Usage Patterns - AWS Storage Services Overview

Usage Patterns

Amazon EBS is meant for data that changes relatively frequently and needs to persist beyond the life of EC2 instance. Amazon EBS is well-suited for use as the primary storage for a database or file system, or for any application or instance (operating system) that requires direct access to raw block-level storage. Amazon EBS provides a range of options that allow you to optimize storage performance and cost for your workload. These options are divided into two major categories: solid-state drive (SSD)-backed storage for transactional workloads such as databases and boot volumes (performance depends primarily on IOPS) and hard disk drive (HDD)-backed storage for throughput-intensive workloads such as big data, data warehouse, and log processing (performance depends primarily on MB/s).

Amazon EBS doesn’t suit all storage situations. The following table presents some storage needs for which you should consider other AWS storage options.

Storage Need Solution AWS Services
Temporary storage Consider using local instance store volumes for needs such as scratch disks, buffers, queues, and caches. Amazon Local Instance Store
Multi-instance storage Amazon EBS volumes can only be attached to one EC2 instance at a time. If you need multiple EC2 instances accessing volume data at the same time, consider using Amazon EFS as a file system. Amazon EFS
Highly durable storage If you need very highly durable storage, use S3 or Amazon EFS. Amazon S3 Standard storage is designed for 99.999999999 percent (11 nines) annual durability per object. You can even decide to take a snapshot of the EBS volumes. Such a snapshot then gets saved in Amazon S3, thus providing you the durability of Amazon S3. For more information on EBS durability, see the Durability and Availability section. EFS is designed for high durability and high availability, with data stored in multiple Availability Zones within an AWS Region.

Amazon S3

Amazon EFS

Static data or web content If your data doesn’t change that often, Amazon S3 might represent a more cost-effective and scalable solution for storing this fixed information. Also, web content served out of Amazon EBS requires a web server running on Amazon EC2; in contrast, you can deliver web content directly out of Amazon S3 or from multiple EC2 instances using Amazon EFS.

Amazon S3

Amazon EFS