AWS cranks up EBS performance with io2 volumes

Amazon Web Services has announced EBS io2, a new storage service that provides more durability and IOPs per GiB – at the same price – than the current io1.

Announcing the news today, AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr writes: “The io2 volumes are designed to deliver 99.999 per cent durability, making them 2000x more reliable than a commodity disk drive … We are increasing the IOPS per GiB ratio … to 500 IOPS per GiB. You can get higher performance from your EBS volumes, and you can reduce or outright eliminate any over-provisioning that you might have done in the past to achieve the desired level of performance.”

Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes are attached to AWS compute instances. There are several kinds of EBS storage that differ in performance characteristics and price. SSD-based volumes are rated in terms of IOPS, and HDD volumes are measured in throughput (MiB/sec). With the new io2 volume the six types are;

  • General Purpose SSD (gp2), to 16,000 IOPS
  • Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1 and io2) for low-latency or high-throughput workloads, to a maxium of 64,000 IOPS.
  • Throughput Optimised HDD (st1) for streaming workloads, up to 500MiB/sec,
  • Cold HDD (sc1) for infrequently-accessed data, up to 250MiB/sec,
  • Magnetic (standard, a previous-generation type) supporting up to 90MiB/sec and 200 IOPS.

The io2 volume provides up to 500 IOPS per GiB – ten times for than io1’s 50 IOPS/GiB. It also has a 99.999 per cent (0.001 per cent annual failure rate) durability, better than the io1 volume’s maximum 99.9 per cent (0.2 per cent annual failure rate).

Barr says “io2 volumes [are] a perfect fit for your high-performance, business-critical databases and workloads. This includes SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2.” Apache Cassandra, MySQL, and PostreSQL can also benefit from io2 volumes.

Mohammad Shaikh, Director, Scientific Computing Services, Cloud Computing & DevOps, at Bristol Myers Squibb, provide a supportive quote: “With the 10x increase in IOPS per GB ratio, we can easily enable peak performance at a much lower cost than we ever could with traditional SAN hardware vendors.”

An AWS web page provides EBS pricing details.

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