Amazon EBS - AWS Storage Services Overview

Amazon EBS

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes provide durable block-level storage for use with EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are network-attached storage that persists independently from the running life of a single EC2 instance. After an EBS volume is attached to an EC2 instance, you can use the EBS volume like a physical hard drive, typically by formatting it with the file system of your choice and using the file I/O interface provided by the instance operating system. Most Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are backed by Amazon EBS, and use an EBS volume to boot EC2 instances. You can also attach multiple EBS volumes to a single EC2 instance. Note, however, that any single EBS volume can be attached to only one EC2 instance at any time.

EBS also provides the ability to create point-in-time snapshots of volumes, which are stored in Amazon S3. These snapshots can be used as the starting point for new EBS volumes and to protect data for long-term durability. To learn more about Amazon EBS durability, see the EBS Durability and Availability section of this whitepaper. The same snapshot can be used to instantiate as many volumes as you want. These snapshots can be copied across AWS Regions, making it easier to leverage multiple AWS Regions for geographical expansion, data center migration, and disaster recovery. Sizes for EBS volumes range from 1 GiB to 16 TiB, depending on the volume type, and are allocated in 1 GiB increments.

You can find information about Amazon EBS previous generation Magnetic volumes at the Amazon EBS Previous Generation Volumes page.