How Does Amazon EBS Differs From S3 Storage?

The following article on How Does Amazon EBS Differs From S3 Storage highlights important differences between EBS and S3 in AWS.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) are both storage services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), but they have distinct characteristics and use cases. The following list shows the key differences between Amazon EBS and S3 storage.

1. Use Case

  • Amazon EBS: EBS is primarily used for block-level storage that can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances. It provides persistent storage for applications, databases, and operating systems running on EC2 instances.
  • Amazon S3: S3 is designed for object storage and is suitable for storing and retrieving large amounts of unstructured data, such as images, videos, backups, logs, and static website content.

2. Data Structure

  • Amazon EBS: EBS provides block storage, which means it appears as virtual hard drives that can be formatted with file systems and used like local storage on EC2 instances.
  • Amazon S3: S3 uses an object-based storage model. Each object consists of data, metadata, and a unique key. Objects are stored in buckets, and they can be accessed using URLs.

3. Attachment

  • Amazon EBS: EBS volumes are attached to specific Amazon EC2 instances. Each volume can only be attached to a single EC2 instance at a time.
  • Amazon S3: S3 is accessed over the network via APIs. It’s not directly attached to EC2 instances and doesn’t offer traditional block-level access.

4. Use Cases

  • Amazon EBS: EBS is suitable for applications that require low-latency access to persistent storage, such as databases, transactional workloads, and applications that need fast read and write operations.
  • Amazon S3: S3 is ideal for storing and retrieving large amounts of data that don’t require real-time access. It’s often used for backups, data archiving, content distribution, and serving static assets for web applications.

5. Durability

  • Amazon EBS: EBS volumes are replicated within a single Availability Zone for durability. If you need cross-Availability Zone replication, you can use EBS snapshots.
  • Amazon S3: S3 provides high durability by automatically replicating objects across multiple Availability Zones within a region. It’s designed for 99.999999999% (11 nines) durability.

6. Pricing Model

  • Amazon EBS: EBS pricing includes charges for the storage capacity of the volumes and the I/O operations performed (IOPS). There are different volume types with varying performance characteristics.
  • Amazon S3: S3 pricing includes charges for storage capacity, data transfer, and the number of requests made to access or manipulate objects. S3 offers various storage classes with different pricing tiers.

7. Integration

  • Amazon EBS: EBS volumes are integrated with Amazon EC2 instances and are often used as boot volumes or data storage for applications running on EC2.
  • Amazon S3: S3 can be integrated with various AWS services, such as AWS Lambda, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon CloudFront, for use in data analytics, content delivery, and more.

In summary, Amazon EBS is suitable for block-level storage that’s attached to EC2 instances and requires low-latency access, while Amazon S3 is designed for scalable object storage for a wide range of data types, use cases, and access patterns. The choice between EBS and S3 depends on your application’s requirements and the type of data you’re working with.

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