In this article, we will Compare EBS volume types and EBS volume pricing:

When you look into/plan to buy storage devices there is a certain metric that you want to have a look before you buy a storage devices

Performance Metrics in Storage Device:

  • Storage Device is a piece of equipment on which information can be stored
  • Common disk performance metrics are:
    • Input / Output operations per second (IOPS)
    • Throughput (MB/s or MiB/s)
    • Response time (ms)

Various Operating system and Cloud providers are now following new standardize units for storage devices i.e., KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB. This is something which we need to remember.

EBS Volume Types:

  • EBS provides different volume types which differ in performance and price
  • This gives flexibility for the user to design and implement optimal EBS solution.

Depending upon our use case we can select one of these types and the pricing and performance ratio may vary depending upon the volume type we choose.

AWS EBS Volume Types

Compare SSD Based Drives

General Purpose SSD Provisioned IOPS SSD
Used for general purpose workloads which balances the price and performance for normal workloads Highest performance SSD volume designed for mission-critical application workloads.
Typically used for test, dev and prod environment for normal workloads. Typically used for large database workloads like MongoDB, Cassandra, PostgreSQL, MySQL etc.
Volume size from 1 GiB to 16 TiB Volume size from 4 GiB to 16 TiB
Performance: Max 10,000 IOPS, 160 MiB/sec throughput Performance: Max 20,000 IOPS, 320 MiB/sec
In AWS it is named as “gp2” EBS type In AWS it is named as “io1” EBS type

Compare HDD Based Drives

Throughput Optimized HDD Cold HDD
Low-Cost HDD designed for frequently accessed throughput intensive workload Lowest Cost HDD designed for less frequently access workloads
Used for an application like Data Warehouse, Big Data, Log processing etc. Used in scenarios were lowest storage cost is important.
Volume size from 500 GiB to 16 TiB Volume size from 500 GiB to 16 TiB
Performance: Max 500 IOPS, 500 MiB/sec Performance: Max 250 IOPS, 250 MiB/sec
In AWS it is named as “st1” EBS type In AWS it is named as “sc1” EBS type

Note: you cannot use these drives as a boot volume, you cannot install Operating System on top of these Drives

Magnetic (It is previous Generation Drive)

Volume Type EBS Magnetic
Use case Workloads where data is infrequently accessed
Volume Size 1 GiB to 1 TiB
Max Performance Performance: Max 40 – 200 IOPS, 40-90 MiB/s

AWS EBS Volume Types

This topic Compare EBS volume types and EBS volume pricing.

Let’s take a simple scenario for choosing EBS types:

In an Organization, there is critical production database server which receives a lot of connections, and your task is to optimize the performance. What type of EBS volume will you suggest?

  • General Purpose SSD
  • Throughput Optimized
  • Provisioned IOPS (answer)
  • Cold HDD