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Amazon Web Services EBS

Elastic Block Storage (EBS) is block storage typically attached as a virtual hard drive attached to an AWS EC2 virtual machine. It's usually flash storage with high I/O capacity, but less expensive magnetic storage is available.


Use this option when…

  • You have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 virtual server
  • Are comfortable configuring a file system (eg NTFS, ext4) on the drive
  • Have a traditionally-architected application or workload and can't use object storage from a separate bucket
  • This is a relatively expensive option for cloud storage
  • Your data needs are relatively small, similar to a physical hard drive

Example Use Cases

  • You have a virtual machine that's running a database server like PostgreSQL or MariaDB
  • You want to attach and detach a virtual hard drive as you modify the virtual machine
  • Have multiple EC2s that need read-only access to one shared virtual hard drive

Cost Considerations

  • In general, users pay per GB per volume that's being provisioned, irrespective of what's actually holding data 
  • Snapshots for EBS volumes are extra
  • There are different performance tiers and different costs associated with specific regions.
  • Users have the option to be reserving a volume of IOPs for performance-demanding applications


  • This service is accessible as part of an AWS account
  • Your AWS account will be provisioned by UIT Hosting Services
  • If your service is self-managed, you will be responsible for all aspects of security compliance associated with your AWS account
  • UIT professional services teams may include this service as part of fully-managed, fully-supported solution