Interfaces - AWS Storage Services Overview

Interfaces

There is no separate management API for EC2 instance store volumes. Instead, instance store volumes are specified using the block device mapping feature of the Amazon EC2 API and the AWS Management Console. You cannot create or destroy instance store volumes, but you can control whether or not they are exposed to the EC2 instance and what device name is mapped to for each volume.

There is also no separate data API for instance store volumes. Just like EBS volumes, instance store volumes present a block-device interface to the EC2 instance. To the EC2 instance, an instance store volume appears just like a local disk drive. To write to and read data from instance store volumes, you use the native file system I/O interfaces of your chosen operating system.

Note that in some cases, a local instance store volume device is attached to an EC2 instance upon launch but must be formatted with an appropriate file system and mounted before use. Also, keep careful track of your block device mappings. There is no simple way for an application running on an EC2 instance to determine which block device is an instance store (ephemeral) volume and which is an EBS (persistent) volume.