AWS EBS: Amazon Elastic Block Store 

AWS Storage Options

AWS offers different types of storage options for EC2 instances.  Storage is usually determined by how fast the data can be transferred from connecting storage locations. IOPS (input/output operations per second) is the unit of norm used for measuring the storage performance by calculating the average time of read and write. AWS Storage options are cost effective, flexible, and easily configurable for your instances. Multiple AWS storage options can be combined and used as per customer’s requirement.

AWS Storage Options are as below:

  1. Amazon EBS/AWS EBS
  2. Amazon Instance Store
  3. Amazon EFS
  4. Amazon S3

Here we will discuss more about AWS EBS (Elastic Block Store) Volume.

AWS EBS (Elastic Block Store)

While working with AWS Cloud environment there may be a possibility that an EC2 Instance may loose its Root Volume (main Volume) when it is terminated manually. In AWS, unexpected terminations might also happen time to time and data loss may occur. To avoid such issues and to make our Cloud environment robust, we need a mechanism to store our data somewhere. We can leverage AWS EBS volume for this Purpose.

The term “EBS Volume” refers to a network drive which you can attach to your instances while they are running. It will also allow your instances to preserve data. 

  • EBS Volume uses the network to communicate with the instances, therefore minute latency can be observed. EBS volume can also be removed from one EC2 Instance and then attached to another EC2 Instance very swiftly.
  • EBS Volumes are associated to only one availability zone, which means that if you have an EBS Volume in US-EAST-1A, it cannot be attached to an instance in US-EAST-1B.
  • For moving a EBS Volume, user needs to first take a snapshot and restore that snapshot anywhere in that region. You can also copy this snapshot to other availability zone or region and then use it to launch new EC2 Instances in different AWS Regions for geographical expansion, data center migration, and disaster recovery.
  • EBS volume are billed according to the provisioned capacity depending upon the size in GB and data transfer rate in IOPS. The capacity of the drive can be increased over time.

AWS EBS Volumes Classification

AWS EBS Volumes classification is as below:

AWS EBS Volumes Differences

AWS EBS Volumes differences are as below:

EBS Snapshot

EBS snapshot are incremental. EBS backup requires I/O credit balance *** for taking snapshots and should not run when application is handling a lot of traffic. Snapshots will be saved in S3 (but you would not be able to see it).It is not necessary to detach the volume and then take snapshot, but it is recommended. Maximum 1, 00,000 snapshot are allowed. We can also make Customer AMI from Snapshots. EBS Volumes which have been restored by snapshots are required to be pre-warmed using FiO or dd command in order to read the entire volume. EBS snapshots can also be automated using Amazon Data Life Cycle manager.

EBS Migration

EBS Volumes are locked to specific AZ. To migrate it to a different AZ or (Region) below steps to be followed:

  1. Snapshot the Volume
  2. Copy the volume to different region (Optional)
  3. Create a Volume from the snapshot in the availability zone of your choice.

EBS Encryption

Encryption and decryption are handled transparently. EBS encryption is way to encrypt all the EBS resources attached to your EC2 instances. EBS encryptions leverages keys from KMS (AES-256) for encryption. It will have minimal impact on latency.

Snapshots of encrypted volumes are encrypted, even copying of an unencrypted snapshot allows encryption.

Therefore, when an encrypted EBS volume is created we get:

  • Data at rest which is encrypted inside the Volume.
  • All data moving between the instance and volume is encrypted.
  • All snapshots are encrypted.
  • All volumes created from snapshots are encrypted.

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