EBS – SSD vs HDD

On a given volume configuration, certain I/O characteristics drive the performance behavior for your EBS volumes. SSD-backed volumes, such as General Purpose SSD (gp2) and Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1,io2), deliver consistent performance whether an I/O operation is random or sequential. HDD-backed volumes like Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) deliver optimal performance only when I/O operations are large and sequential.

In the exam, always consider the difference between SSD and HDD as shown on the table below. This will allow you to easily eliminate specific EBS-types in the options which are not SSD or not HDD, depending on whether the question asks for a storage type which has small, random I/O operations or large, sequential I/O operations.

 

Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1,io2) volumes are designed to meet the needs of I/O-intensive workloads, particularly database workloads, that are sensitive to storage performance and consistency. Unlike gp2, which uses a bucket and credit model to calculate performance, an io1 volume allows you to specify a consistent IOPS rate when you create the volume, and Amazon EBS delivers within 10 percent of the provisioned IOPS performance 99.9 percent of the time over a given year. Provisioned IOPS SSD io2 is an upgrade of Provisioned IOPS SSD io1. It offers higher 99.999% durability and higher IOPS per GiB ratio with 500 IOPS per GiB, all at the same cost as io1 volumes.

Volume Name

General Purpose SSD

Provisioned IOPS SSD

Volume type

gp3

gp2

io2

io1

Description

General Purpose SSD volume that balances price performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads

General Purpose SSD volume that balances price performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads

High performance SSD volume designed for business-critical latency-sensitive applications

High performance SSD volume designed for latency-sensitive transactional workloads

Use Cases

virtual desktops, medium sized single instance databases such as MSFT SQL Server and Oracle DB, low-latency interactive apps, dev & test, boot volumes

Boot volumes, low-latency interactive apps, dev & test

Workloads that require sub-millisecond latency, and sustained IOPS performance or more than 64,000 IOPS or 1,000 MiB/s of throughput

Workloads that require sustained IOPS performance or more than 16,000 IOPS and I/O-intensive database workloads

Volume Size

1 GB – 16 TB

1 GB – 16 TB

4 GB – 16 TB

4 GB – 16 TB

Durability

99.8% – 99.9% durability

99.8% – 99.9% durability

99.999%

99.8% – 99.9%

Max IOPS / Volume

16,000

16,000

64,000

64,000

Max Throughput  / Volume

1000 MB/s

250 MB/s

1,000 MB/s

1,000 MB/s

Max IOPS / Instance

260,000

260,000

160,000

260,000

Max IOPS / GB

N/A

N/A

500 IOPS/GB

50 IOPS/GB

Max Throughput / Instance

7,500 MB/s

7,500 MB/s

4,750 MB/s

7,500 MB/s

Latency

single digit millisecond

single digit millisecond

single digit millisecond

single digit millisecond

Multi-Attach

No

No

Yes

Yes

 

Volume Name

Throughput Optimized HDD

Cold HDD

Volume type

st1

sc1

Description

Low cost HDD volume designed for frequently accessed, throughput-intensive workloads

Throughput-oriented storage for data that is infrequently accessed

Scenarios where the lowest storage cost is important

Use Cases

Big data, data warehouses, log processing

Colder data requiring fewer scans per day

Volume Size

125 GB – 16 TB

125 GB – 16 TB

Durability

99.8% – 99.9% durability

99.8% – 99.9% durability

Max IOPS / Volume

500

250

Max Throughput  / Volume

500 MB/s

250 MB/s

Max IOPS / Instance

260,000

260,000

Max IOPS / GB

N/A

N/A

Max Throughput / Instance

7,500 MB/s

7,500 MB/s

Multi-Attach

No

No

 

 

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