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AWS Adds New Features, Including Two New HDD Storage Options

As Amazon Web Services continues adding features and functionality to their cloud-centric service, the team with AWS has also been hard at work refining the framework that makes cloud-based storage possible in the first place. To that extent, their two new HDD storage options for Amazon Elastic Block Storage, are meant to provide greater throughput than previous hardware.

Furthermore, given the fact that customers of Amazon's EBS service only have to pay for the amount of storage space they need, this could turn out to be a rather lucrative selling point for attracting new users to Amazon EBS.

Peter DeSantis, vice president of Amazon Web Services spoke about some of the contributions AWS has made to the niche of cloud-based storage. He was quoted as saying: "Over the last several years, AWS has delivered a series of SSD-based Amazon EBS volumes that enabled customers to run their most IOPS-intensive applications successfully and cost-effectively. But, for big data workloads, HDDs still remain the optimal block storage solution, yet little to no innovation has taken place on HDDs -- until today. These two new Amazon EBS volumes represent a step-level change in the cost and performance of HDDs, and make it more efficient to run throughput-intensive, big data workloads."

The Products at a Glance

Firstly, the Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) is meant specifically for workloads involving large-scale data warehousing, intensive log processing, Kafka and more. Pricing for this option starts at $0.045 per gigabyte per month.

On the other hand, the Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1), while capable of handling similar loads, is really meant for working with workloads that aren't used or accessed on a regular basis. Pricing for this option starts at $0.025 per gigabyte per month.

Both of the options feature baseline performance, a burst credit bucket and burst performance, which puts them on par with the Amazon EPS General Purpose SSD (gp2). Although the SSD still outperforms the new hardware in terms of input / output operations per second, or IOPS, the Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and the Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1) but excel when it comes down to sheer throughput. In fact, the burst throughput capabilities of the new options give them a maximum throughput of 500 MB/s and 250 MB/s respectively.

Mohit Dilawai, director of backend engineering with Localytics, explained how the new hardware has already helped his company grow. He was quoted as saying: "The release of Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1) allowed us to migrate our Vertica cluster, saving us over 50% of our monthly storage costs, while still providing the reliable throughput we need to run our queries. Larger volume sizes also removed the need to stripe multiple volumes, simplifying our management and operations of the cluster while allowing for easier scaling."

Amazon Elastic Block Store

To find out more information about Amazon Elastic Block Store, also known as Amazon EBS, please visit their official website at Here you'll be able to find specific pricing information, online technical support, electronic documentation and more.


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