Amazon’s much-awaited Elastic Block Store for EC2 is out this morning; I’m excited to give this a try. A couple downers from the announcement: The pricing is somewhat high – $0.10 per allocated GB per month plus $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests – and the reliability isn’t where I’d like it to be. Specifically, Amazon notes:
Volumes that operate with 20 GB or less of modified data since their most recent Amazon EBS snapshot can expect an annual failure rate (AFR) of between 0.1% – 0.5%, where failure refers to a complete loss of the volume. This compares with commodity hard disks that will typically fail with an AFR of around 4%, making EBS volumes 10 times more reliable than typical commodity disk drives.
Because Amazon EBS servers are replicated within a single Availability Zone, mirroring data across multiple Amazon EBS volumes in the same Availability Zone will not significantly improve volume durability.
That last sentence makes it sound like there is a 0.1% – 0.5% chance of catastrophic data loss of many distinct EBS volumes in an availability zone. If that’s the case, that’s scary – off the top of my head, I’d say your run-of-the mill “Enterprise” SAN doesn’t have a one-in-two hundred risk of catastrophic failure per year.
More links, not all of which I’ve had a chance to fully digest yet:
- Feature Guide: Elastic Block Store
- Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) – Bring Us Your Data
- Amazon’s Elastic Block Store explained
- Why Amazon’s Elastic Block Store Matters
- Amazon EBS – Tool and Library Support
- Running MySQL on Amazon EC2 with Elastic Block Store