AWS Storage Blog

A Guide to Amazon EBS at AWS re:Invent 2019

Customers use block storage to support a wide range of both transaction-intensive and throughput-intensive workloads on AWS. With Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), you don’t have to choose between control over resources and simplicity of use – you can have both.

A broad set of workloads, including business-critical enterprise applications, relational and non-relational databases, big data analytics engines, containerized applications, file systems, and media workflows are regularly deployed on Amazon EBS. This year, we will be featuring a number of sessions across the Compute and Storage tracks focused on helping you maximize your usage of block storage and EBS on AWS.

What to do next

  1. If you haven’t already, register for re:Invent 2019 here.
  2. If you have never been to re:Invent, watch the “How to re:Invent” videos here.
  3. See the entire session catalog here.
  4. Reserve your seat for your favorite block storage sessions, conveniently listed below!

Breakout sessions

Re:Invent breakout sessions are lecture-style and 60 minutes long. These sessions take place throughout the re:Invent campus and cover all topics at all levels (200–400). Sessions are delivered by AWS experts, customers, and partners, and they typically include 10–15 minutes at the end for Q&A.

STG303-R – [REPEAT] Deep dive on Amazon EBS: In this popular session, discover how Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) can optimize performance and costs for workloads on Amazon EC2. These workloads include relational and nonrelational databases, enterprise applications, big data analytics engines, file systems, and media workflows. Learn about new capabilities with Amazon EBS, features and benefits, security techniques, and details about performance and volume types. The target audience includes security administrators, application developers, application owners, and operations personnel who build or manage application infrastructure or storage area networks (SANs).

CMP305-R – [REPEAT] Amazon EBS snapshots: What’s new, best practices, and security: Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots allow companies to easily back up their EBS volumes. In this session, learn about new snapshot capabilities, how the service has evolved, and ways to further integrate snapshots into your backup and disaster recovery mechanisms on AWS. We cover how snapshots work and best practices for using snapshots to achieve your recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) goals while managing spend. Also learn best security practices for creating, replicating, and sharing snapshots within your AWS environment to protect against data loss and failures.

Chalk talks

A chalk talk is a highly interactive content format with a small audience. Each one begins with a short lecture (10–15 minutes) delivered by an AWS expert, followed by a roughly 45-minute Q&A session with the audience. The goal is to foster a technical discussion around real-world architecture challenges. Chalk talks are one hour long and contain expert-level content presented by AWS experts.

Chalk talks have one main speaker and one or two additional AWS experts who work through problems and solutions on a whiteboard as the discussion unfolds. There will be hundreds of chalk talks at re:Invent 2019. Be sure to carefully choose the ones that are most interesting to you, and bring your questions and real-world planning challenges!

CMP312-R – [REPEAT] Optimizing Amazon EBS for performance: Key techniques and practices while using Amazon EBS helps push performance and optimize spend. In this session, learn how to optimize storage performance and costs for Amazon EBS using tools such as Amazon CloudWatch and AWS Trusted Advisor, and third-party tools such as Cloudability.

CMP325-R – [REPEAT] Using Amazon EBS to build highly resilient applications: Storage architecture is a central consideration for building highly available and fault-tolerant applications in the cloud. Proper configuration of Amazon EBS deployment enables organizations to achieve the high resiliency they need for their mission-critical applications that use block storage. In this chalk talk, we share example design patterns and key techniques for building application resiliency, such as asynchronous volume replication across Availability Zones and the use of CloudEndure for disaster recovery.

STG347 – Choosing the right storage for your high-performance workloads: AWS offers a range of storage solutions that enable you to maximize the performance of your applications. In this chalk talk, we discuss AWS storage solutions, including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), and Amazon FSx for high-performance workloads. Such workloads include business-critical enterprise applications, large-scale analytics, and autonomous vehicles. We diagram different architectures and share techniques to help you benefit from your storage deployments. We also examine profitability best practices for ingestion, performance, and manageability. Bring your questions, and prepare to discuss how AWS storage solutions can best meet your implementation needs.

STG350 – Securing your block storage on AWS: Want to simplify the process of meeting compliance goals in a world of increasing data regulation? AWS customers run mission-critical workloads—SQL and NoSQL databases, business applications, data analytics, log analysis—on Amazon EC2, backed by Amazon EBS and EC2 instance storage. Securing data content and storage access is critical to maintaining uptime and meeting compliance needs. In this session, we discuss data security and review the security capabilities of Amazon EBS and EC2 instance storage. Learn how you can benefit from new Amazon EBS features such as encryption by default, launch of encrypted instances from unencrypted AMIs, and simplified sharing of encrypted AMIs.

STG351 – Meeting performance needs for database workloads on Amazon EBS: Many customers have performance, security, or other requirements that necessitate running their database workloads on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) versus a managed AWS service. Join us for a deep dive into understanding how to achieve storage performance requirements and avoid I/O pitfalls while running production database workloads on Amazon EC2.


Workshops are two-hour hands-on sessions where you work in teams to solve problems using AWS services. Workshops organize attendees into small groups and provide scenarios to encourage interaction, allowing you to learn from and teach each other. Each workshop starts with a short lecture (10–15 minutes) by the main speaker, and the rest of the time is spent working as a group. There are additional AWS experts in the room to ensure that every group has the assistance they need.

Come prepared with your laptop and a willingness to learn! Any usage costs incurred during a workshop are covered by provided AWS credits.

STG329-R – [REPEAT] Maximizing storage throughput and performance: Do your applications demand the highest performance from your storage systems? Come learn how to achieve optimal performance from Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). You learn effective use of these services’ distributed designs and performance features, and the API best practices to meet any application’s high-performance storage requirements.

Builders sessions

Builders sessions are back at re:Invent this year by popular demand. These are 60-minute small group sessions with up to six customers and one AWS expert, who is there to help, answer questions, and provide guidance. It’s just you, your laptop, and the AWS expert.

Each builders session begins with a short explanation or demonstration of what you are going to build. There are not any formal presentations. Once the demonstration is complete, you will use your laptop to experiment and build with the AWS expert.

CMP420-R – [REPEAT] Amazon EBS: Security best practices: With increasing data regulation across industries, AWS customers running mission-critical workloads on Amazon EC2 need simple, cost-effective ways to secure data, control storage access, and maintain uptime while meeting compliance goals. In this hands-on session, we walk you through Amazon EBS’s security capabilities and cover best practices for techniques such as encrypting your EBS resources, setting up resource-level permissions, and sharing resources within your environment.

We look forward to seeing you there. Leave a comment with your re:Invent plans, and let us know what you are most excited about!

Josh Rad

Josh Rad

Josh Rad is a product marketing manager at AWS. He is based in Seattle and spends his time thinking about how customers with block storage-based applications can scale their workloads and benefit from using AWS storage services and storage-optimized EC2 instances. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, traveling to new countries, and perfecting his culinary skills.