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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    38

    Do I need AWS local storage?

    I am learning about AWS, and I think I read that if you want you data to be persistent (i think this means nothing gets deleted if you shut down the server) you need to use EBS.

    Looking at a m1.small, it comes with 1 x 160 local storage. If I uses 30GB of EBS, what would be on the 160?

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    22
    For persistent data, you'd want to utilize EBS as opposed to ephemeral storage. EBS storage is exclusive/separate to your instance storage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    localhost
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    3,510
    You can use the instance storage but if you stop the instance then its gone, or if the underlying node has local disk problems its gone (all of this is automated - AWS tech won't be fscking and trying to recover it - the risks are outlined from the start).

    For example you might use instance storage for database indexes whilst keeping the storage files on ebs, as you can rebuild the indexes later. If you might use instance storage as temp storage for map reduce parts over a large data set. Or to cache assets (i.e. memory -> local storage -> glacer or origin server). I dont there are any IO op charges on local storage too soo it could be a cheaper option for the scenarios above than network EBS.
    MattF - Since the start..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    38
    I def do not want the OS and all the config I did on them, or anything gone if I stop the instance, so I would put it all on EBS. So at that point, the 160 is really just unused swap space then?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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    22
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLtt View Post
    I def do not want the OS and all the config I did on them, or anything gone if I stop the instance, so I would put it all on EBS. So at that point, the 160 is really just unused swap space then?
    The instance storage is ephemeral. The data persists only during its associated instances lifetime. If an instance reboots, the data persists. However, under the following conditions, it would be lost:
    • Failure of an underlying drive.
    • Stopping an EBS-backed instance.
    • Terminating an instance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    934
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLtt View Post
    I def do not want the OS and all the config I did on them, or anything gone if I stop the instance, so I would put it all on EBS. So at that point, the 160 is really just unused swap space then?
    The ephemeral disk is typically used for things like cassandra/hadoop etc. Basically things that are recoverable. For raw throughput it performs almost the same as EBS. The disk has much better seek times though and you don't get charged for IO.

    Other more mundane uses are temporary backups (eg tarballing before uploading to S3), application’s cache, logs, any random data.

  7. #7
    Microsft Azure FTW... besides they just announced cheaper pricing anyways!

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