Amazon EBS provides a range of volume types that allow you to optimize storage performance and cost for your workload. These volume types 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.

SSD-based volumes include the highest performance EBS volumes (io1) for latency-sensitive transactional workloads and General Purpose SSD volumes (gp2) that balance price and performance for a wide variety of transactional data. HDD-based volumes include Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) for frequently accessed, throughput intensive workloads and the lowest cost Cold HDD (sc1) for less frequently accessed data.

The following tables show use cases and performance characteristics of each EBS volume:

SSD-based volumes

  • io1
  • gp2
  • io1
  • io1 is backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and is a high performance EBS storage option designed for critical, I/O intensive database and application workloads, as well as throughput-intensive database and data warehouse workloads, such as HBase, Vertica, and Cassandra. These volumes are ideal for both IOPS-intensive and throughput-intensive workloads that require low latency and have moderate durability requirements or include built-in application redundancy.

    io1 is designed to deliver a consistent baseline performance of up to 50 IOPS/GB to a maximum of 64,000 IOPS and provide up to 1,000 MB/s of throughput per volume. To maximize the benefit of io1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances. When attached to EBS-optimized EC2 instances, io1 is designed to achieve single-digit millisecond latencies and is designed to deliver the provisioned performance 99.9% of the time. For more information about instance types that can be launched as EBS-optimized instances, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types. For more information about Amazon EBS performance guidelines, see Increasing EBS Performance.

    To achieve the limit of 64,000 IOPS and 1,000 MB/s throughput, the volume must be attached to an EC2 instance built on the AWS Nitro system, like R5, C5, M5, T3, A1, G4, I3en, P3dn, and z1d.

    Volume Type: EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1)
    Short Description: High performance SSD volume designed for latency-sensitive transactional workloads
    Use Cases: I/O-intensive NoSQL & relational databases
    API Name: io1
    Volume Size: 4 GB – 16 TB
    Max IOPS*/Volume: 64,000
    Max Throughput**/Volume: 1,000 MB/s
    Max IOPS/Instance: 80,000
    Max Throughput/Instance: 2,375 MB/s
    Price: $0.125/GB-month + $0.065/provisioned IOPS
    Dominant Performance Attribute: IOPS

    *io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size
    **volume throughput is calculated as MB = 1024^2 bytes

  • gp2
  • gp2 is the default EBS volume type for Amazon EC2 instances. These volumes are backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and are suitable for a broad range of transactional workloads, including dev/test environments, low-latency interactive applications, and boot volumes. gp2 is designed to offer single-digit millisecond latency, deliver a consistent baseline performance of 3 IOPS/GB (minimum 100 IOPS) to a maximum of 16,000 IOPS, and provide up to 250 MB/s of throughput per volume. gp2 volumes smaller than 1 TB can also burst up to 3,000 IOPS. I/O operations are included in the price of gp2, so you only pay for each GB of storage you provision. gp2 is designed to deliver the provisioned performance 99% of the time. If you need a greater number of IOPS than gp2 can provide, such as a workload where low latency is critical or you need better performance consistency, we recommend using io1. To maximize the performance of gp2, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.

    Volume Type: EBS General Purpose SSD (gp2) *
    Short Description: General Purpose SSD volume that balances price performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads
    Use Cases: Boot volumes, low-latency interactive apps, dev & test
    API Name: gp2
    Volume Size: 1 GB – 16 TB
    Max IOPS**/Volume: 16,000
    Max Throughput***/Volume: 250 MB/s
    Max IOPS/Instance: 80,000
    Max Throughput/Instance: 2,375 MB/s
    Price: $0.10/GB-month
    Dominant Performance Attribute: IOPS

    *Default volume type
    **io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size
    ***volume throughput is calculated as MB = 1024^2 bytes

HDD-based volumes

  • st1
  • sc1
  • st1
  • st1 is backed by hard disk drives (HDDs) and is ideal for frequently accessed, throughput-intensive workloads with large datasets and large I/O sizes, such as MapReduce, Kafka, log processing, data warehouse, and ETL workloads. These volumes deliver performance, measured in MB/s of throughput, and include the ability to burst up to 250 MB/s per TB, with a baseline throughput of 40 MB/s per TB and a maximum throughput of 500 MB/s per volume. st1 is designed to deliver the expected throughput performance 99% of the time and has enough I/O credits* to support a full-volume scan at the burst rate. To maximize the performance of st1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.

    Volume Type: Throughput Optimized HDD (st1)
    Short Description: Low cost HDD volume designed for frequently accessed, throughput-intensive workloads
    Use Cases: Big data, data warehouses, log processing
    API Name: st1
    Volume Size: 500 GB – 16 TB
    Max IOPS**/Volume: 500
    Max Throughput***/Volume: 500 MB/s
    Max IOPS/Instance: 80,000
    Max Throughput/Instance: 2,375 MB/s
    Price: $0.045/GB-month
    Dominant Performance Attribute: MB/s

    * I/O credits are used to burst large amounts of I/O above baseline performance
    **io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size
    ***volume throughput is calculated as MB = 1024^2 bytes

  • sc1
  • sc1 is backed by hard disk drives (HDDs) and provides the lowest cost per GB of all EBS volume types. It is ideal for less frequently accessed workloads with large, cold datasets. Similar to st1, sc1 provides a burst model. These volumes can burst up to 80 MB/s per TB, with a baseline throughput of 12 MB/s per TB and a maximum throughput of 250 MB/s per volume. For infrequently accessed data, sc1 provides extremely inexpensive storage. sc1 is designed to deliver the expected throughput performance 99% of the time and has enough I/O credits* to support a full-volume scan at the burst rate. To maximize the performance of sc1, we recommend using EBS-optimized EC2 instances.

    Volume Type: Cold HDD (sc1)
    Short Description: Lowest cost HDD volume designed for less frequently accessed workloads
    Use Cases: Colder data requiring fewer scans per day
    API Name: sc1
    Volume Size: 500 GB – 16 TB
    Max IOPS**/Volume: 250
    Max Throughput***/Volume: 250 MB/s
    Max IOPS/Instance: 80,000
    Max Throughput/Instance: 2,375 MB/s
    Price: $0.025/GB-month
    Dominant Performance Attribute: MB/s

    * I/O credits are used to burst large amounts of I/O above baseline performance
    **io1/gp2 based on 16K I/O size, st1/sc1 based on 1 MB I/O size
    ***volume throughput is calculated as MB = 1024^2 bytes

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