Amazon complete suite of storage solutions


Amazon complete suite of storage solutions

Today marks the launch of Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store), the long awaited persistent storage service for EC2. Details can be found on the EC2 detail page, the press release and Jeff Barr’s posting over on the AWS evangelists blog. Also the folks at Rightscale have two detailed postings: why Amazon EBS matters and Amazon EBS explained.

With the launch of the Elastic Block Store we complete an important milestone in offering a complete suite of storage solutions as part of the Amazon Infrastructure Services. Back in the days when we made the architectural decision to virtualize the internal Amazon infrastructure one of the first steps we took was a deep analysis of the way that storage was used by the internal Amazon services. We had to make sure that the infrastructure storage solutions we were going to develop would be highly effective for developers by addressing the most common patterns first. That analysis led us to three top patterns:

  1. Key-Value storage. The majority of the Amazon storage patterns were based on primary key access leading to single value or object. This pattern led to the development of Amazon S3.
  2. Simple Structured Data storage. A second large category of storage patterns were satisfied by access to simple query interface into structured datasets. Fast indexing allows high-speed lookups over large dataset. This pattern led to the development of Amazon SimpleDB. A common pattern we see is that secondary keys to objects stored in Amazon S3 are stored in SimpleDB, where lookups result in sets of S3 (primary) keys.
  3. Block storage. The remaining bucket holds a variety of storage patterns ranging special file systems such as ZFS to applications managing their own block storage (e.g. cache servers) to relational databases. This category is served by Amazon EBS which provides the fundamental building block for implementing a variety of storage patterns.

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