Lab6: Introduction to Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is the steady block storage volumes which are provided with Amazon Ec2 instance to use in the AWS cloud. Each Amazon volume is replicated automatically within its Availability Zone to shield the clients from the failure of the component, grant high availability, durability. You can attach and de-attached  EBS with your EC2 instance because it’s working with independent volume. You can distribute your workloads through Amazon EBS volume because it delivers consistently and low-latency performance which needs to reduce your workload in the system.

Amazon EBS is designed for application workloads that benefit from fine tuning for performance, cost and capacity, for example, Big Data analytics engines, relational and NoSQL databases, stream and log processing applications, and data warehousing applications.

Amazon EBS Features: 

  • High-Performance Volumes (Either you choose SSD-backed or HDD-backed volume, you will get the same performance that you need for your highly demanding application)
  • Availability ( 99.999% availability per Amazone EBS volume,  Protect any application from component failure because it automatically replicates within its Availability Zone )
  • Encryption (Seamless support for data-at-rest and data-in-transit between EC2 instances and EBS volumes)
  • Access Management ( you can access control policies by specifying who can access EBS volume. Amazon EBS ensures the secure data access )
  • Snapshots (Creating point-in-time snapshots of EBS volumes which are backed up to Amazon S3 for long-term durability to protect your data failure)
  • Elastic Volumes (Dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of live EBS volumes )

Amazon EBS Benefits

  • Reliable, Secure Storage
  • Consistent, Low-latency Performance
  • Backup, Restore, Innovate
  • Quickly Scale Up, Easily Scale Down
  • Geographic Flexibility
  • Optimized Performance

This lab I will demonstrate the following topics to understand how to EBS works:

  • Creating an EBS  volume in the Amazon Management Console
  • Adding an EBS Volume to an instance
  • Snapshotting an EBS volume

Steps for the task: Creating an EBS  volume in the Amazon Management Console

To create an EBS volume you need some certain permission such as you have to able to access EC2 instance, Volume management panel utilisation permission.

Note: EBS volume is hard drive like our physical machine hard drive. Data on them persists through the lifetime of the volume and can be transferred between Virtual machine whenever it is needed.

  1. Go to the AWS management Console, Click EC2 on the Services menu. On the left side, you can see EC2 dashboard navigator panel. Under the Elastic Block Store, Click “Volume”.  You can see a list of volume that depends on how many instances you already created. If you created one instance, you will see only one Volume. 1.jpg
  2. In my lab 5 exercise,  I’ve created Ec2 Window Server instance. A volume has been automatically created during EC2 instance launched.
  3. Now we have to take care some components such as Availability Zone for that existing volume. It is like:us-west-2b 
  4. Now click “Create Volume“. A dialogue box will appear. Type the following information; Volume type: General purpose (because we are exercising lab, you can mention your column type as per your requirement), Size Max: 16384 GiB but you can choose any size up to the maximum. In this lab I chose 1GiB. Availability Zone that must be similar to your Ec2 instance in which instance you are going to attach EBS volume2.jpg
  5. Then click “Create“.  Wait for few minutes to ready your volume.
  6. Now our new volume is ready to be attached to our EC2 Instance (EC2Winserver).3.jpg

Steps for the task: Adding an EBS Volume to an Instance

Now our volume and server instance is prepared to attached volumes. We can view our two-volume in the Elastic Block store volume section.4.jpg

  1. If you see that your newly created volume is still creating the state, click on “Refresh” button from the top right corner of your Elastic Block Store volume Screen.
  2. Select the checkbox to the left side of your newly created volume if its state column status shows “Available“.5.jpg
  3. Click “Attach Volume” in the action drop-down list.6
  4. Select the running instance by clicking “Instance“. Then click “Attach“.7.jpgNow we attached an EBS volume to an instance successfully. 8.jpg

Steps of the task: Snapshotting an EBS Volume and Increasing Performance 

Now we will create a snapshot. A snapshot is the replication of the data in the volume. It also allows you to change the properties of the volume to enables features like provisioned IOPS.

  1. Now right click the volume of 1GiB which is you newly created. then Click “Force Detach Volume”. Note: You need to shut down your instance before detaching the drive in the production environment.9.jpg
  2. Click “Yes, Detach“. Volume state will be “Available” 10.jpg
  3.  Now Click “Create Snapshot” by right click your mouse right button. The purpose of the creating snapshot is to create the backup of the volume. As it is backup volume, you will generally give more size compare to the original volume which is directly attached to an instance.11.jpg
  4. You will get snapshot creation dialogue box.12.jpg

Here you have take care some components:

  • Ensure the volume field match the volume you created (It generally match by default)
  • Type “ebslab” in the name box
  • Type “lab elb volume snapshot” in the description box13.jpg

5. Now Click “Snapshots” in the navigation panel. Click “Create Volume” after right click on the Snapshot14.jpg

6. Now we will increase volume size and enable provisioned IOPS for increased performance. After click on “Create Volume“. You will get a dialogue box and type the following information for setting new snapshot volume.15.jpg


7. Now we will view our newly created high-performance drive that will contain all the data from the original drive, but it is guaranteed IOPS and is large.

Go to the Navigation panel of EBS under EC2 dashboard. Click Volume. You will see our newly created volume which we made snapshot screen. 17.jpg

What is the difference between Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1)  and General Purpose SSD (gp2)?

Answer: SSD-backed volumes include the highest performance Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) for latency-sensitive transactional workloads.

General Purpose SSD (gp2) that balance price and performance for a wide variety of transactional data. It also determines a baseline of the volume performance level and how rapidly it accumulates I/O credits. A Large size of the volume has the higher baseline level of performance. It is cost effective and widely used in the board range of workload area.

Question:  What s Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) Volumes?

Answer: IO1 is backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and is the highest performance EBS storage option designed for critical, I/O intensive database and application workloads.IO1 is designed to deliver a consistent baseline performance of up to 50 IOPS/GB to a maximum of 20,000 IOPS and provide up to 320 MB/s of throughput per volume.

Cost analysis: 

The payment system of Amazon EBS is that you will pay only for what you use.The pricing for Amazon EBS volumes is varied in regions. Here I’ve shown two region price comparison. So you should check the price range carefully before creating EBS in a specific Zone.


How to optimised the cost?

To optimised the cost, you should create a snapshot and delete the volume which is detached with the instance. It helps you to reduce the cost. And keep in mind that when you will disconnect your IOPS provisioned from an instance, you will be charged. Therefore, the best practice is you should use the IOPS provision with your snapshot for data backup purpose and use general purpose SSD for the purpose of attached drive in the production environment.

Snapshot Price Reduction benefit:
AWS reducing the prices for EBS snapshots by 47% for all AWS Regions.Snapshot price rate is now more economical. Therefore, AWS EBS users can take more backups frequently which will help them to reduce recovery time after human errors. It will help AWS accounts to reduce recovery cost as well. As a result, it is the better idea to take backup in EBS volume regularly.

Thank you 🙂


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