Amazon Elastic Block Store Documentation

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) allows you to create storage volumes and attach them to Amazon EC2 instances. Once attached, you can create a file system on top of these volumes, run a database, or use them in any other way you would use block storage. Amazon EBS volumes are placed in a specific Availability Zone where they are replicated to help protect you from the failure of a single component. All EBS volume types offer durable snapshot capabilities and are designed for 99.999% availability.

Amazon EBS provides a range of options that allow you to optimize storage performance and cost for your workload. These options are divided into two major categories: SSD-backed storage for transactional workloads, such as databases and boot volumes, and HDD-backed storage for throughput intensive workloads, such as MapReduce and log processing.
Our highest performance io2 Block Express volume enables the first storage area network (SAN) in the Cloud. Block Express is a next-generation storage server architecture that provides high block storage performance without the hassle of having to procure, scale, and maintain expensive on-premises SANs. With io2 volumes running on Block Express, you can achieve sub-millisecond latency. io2 Block Express volumes are ideal for large, I/O-intensive deployments.
SSD-backed volumes include high performance Provisioned IOPS SSD (io2 and io1) for latency-sensitive transactional workloads and General Purpose SSD (gp3 and gp2) that balance price and performance for a wide variety of transactional data. HDD-backed volumes include Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) for frequently accessed, throughput intensive workloads and the lowest cost Cold HDD (sc1) for less frequently accessed data.
Elastic Volumes is a feature of Amazon EBS that is designed to allow you to dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of live volumes with no downtime or performance impact. This allows you to right-size your deployment and adapt to performance changes.

Amazon data lifecycle manager for EBS snapshots

Data Lifecycle Manager for EBS snapshots provides a simple way to back up data stored on EBS volumes by helping you to create and delete EBS snapshots on a custom schedule. 

With lifecycle management, you can create a policy designed to clean up snapshots regularly to help keep costs under control. Simply tag your EBS volumes and start creating Lifecycle policies for creation and management of backups.

Amazon EBS Elastic Volumes

Elastic Volumes is a feature that allows you to adapt your volumes as the needs of your applications change. Elastic Volumes helps you to dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of any new or existing current generation volume. This helps you to right-size your deployment and adapt to performance changes.

Simply create a volume with the capacity and performance needed today, knowing you have the ability to modify your volume configuration in the future, which can save hours of planning cycles.

The Elastic Volumes feature makes it easier to adapt your resources to changing application demands, giving you confidence that you can make modifications in the future as your business needs change.

Amazon EBS Snapshots

Amazon EBS is designed to help you save point-in-time snapshots of your volumes to Amazon S3. Amazon EBS Snapshots are designed to be stored incrementally: such that only the blocks that have changed after your last snapshot are saved, and you are billed only for the changed blocks. If you have a device with 100 GB of data but only 5 GB has changed after your last snapshot, a subsequent snapshot consumes only 5 additional GB and you are billed only for the additional 5 GB of snapshot storage, even though both the earlier and later snapshots appear complete.

When you delete a snapshot, the service is designed so you remove only the data not needed by any other snapshot. All active snapshots are designed to contain all the information needed to restore the volume to the instant at which that snapshot was taken. The time to restore changed data to the working volume is the same for all snapshots.
Snapshots can be used to instantiate multiple new volumes, expand the size of a volume, or move volumes across Availability Zones. When a new volume is created, you may choose to create it based on an existing Amazon EBS snapshot. In that scenario, the service is designed so the new volume begins as an exact replica of the snapshot.
The following are key features of Amazon EBS Snapshots:
Direct read access of EBS Snapshots - The service is designed so customers can use EBS direct APIs for Snapshots to read data off snapshots and identify differences between two EBS snapshots without needing to create EBS volumes and EC2 instances. EBS direct APIs for Snapshots help backup partners to track incremental changes on EBS volumes more efficiently, providing faster backup times and more granular recovery point objectives (RPOs) to customers at a lower cost.

Creating EBS snapshots from any block storage - EBS direct APIs are designed so you can create EBS snapshots directly from any block storage data, regardless of where it resides, including data on-premises, and quickly recover into EBS volumes. This helps you to meet your disaster recovery objectives in AWS at lower costs.

Access to Amazon EBS volume data - The service is designed so that after a volume is created from a snapshot, there is no need to wait for all of the data to transfer from Amazon S3 to your Amazon EBS volume before your attached instance can start accessing the volume. Amazon EBS Snapshots implement lazy loading so that you can begin using them right away.

Full performance on EBS volumes restored from snapshots - For an additional hourly charge, you can enable Fast Snapshot Restore (FSR) capability for low latency access to data restored from snapshots. EBS volumes restored from FSR-enabled snapshots quickly receive their full performance. 

Resizing Amazon EBS volumes - There are two methods that can be used to resize an Amazon EBS volume. If you create a new volume based on a snapshot, you can specify a larger size for the new volume. With the Elastic Volumes feature you can dynamically grow live volumes without the use of snapshots. Make certain that your file system and application supports resizing a device.

Sharing Amazon EBS Snapshots - Amazon EBS Snapshots’ shareability makes it easy for you to share data with your co-workers or others in the AWS community. Authorized users can create their own Amazon EBS volumes based on your Amazon EBS shared snapshots; your original snapshot remains intact. If you choose, you can also make your data available publicly to all AWS users.

Copying Amazon EBS Snapshots across AWS regions - Amazon EBS’s ability to copy snapshots across AWS regions makes it easier to leverage multiple AWS regions for geographical expansion, data center migration, and disaster recovery. You can copy any snapshot accessible to you: snapshots you created; snapshots shared with you; and snapshots from the AWS Marketplace, VM Import/Export, and AWS Storage Gateway.
EBS Snapshots Archive - EBS Snapshots Archive is a lower storage cost tier which is designed to store a full copy of your point-in-time EBS Snapshots. Unlike an EBS Snapshot of a volume which is designed to be incremental, a snapshot archive is designed to be “full” since it is designed to contain all the blocks written into the volume at the moment the snapshot was taken. To recreate a volume from EBS Snapshots Archive, you restore the EBS Snapshot to the standard tier, and then create an EBS volume from the restored snapshot.

Amazon EBS-Optimized instances

For an additional low, hourly fee, customers can launch certain Amazon EC2 instance types as EBS-optimized instances. EBS-optimized instances enable EC2 instances to use the IOPS provisioned on an EBS volume.

EBS-optimized instances deliver dedicated throughput between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS, with many options, depending on the instance type used. The dedicated throughput minimizes contention between Amazon EBS I/O and other traffic from your EC2 instance, providing high performance for your EBS volumes.
EBS-optimized instances are designed for use with all Amazon EBS volume types.

Amazon EBS availability and durability

Amazon EBS volumes are designed to be highly available, reliable, and durable. The service is designed to replicate EBS volume data across multiple servers in an Availability Zone to help prevent the loss of data from the failure of any single component.

Amazon EBS offers a higher durability volume (io2), that is designed to provide 99.999% durability. This makes io2 ideal for business-critical applications such as SAP HANA, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2 that will benefit from higher uptime. All other Amazon EBS volumes are designed to provide 99.8%-99.9% durability.

Amazon EBS encryption and AWS Identity and Access Management

Amazon EBS encryption offers encryption of EBS data volumes, boot volumes and snapshots. EBS encryption is designed to help with data at rest security by encrypting your data volumes, boot volumes and snapshots using Amazon-managed keys or keys you create and manage using the AWS Key Management Service (KMS). In addition, encryption is designed to occur on the servers that host EC2 instances, to help encrypt your data as it moves between EC2 instances and EBS data and boot volumes.

Amazon EBS Multi-Attach

Customers can enable Multi-Attach on an EBS Provisioned IOPS io2 or io1 volume to allow a volume to be concurrently attached to up to sixteen Nitro-based EC2 instances within the same Availability Zone. Multi-Attach makes it easier to achieve higher application availability for applications that manage storage consistency from multiple writers. Each attached instance is designed to have full read and write permission to the shared volume. Applications using Multi-Attach need to provide IO fencing for storage consistency.

Amazon EBS Torn Write Prevention

Torn Write Prevention (TWP) is designed so that full 16KiB write operations are persisted to the block storage. With this feature, customers can turn off the double write operation that MySQL and MariaDB databases perform for increased database write throughput.

TWP supports all Amazon EBS volumes attached to EC2 Nitro-based instances.

Additional Information

For additional information about service controls, security features and functionalities, including, as applicable, information about storing, retrieving, modifying, restricting, and deleting data, please see This additional information does not form part of the Documentation for purposes of the AWS Customer Agreement available at, or other agreement between you and AWS governing your use of AWS’s services.