Amazon EBS Elastic Volumes Now Available!

In exciting news announced by Jeff Barr on his outstanding AWS Blog, Amazon Web Services have launched a new EBS feature called Elastic Volumes. In his latest blog, Jeff rightly highlights that, with the dynamic nature of business, block storage requirements can change. As our needs change over time, this creates the requirements to be able to modify existing volumes to add capacity or to change performance characteristics.

New Amazon EBS Elastic Volumes Launched!

According to Jeff Barr, the feedback from AWS customers was that they want to use EBS volume types as storage tiers, but to also allow them to modify the volume type to save money or to change the performance characteristics, without affecting their operations. In simpler terms, AWS customers are looking for their EBS volumes to be even more elastic.

So as a result, AWS have now launched a new EBS feature called Elastic Volumes and have made it available for all current-generation EBS volumes attached to current-generation EC2 instances. Users can now increase volume size, adjust performance, or change the volume type while the volume is in use. You can continue to use your application while the change takes effect! How cool is that?

This new feature will help to simplify many of your every-day planning and management tasks. Instead of a traditional provisioning cycle that can take a few weeks, you can make changes to your storage infrastructure instantaneously, with a simple API call.

Amazon Web Services have kindly highlighted the following scenarios you can address using the new Elastic Volumes:

  • Changing Workloads – You set up your infrastructure in a rush and used the General Purpose SSD volumes for your block storage. After gaining some experience you figure out that the Throughput Optimized volumes are a better fit, and simply change the type of the volume.
  • Spiking Demand – You are running a relational database on a Provisioned IOPS volume that is set to handle a moderate amount of traffic during the month, with a 10x spike in traffic during the final three days of each month due to month-end processing.  You can use Elastic Volumes to dial up the provisioning in order to handle the spike, and then dial it down afterwards.
  • Increasing Storage – You provisioned a volume for 100 GiB and an alarm goes off indicating that it is now at 90% of capacity. You increase the size of the volume and expand the file system to match, with no downtime, and in a fully automated fashion.

Start Using Elastic Volumes Today

You can manage the new Elastic Volumes from the AWS Management Console, via API calls, or from the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). While manual changes are fine, there’s plenty of potential for automation! The Elastic Volumes feature is available today and you can start using it right now!

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