What is AWS EBS

When deploying applications to the cloud, you have to be very careful with the type of storage you use. Amazon EBS provides well-encrypted storage to improve security and make it suitable for backups. In cases where we have issues like EC2 shutdown, you can still access the data through the EBS servers. Most of the storage providers were not durable and prone to cybersecurity attacks, making developers struggle to find a reliable alternative. According to Enlyft,219 companies use EBS volumes as to their storage service. Most companies have over 10,000 employees that bring a net revenue of 1,000 million dollars and above. The guide will talk about the features, volumes, benefits, and use cases of Amazon EBS.

What is AWS EBS?

It is a type of storage provided by Amazon Web Services to store data while working with EC2 instances. You can use them to create file systems, run databases, and other applications. Most of the storage blocks get stored in Availability zones to help reduce failure cases of different components. It improves its availability up to 99.9%, making it easier to use.EBS uses different volumes that one can choose from to ensure he has good performance and reduces costs.

AWS EBS Volume is a storage device size developers can attach to instances. They are durable and get treated the same you deal with hard disks. It gives you the power to increase its size and IOPS capacity while in the production environments.

You can use it as the primary storage, but it will need more updates. You can use the EBS volumes to host applications. It can support different instances on one EBS volume. It has a multi-attach feature that can help connect one single volume to several instances. Most accounts use the set storage and the number of EBS volumes it can support.

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What Is an AWS EBS Volume?

AWS EBS Volume is a storage device size developers can attach to instances. They are durable and get treated the same you deal with hard disks. It gives you the power to increase its size and IOPS capacity while in the production environments.

You can use it as the primary storage, but it will need more updates. You can use the EBS volumes to host applications. It can support different instances on one EBS volume. It has a multi-attach feature that can help connect one single volume to several instances. Most accounts use the set storage and the number of EBS volumes it can support. 

Types of Amazon EBS Volumes

There are several types of EBS volumes. These include:

(i) Solid State Drives(SSD)

a) General Purpose SSD (gp2)

  • Are suitable for an extensive range of the workloads 
  • Mainly used in boot volumes, single-instance databases, virtual desktops, dev, and test environments.
  • It supports sizes of 1 GB  to 16 TB.

b) Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1)

  • It's mainly for sensitive transactional workloads.
  • It works well with intensive databases, heavy workloads, and data warehouses like Vertica, Cassandra, e.t.c.
  • It supports volume sizes of 4 GB  to 16 TB.

c) General Purpose SSD (gp3)

  • Its mainly used in databases like Oracle,  boot volumes, Microsoft SQL Server, dev/test environments.
  • The volume size ranges from 1 GB to 16 TB.

(ii)Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

(a) Throughput Optimized HDD (st1)

  • It uses terms of throughput when defining performance and its storage has low cost.
  • It handles large workloads like data warehouses, i.e., Amazon EMR, log processing, ETL e.t.c
  • It handles volume sizes of 125 GB to 16 TB.

(b) Cold HDD (sc1)

  • It mainly works with large and cold data workloads. It is better for developers looking for a cheaper option that requires less checking and data access. 
  • It has a volume size of 125 GB to16 TB.

How to Create a New (Empty) EBS Volume via the Amazon EC2 Console

There are several steps one has to follow when creating EBS volume. You can follow the steps below:

1. Access the Amazon Console by typing https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

2. Locate the Volumes option.

3. Select the Create Volume option.

4. Choose the Volume Type option and select one.

5. In the Size option, input your desired size and remember it's in Gib.

6. When you choose to use IOPS, choose the maximum number of IOPS the volume should handle.

7. When using gp3, ensure the  Throughput value you enter matches the provision.

8. Choose one Availability zone, and you have to remember that a volume gets attached to an instance if it's in the same Availability Zone.

9. Select the Snapshot ID and use the default value. There is no need to change it.

10. When working with io1 and io2, enable the volumes using    Enable Multi-Attach option.

11. Chose the encryption method for your volume.

 12. Navigate to the Tags section, Select Add Tag, and input your value pairs and tag keys.

 13. Click on the Create Volume option and attach it to an instance.

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Features of AWS EBS

1. EBS elastic volumes

It helps developers increase the storage and performance to ensure it meets the application's demands, and you can change the volumes without affecting the performance or having downtime. You can use Amazon CloudWatch to automate the whole process of volume change.

2. Data Lifecycle Manager for EBS snapshots 

It provides ways to backup data found on the EBS volumes and ensures that all the Snapshots get created and deleted by following a schedule. It gets rid of scripts mainly used for backups to help get compliance.

3. EBS Availability

It gives users the ability to create an EBS volume using any location and later connect it to an instance in the same Availability Zone. To have a volume outside the Availability zone, one can copy a Snapshot to other regions or move them to a new region. 

4. Optimised instances

EBS optimized instances help in making the delivery between EC2 and EBS good. It pushes the EC2 instances to use the IOPS. Most of the optimized instances reduce traffic from instances, improving performance. It also works well with all the volume types.

5. Amazon EBS encryption and Amazon Identity and Access Management(IAM)

It provides encryption for all the volumes, both data, and boot, snapshots that help secure the infrastructure. It has  Amazon Key Management Service (KMS) that manages the encryption keys. It also protects the data from one EC2 instance to the volumes, encrypting all the instances servers.IAM provides access rights and controls to view and control the EBS volumes.

6. Amazon Snapshots

Snapshots help move volumes across different Availability zones or increase the volume size. For example, when one creates a new volume, you may connect it to an existing Snapshot, making it a copy.

Some of the key features of Amazon Snapshot include:

  • It has EBS direct APIs to check differences between two snapshots and make the backup process faster by tracking any changes on the backups.
  • It gives developers the chance to create Snapshots from storage data without having issues with the location of the data. It helps in data recovery and uses fewer costs.
  • Ability to resize the Snapshot when creating the Snapshot and when using the Elastic Volumes to change the size.
  • EBS Snapshots’ shareability feature lets you share the Snapshots data with your team.
  • It has Fast Snapshot Restore (FSR) that developers can enable to help in data restoration from Snapshots, improving performance.
  • You can move EBS Snapshots across different regions by copying them from one region to another, reducing the chances of disaster attacks.

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Amazon EBS Benefits

1. It supports autoscaling

When using Amazon EBS, you can use Snapshots to increase aspects like storage without affecting the workloads.

2. It uses fewer costs

EBS provides different volumes of up to five, each having a different price. It gives you the chance to compare the prices and find the cheap one with high performance. it also saves costs when EBS snapshots handle all the backups without increasing the volume storage, resulting in a price hike.

3. Has good availability and durability

Its architecture ensures the volumes are reliable and free from failure by replication through the availability zones. It also uses Snapshots API to have faster backups and automation of the whole process.

It's very secure to use and meets compliance. It provides the chance to encrypt the EBS volumes during its creation. It encrypts all the data in the backups, transits, and rest. It makes the whole process compliant with the set rules due to the high level of security.

4. It's easy to use

Creating EBS volumes allows you to change aspects like volumes and increase storage to match the workloads. It also has EBS snapshots that help in creating backups of your data. Most people use Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM) to automate how EBS snapshots work.

5. It provides high performance

When working with high-demand workloads, it ensures they have good performance. It uses SSD volumes to offer good performance for applications that need strong performance, while HDD volumes for large workloads like logging, data lakes, and analytics engines.

Uses of Amazon EBS

The following are the uses of Amazon EBS. Some of the uses are:

1. File systems

It supports all the growing systems by enabling them to scale by adding other volumes, and when choosing the type of volume, you have to ensure you select the right one to reduce costs and improve the overall workload performance.

2. Relational databases

Examples of relational databases are MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SAP HANA. All of them run on Amazon Web Services, and they handle millions of transactions and large volumes of data. It makes EBS volume ensure that it meets all the performance needs.

3. NoSQL databases

NoSQL databases like MongoDB and CouchDB rely on good performance, and EBS provides good performance that reduces costs and makes it easier to scale.

4. Enterprise applications

EBS has enough storage to handle Enterprise applications like VMware applications, Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft Exchange. These applications are on Amazon Web Services, and they need durable storage to make the run successful.

5. Big analytics

Amazon handles some of the big data analytics engines like Hadoop and Spark.EBS makes the data persistent, making it easier to resize all the clusters and having the ability to attach and reattach the EBS volumes. It also improves performance by handling performance adjustments.

6. Reduces business losses

EBS has Snapshots that handle all the data backups when you handle your data, making it hard to lose any data. The data recovery takes place regularly or automatically, and it takes account of all the geographical areas. 

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 Conclusion

When deploying your applications to your cloud, the type of Amazon EBS volume will determine your performance and the amount you will pay. Making the correct choice will make you enjoy the usage of EBS volumes. The guide has covered the benefits and features of EBS volumes, types of volumes and characteristics, and which applications it fits.

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.