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Amazon ECS io2 Block Express Volumes is a SAN in Cloud

Author avatar - Michael Otey

Michael Otey

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On July 19th 2021, Amazon announced the general availability of their new Amazon ECS io2 Block Express volumes service.  Amazon io2 volumes have been available since 2020 and they are essentially provisioned SSDs designed to deliver 99.999% durability. Amazon ECS io2 Block Express are io2 volumes running on the EBS Block Express architecture. ECS io2 Block Express volumes support io2 features like Multi-Attach and Elastic Volumes. ECS io2 Block Express volumes can deliver up to 256,000 IOPS, 4000 MB/s of throughput, and can have a storage capacity of 64 TiB.

Amazon ECS io2 Block Express Volumes are designed to be a SAN in the cloud. Businesses have traditionally used Storage Area Networks (SANs) for delivering local high-performance and high-durability block storage. However, SANs are expensive. In addition, they have a reputation for being difficult to manage – often requiring a dedicated storage administrator. Amazon’s ECS io2 Block Express volumes provide SAN-like performance and availability using a cloud-based durable block store.

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ECS io2 Block Express volumes are currently available for Amazon EC2 R5b instances which are intended to run business-critical and storage-intensive applications. The ECS io2 Block Express volumes and R5b instance combination are designed to support the largest, most I/O intensive, and mission-critical workloads like Oracle, SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, and SAS Analytics. Additional instance types are expected to be supported in the future.

Customers can get started with ECS io2 Block Express volumes using the AWS Management Console, the AWS CLI, or the AWS SDKs. ECS io2 Block Express volumes are available in all regions where R5b instances are available including: US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Europe (Frankfurt). You can learn more about ECS io2 Block Express volumes at Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS Volume. To find out more about the pricing for ECS io2 Block Express volumes you can check out Amazon EBS pricing page.

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