalable
- It lets you increase your storage, without affecting critical workloads.
- It also lets you build applications of size ranging from a few gigabytes to many petabytes of data.
- EBS Snapshots lets you restore new volumes quickly, across a region’s Availability Zones, that enables quick scaling.
The choice of Amazon EBS volumes is part of a high-level cloud management strategy. The right choice lets you use the potential of EBS tools to the maximum. With a wide range of these volumes, you can choose appropriate storages while maintaining a proper balance between cost and performance.
This is a guide to Amazon EBS. Here we discuss the basic concept, its benefits and the major uses along with the four different volumes according to their performance, characteristics, and cost. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –