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AWS Solutions Architect Associate (SAA-C02)
Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

  • Volume Network Drive (provides low latency access to data)
  • Can only be mounted to 1 instance at a time (except EBS multi-attach)
  • Bound to an AZ
  • Must provision capacity in advance (size in GB & throughput in IOPS)
  • By default, upon instance termination, the root EBS volume is deleted and any other attached EBS volume is not deleted (can be over-ridden using DeleteOnTermination attribute)
  • To replicate an EBS volume across AZ or region, need to copy its snapshot
  • EBS Multi-attach allows the same EBS volume to attach to multiple EC2 instances in the same AZ

DeleteOnTermination attribute can be updated for the root EBS volume only from the CLI

Volume Types

General Purpose SSD

  • Good for system boot volumes, virtual desktops
  • Storage: 1 GB - 16 TB
  • gp3
    • 3,000 lOPS baseline (max 16,000 - independent of size)
    • 125 MiB/s throughput (max 1000MiB/s - independent of size)
  • gp2
    • Burst IOPS up to 3,000
    • 3 IOPS per GB
    • Max IOPS: 16,000 (at 5,334 GB)

Provisioned IOPS SSD**

  • Optimized for Transaction-intensive Applications with high frequency of small & random IO operations. They are sensitive to increased I/O latency.
  • Maintain high IOPS while keeping I/O latency down by maintaining a low queue length and a high number of IOPS available to the volume.
  • Supports EBS Multi-attach (not supported by other types)
  • io1 or io2
    • Storage: 4 GB - 16 TB
    • Max IOPS: 64,000 for Nitro EC2 instances & 32,000 for non-Nitro
    • 50 lOPS per GB (64,000 IOPS at 1,280 GB)
    • io2 have more durability and more IOPS per GB (at the same price as io1)
  • io2 Block Express
    • Storage: 4 GiB - 64 TB
    • Sub-millisecond latency
    • Max IOPS: 256,000
    • 1000 lOPS per GB

Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

  • Optimized for Throughput-intensive Applications that require large & sequential IO operations and are less sensitive to increased I/O latency (big data, data warehousing, log processing)
  • Maintain high throughput to HDD-backed volumes by maintaining a high queue length when performing large, sequential I/O
  • Cannot be used as boot volume for an EC2 instance
  • Storage: 125 MB - 16 TB
  • Throughput Optimized HDD (st1)
    • Optimized for large sequential reads and writes (Big Data, Data Warehouses, Log Processing)
    • Max throughput: 500 MB/s
    • Max IOPS: 500
  • Cold HDD (sc1)
    • For infrequently accessed data
    • Cheapest
    • Max throughput: 250 MB/s
    • Max IOPS: 250


  • Optional
  • For Encrypted EBS volumes
    • Data at rest is encrypted
    • Data in-flight between the instance and the volume is encrypted
    • All snapshots are encrypted
    • All volumes created from the snapshot are encrypted
  • Encrypt an un-encrypted EBS volume
    • Create an EBS snapshot of the volume
    • Copy the EBS snapshot and encrypt the new copy
    • Create a new EBS volume from the encrypted snapshot (the volume will be automatically encrypted)

All EBS types and all instance families support encryption but not all instance types support encryption.


  • Data Lifecycle Manager (DLM) can be used to automate the creation, retention, and deletion of snapshots of EBS volumes
  • Snapshots are incremental
  • Only the most recent snapshot is required to restore the volume


  • RAID 0
    • Improve performance of a storage volume by distributing reads & writes in a stripe across attached volumes
    • If you add a storage volume, you get the straight addition of throughput and IOPS
    • For high performance applications
  • RAID 1
    • Improve data availability by mirroring data in multiple volumes
    • For critical applications

Last updated: 2022-05-19