AWS EBS Volume Types & What to Use Them For

AWS offers several EBS volume types that you can use for your storage needs. Here’s a quick overview of what options are available and how they differ.

What is EBS?

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is AWS’s block-level, persistent local storage solution for Amazon EC2. For example, for relational and NoSQL databases, data warehousing, Big Data processing, and/or backup and recovery.

Each network-attached block is presented as a simple volume. Since they are distributed, EBS is easily scaled (hence the “elastic”.) They are also easily backed up with snapshots.

It is just one of many AWS storage options, which also include:

  • Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) — scalable elastic file system for Linux-based workloads for use with AWS cloud services and on-premises resources. It can scale on demand automatically as you add and remove files.

Types of EBS Volumes

Amazon EBS volume types are broken into two main categories:

  • SSD-backed volumes are optimized for IOPS, which are best for workloads involving frequent read/write operations with small I/O size.

Within each of those groups are two options. The default type is General Purpose SSD (gp2), and there are 3 others available:

  • General Purpose SSD (gp2) — general purpose, balances price and performance.

You may see references to Magnetic HDD type volumes in older articles about types of volumes in EBS — those are now considered a “previous generation”.

Interested in managing costs for your EBS volumes and snapshots? Stay tuned for announcements from ParkMyCloud coming soon on new ways the platform can optimize your costs.

Further Reading:

Originally published at on March 13, 2020.

CEO of ParkMyCloud