AWS Persistent Storage: Coming Soon To An EC2 Instance Near You?

By M. David Peterson
August 5, 2008 | Comments: 4

So after verifying with the POWERS-THAT-BE@AWS that the following email was something that could be considered public knowledge (and therefore I wouldn't be breaking my signed-in-blood NDA by exposing this information to a wider audience ;-)), I present the following tidbit of juicy AWS persistent storage info which arrived in my inbox earlier this morning...


This is a notice to let you know that Amazon EC2 instance(s) associated with your account are operating on an older software version that will not be able to take advantage of some upcoming new features. The affected instances are listed below.

In the coming weeks, Amazon EC2 will be launching a new persistent storage offering. This is an advanced alert that the instances listed will not be able to take advantage of this new feature. Other instances that are not listed will be able to take advantage of it.

For more information about the persistent storage offering, please see the following blog posts:

For the instances listed, we recommend migrating to new instances. Any newly launched instance will be able to take advantage of the new storage offering.

Thank you,

The Amazon EC2 Team

Of course I am unable to disclose any further details, but what I can do is assure you of one very important thing: Having spent the last 6 or so months of my life as a member of the AWS persistent storage private alpha attempting in every way possible to bring the system to within an inch of its life, (and writing about ways you can begin preparing for its release *today*) I can speak with some authority when I state that the AWS persistent storage solution *ROCKS*!

Are you ready to be *ROCKED*?! Giddieup! ;-)

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Can you share any details on the performance of persistent storage? (Can you run a DB off it, like say, MySQL and have it run w/decent performance?)

>> Can you share any details on the performance of persistent storage?

I can not. Sorry.

>> (Can you run a DB off it, like say, MySQL and have it run w/decent performance?)

As per Jeff Barr's post from this last April (linked to above, though I'll link to it again at the bottom of this comment) where he both announced and provided examples of using the persistent storage solution:

These volumes can be thought of as raw, unformatted disk drives which can be formatted and then used as desired (or even used as raw storage if you'd like). Volumes can range in size from 1 GB on up to 1 TB; you can create and attach several of them to each EC2 instance. They are designed for low latency, high throughput access from Amazon EC2. Needless to say, you can use these volumes to host a relational database.

Suffice it to say that the ability to safely and efficiently host a DB on an instance w/o fear of losing data that wasn't backed up on S3 (or off-site) was of primary focus and concern in the design of the AWS persistent storage solution.

This will be a welcome release for us and will solve some of our more labor intensive tasks.

Yay is all I can say.

Very cool...

Now if only they would make their pricing more reasonable for low-resource-usage stuff... the only reason I don't use EC2 for more than poking and testing is the fact that it's wildly overpriced.

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