What is Amazon EBS?

In this article, I will explain What is Amazon EBS.

Basically, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is a block storage service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows you to create and attach persistent block storage volumes to Amazon EC2 instances. In fact, EBS volumes provide scalable and durable storage that can be used for a variety of use cases, including storing application data, databases, logs, and more.

Key Features

The following list shows some key features of Amazon EBS.

  1. Block Storage. Amazon EBS provides block storage volumes, which are essentially virtual hard drives that can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances. These volumes can be used as primary storage for data and applications.
  2. Persistent Storage. EBS volumes are persistent, meaning the data stored on them persists even after the associated EC2 instance is stopped or terminated. This makes EBS volumes suitable for applications that require data durability.
  3. Volume Types. EBS offers multiple volume types optimized for different use cases:
    • General Purpose (gp2). Provides balanced performance and cost. Suitable for a wide range of workloads.
    • Provisioned IOPS (io1). Designed for I/O-intensive workloads, allowing you to specify the desired IOPS (input/output operations per second).
    • Throughput Optimized HDD (st1). Provides high throughput for large, sequential workloads.
    • Cold HDD (sc1). Designed for infrequent access with lower cost per gigabyte.
  4. Snapshots. EBS volumes can be backed up using snapshots. Snapshots are incremental backups of the data on a volume, and they are stored in Amazon S3. Snapshots can be used to create new volumes or restore existing ones.
  5. Encryption. EBS volumes support encryption at rest. You can choose to encrypt your volumes using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) keys, enhancing data security.
  6. Attachment and Detachment. EBS volumes can be attached and detached from Amazon EC2 instances as needed. You can attach a volume to one instance at a time, but you can detach it from one instance and attach it to another.
  7. Lifecycle Management. Amazon EBS allows you to modify the configuration of a volume, such as changing the volume type or size. So, you can also create larger volumes from snapshots.
  8. High Availability. Also, EBS volumes support features like Multi-AZ (Availability Zone) replication, which replicates data across multiple Availability Zones to provide data availability and redundancy.
  9. Use Cases. Moreover, Amazon EBS is suitable for a wide range of applications, including databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL), content management systems, application logs, and data warehouses.
  10. Integration with Amazon EC2. Also, EBS volumes are tightly integrated with Amazon EC2 instances. Hence, they are often used to store the operating system, application data, and other persistent data required by EC2 instances.


To summarize, Amazon EBS plays a crucial role in providing scalable and reliable storage for Amazon EC2 instances. Furthermore, different volume types and features allow you to choose the right type of storage for your specific workloads. Also, always refer to the official AWS documentation for the latest information and best practices related to Amazon EBS.

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