Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Creating an Amazon EBS Volume

You can create an Amazon EBS volume that you can then attach to any EC2 instance within the same Availability Zone. You can choose to create an encrypted EBS volume, but encrypted volumes can only be attached to supported instance types. For more information, see Supported Instance Types.

If you are creating a volume for a high-performance storage scenario, you should make sure to use a Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) volume and attach it to an instance with enough bandwidth to support your application, such as an EBS-optimized instance or an instance with 10-Gigabit network connectivity. The same advice holds for Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Instance Configuration.

New EBS volumes receive their maximum performance the moment that they are available and do not require initialization (formerly known as pre-warming). However, storage blocks on volumes that were restored from snapshots must be initialized (pulled down from Amazon S3 and written to the volume) before you can access the block. This preliminary action takes time and can cause a significant increase in the latency of an I/O operation the first time each block is accessed. For most applications, amortizing this cost over the lifetime of the volume is acceptable. Performance is restored after the data is accessed once. For more information, see Initializing Amazon EBS Volumes.

Methods of Creating a Volume

To create a new (empty) EBS volume using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. From the navigation bar, select the Region in which you would like to create your volume. This choice is important because some Amazon EC2 resources can be shared between Regions, while others can't. For more information, see Resource Locations.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose ELASTIC BLOCK STORE, Volumes.

  4. Choose Create Volume.

  5. For Volume Type, choose a volume type. For more information, see Amazon EBS Volume Types.

  6. For Size (GiB), type the size of the volume. For more information, see Constraints on the Size and Configuration of an EBS Volume.

  7. With a Provisioned IOPS SSD volume, for IOPS, type the maximum number of input/output operations per second (IOPS) that the volume should support.

  8. For Availability Zone, choose the Availability Zone in which to create the volume. EBS volumes can only be attached to EC2 instances within the same Availability Zone.

  9. (Optional) If the instance type supports EBS encryption and you want to encrypt the volume, select Encrypt this volume and choose a CMK. If encryption by default is enabled in this Region, EBS encryption is enabled and the default CMK for EBS encryption is chosen. You can choose a different CMK from Master Key or paste the full ARN of any key that you can access. For more information, see Amazon EBS Encryption.

  10. (Optional) Choose Create additional tags to add tags to the volume. For each tag, provide a tag key and a tag value. For more information, see Tagging Your Amazon EC2 Resources.

  11. Choose Create Volume. After the volume status is Available, you can attach the volume to an instance. For more information, see Attaching an Amazon EBS Volume to an Instance.

To create a new (empty) EBS volume using the command line

You can use one of the following commands. For more information about these command line interfaces, see Accessing Amazon EC2.