What is Amazon EBS?

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is a scalable block storage service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) for use with Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances. It allows users to create and attach persistent block storage volumes to their EC2 instances. Here's a technical breakdown of Amazon EBS:

  1. Block Storage:
    • Amazon EBS provides block-level storage, which means it operates at the raw storage level, handling individual blocks of data rather than files.
    • It allows EC2 instances to access storage volumes like physical hard drives, and these volumes can be attached or detached from EC2 instances.
  2. Volume Types:
    • EBS offers different types of volumes optimized for various use cases. The main types include:
      • General Purpose (SSD): Suitable for a broad range of workloads.
      • Provisioned IOPS (SSD): Optimized for I/O-intensive workloads that require consistent and low-latency performance.
      • Throughput Optimized (HDD): Designed for frequently accessed, large, and sequential workloads.
      • Cold HDD: Suitable for less frequently accessed workloads where low-cost storage is important.
  3. Snapshots:
    • EBS volumes can be backed up using snapshots, which are point-in-time copies of the volumes.
    • Snapshots are incremental, meaning only the changed blocks are stored with each new snapshot, making them efficient and cost-effective for backup purposes.
  4. Encryption:
    • EBS volumes can be encrypted using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for enhanced security.
    • Encryption ensures that data at rest is protected, and it also simplifies data disposal as you can simply delete the encryption key to render the data unreadable.
  5. Elasticity and Scalability:
    • EBS volumes can be easily resized without requiring any changes to the EC2 instance.
    • Volumes can be created and attached to instances on-the-fly, providing flexibility in managing storage resources.
  6. Performance:
    • EBS volumes offer different performance characteristics based on the selected volume type.
    • Provisioned IOPS volumes, for example, provide a predictable level of performance, crucial for I/O-intensive applications.
  7. Availability and Durability:
    • EBS volumes are designed for high availability and durability. They automatically replicate within an Availability Zone (AZ).
    • Amazon EBS snapshots are stored in Amazon S3, providing an additional layer of durability.
  8. Lifecycle Management:
    • EBS allows for the creation of volume snapshots and AMIs (Amazon Machine Images), facilitating data backup, recovery, and creating custom machine images for EC2 instances.