New block storage options deliver consistent performance at the lowest cost for streaming and big data workloads

SEATTLE, WA – Apr. 19, 2016 — / — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the availability of two new low-cost hard disk drive (HDD)-backed storage options for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), offering customers predictable performance for throughput-intensive and big data workloads with large data sets, large input/output (I/O) block sizes, and sequential I/O patterns. Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1) volumes deliver customers consistent baseline performance with the ability to “burst” to higher throughput in order to meet the performance needs of MapReduce, Kafka, Extract/Transform and Load (ETL), log processing, and data warehouse workloads. Amazon EBS customers pay only for the storage they provision, with no additional charges for throughput, and prices start at $0.025/GB month. To get started with Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes, visit

Since launching Amazon EBS in 2008, AWS has continually innovated to offer block storage options which allow customers to optimize their storage performance and cost for a wide range of workloads. In 2012, AWS began offering Amazon EBS volumes that incorporated advances in SSD technology to deliver high-performance persistent storage for latency-sensitive transactional workloads like databases that require consistently high input/output operations per second (IOPS). In 2014, AWS introduced a price/performance optimized SSD-based storage service that pioneered an IOPS “bursting” model to cost-effectively deliver the IOPS performance required for a broad range of transactional workloads, including boot volumes, development/test, and low-latency interactive applications.

With today’s announcement, AWS continues this innovation, delivering the industry’s best price/performance block storage for big data workloads. Designed as the new generation of AWS’s HDD-based storage, these Amazon EBS volumes are optimized for throughput-intensive, big data workloads like processing logs or streaming data with Kafka, performing cluster data analytics with MapReduce, data warehousing, or for less-frequently accessed workloads. Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes deliver low cost HDD storage with the predictable high-throughput required to meet the processing needs of big data applications. Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) volumes include a maximum throughput up to 500 MB per second per volume and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes have a maximum throughput of 250 MB per second per volume. All EBS volume types offer durable snapshot capabilities and are designed for 99.999 percent availability.

“Over the last several years, AWS has delivered a series of SSD-based Amazon EBS volumes that enabled customers to run their most IOPS-intensive applications successfully and cost-effectively,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Compute Services at Amazon Web Services. “But, for big data workloads, HDDs still remain the optimal block storage solution, yet little to no innovation has taken place on HDDs — until today. These two new Amazon EBS volumes represent a step-level change in the cost and performance of HDDs, and make it more efficient to run throughput-intensive, big data workloads.”

Localytics is a lifecycle engagement platform for web and mobile apps used in more than 37,000 apps on more than 2.7 billion devices. “With petabytes of magnetic storage under our Vertica cluster, we are always looking for ways to improve performance and lower our costs,” said Mohit Dilawari, Director of Back-end Engineering at Localytics. “The release of Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1) allowed us to migrate our Vertica cluster, saving us over 50 percent of our monthly storage costs, while still providing the reliable throughput we need to run our queries. Larger volume sizes also removed the need to stripe multiple volumes, simplifying our management and operations of the cluster while allowing for easier scaling.”

Infor provides business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, with more than 73,000 customers and 58 million cloud users. “We’re excited about the announcement of Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) and are looking forward to using the volumes to reduce costs, moving some of our big data workloads to Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and colder data to Cold HDD (sc1),” said Jim Plourde, Vice President, Cloud Services at Infor. “Moving some of our colder data to Cold HDD (sc1) could lead to substantial savings on storage costs.”

Confluent, founded by the creators of Apache Kafka, enables organizations to harness business value from stream data. “From the benchmark tests we ran across various high throughput workloads, we found the new Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes consistently deliver the necessary throughput, performance, and reliability to run Kafka,” said Jay Kreps, Co-Founder and CEO, Confluent. “The new volumes can save customers as much as 50 percent on their Amazon EBS storage and provide the same throughput and performance with Kafka. Additionally, the new volumes open up more options for customers running Kafka on AWS, because customers can use low-cost instances such as Amazon EC2 C4 or M4 with these new Amazon EBS volumes to optimize for performance and save costs.”

Customers can launch Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS SDKs. Amazon EBS Throughput Optimized HDD (st1) and Amazon EBS Cold HDD (sc1) volumes are available in all commercial AWS Regions.

About Amazon Web Services
For 10 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 70 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise applications from 33 Availability Zones (AZs) across 12 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. AWS services are trusted by more than a million active customers around the world — including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit

About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit

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Source: Amazon Web Services, Inc.



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