Skeddly Supports the New AWS HDD EBS Volume Types

AWS has launched two new low-cost HDD EBS volume types that deliver high throughput on a consistent basis, but at a much lower cost than SSD. These two EBS volume types are available for use on EC2 instances and Amazon EMR clusters.

The reasoning behind the new offering is to provide users with better value for money without suffering a reduction in performance. The AWS team realized that advances in HDD technology could potentially allow hard disk drive devices to be used to provide high-throughput storage at a lower cost than was possible with Solid State Drives.

There are many advantages to SSD storage. You get more IOPS per dollar, there is less latency than HDD, and more throughput per gigabyte. Advances in HDD technology have meant the cost per gigabyte of storage has come down, although with HDD you get an effective reduction in throughput per gigabyte. Since HDD devices are cheaper than SSD, the AWS team tried to build high-throughput storage for EBS that delivered consistent performance for log processing and big data, yet at a much lower cost than with SSD.

After some serious thought, the AWS team came up with a solution that delivers consistent high-throughput at a much lower price giving customers much better value for money.

The two new offerings are Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1). Throughput Optimized HDD has been developed for high-throughput MapReduce, Kafka, ETL, log processing, and data warehouse workloads, and is priced at $0.045 per gigabyte, per month. Cold HDD can be used for the above workloads that are accessed less frequently. Cold HDD is priced at $0.025 per gigabyte, per month – Considerably less than the
$0.125/GB-month (+ $.065/provisioned IOPS/month) for Provisioned IOPS SSD and the $0.100/GB-month for General Purpose SSD.

In contrast to SSD volumes that define performance in IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second), the new HDD EBS volume types define it in terms of throughput. Throughput Optimized HDD starts at 250 MB/s for a 1 terabyte volume, increasing by 250MB/s for each additional provisioned terabyte. The maximum burst throughput is 500 MB/s. Cold HDD starts at 80 MB/s for a 1 terabyte volume, increasing by 80 MB/s for each additional provisioned terabyte. The maximum burst throughput is 250MB/s

The AWS team notes that the new offerings are best suited for big data workloads. That is because these HDD volumes can transfer contiguous data with great rapidity. However, the HDD options are less efficient at dealing with small random access I/O operations, which are better suited to the SDD volumes. The new HDD volume types are now available.

Skeddly customers have been advised that its cloud automation platform supports both of these new EBS volume types.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of