AWS: EBS Update: Elastic EBS Volumes

Amazon Web Services (AWS) logo consisting of 3 orange boxes stacked diagonally as if it were a forward slash. The fourth is to the right of the top-most box. Under the boxes is the wording "amazon" and "web services" below that in black lower-case text.

A couple years ago Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced one of the most requested features: a mountable file system that could be used across multiple server/elastic compute/EC2 instances. In addition to that it would scale automatically — no setting a storage size — with however much data you used, just like their simple storage service (S3). It was called Elastic File System (EFS). However, elastic block storage (EBS) is still used by most to mount operating systems and often even for file storage (partially due to legacy use and since it is seen as more stable). So what happens when you reached your EBS limit? In the past it was no different than running out of hard drive space on a personal computer (or Mac). Most people panicked, freaked out, panicked some more, then started the long process of adding a new, larger drive (EBS volume) and copying all the existing data over from the old drive or adding a new drive then altering a bunch of software code to split where it can find the data.

Not anymore with Amazon.

AWS has now added the ability to resize EBS volumes so you can scale up your data storage needs as they grow. That means I have to umount, remove the server link, alter the size of the block, re-attach it, mount it and have a whole bunch of downtime, right? NO, they thought of that too. You can alter the size while it is still connected and mounted to your server, adding more space without shutting anything down. Live block storage scaling.

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