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Cloud Computing: Amazon Launches the Amazon Elastic Block Store for Amazon EC2

With the Amazon EBS, Applications Running Within Amazon EC2 Can Take Advantage of Storage in the Cloud

Amazon Web Services launched the Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), a new persistent storage feature for the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Amazon EC2 is an infrastructure service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. With Amazon EBS, storage volumes can be programmatically created, attached to Amazon EC2 instances, and if even more durability is desired, can be backed with a snapshot to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). To get started using Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS today, visit

Prior to Amazon EBS, storage within an Amazon EC2 instance was tied to the instance itself so that when the instance was terminated, the data within the instance was lost. Now with Amazon EBS, users can choose to allocate storage volumes that persist reliably and independently from Amazon EC2 instances. Additionally, for even more durable backups and an easy way to create new volumes, Amazon EBS provides the ability to create point-in-time, consistent snapshots of volumes that are then stored to Amazon S3.

“For over two years, we’ve focused on delivering a cost-effective, web scale infrastructure to developers, giving them complete flexibility in the kinds of solutions they deliver,” said Peter De Santis, General Manager of Amazon EC2. “Persistent block storage has been among the top requests of developers using Amazon EC2, and we’re excited to deliver Amazon Elastic Block Storage designed specifically for our cloud-based, elastic computing environment.”

Amazon EBS is well suited for databases, as well as many other applications that require running a file system or access to raw block-level storage. As Amazon EC2 instances are started and stopped, the information saved in your database or application is preserved in much the same way it is with traditional physical servers.

“First, Amazon EC2 rewrote the rules of cloud computing, offering companies an intuitive and reliable means for accessing unlimited computing power. With Amazon EBS, Amazon has turned the industry on its head again, providing unlimited storage potential,” said Paul Fisher, Manager of Technology foréNet. “At, we're leveraging Amazon EC2 to power our embeddable widgets and Wired Product Reviews. Using EC2, we've been able to build and deploy applications more quickly and reliably. EBS is the missing link -- the last piece in the cloud computing puzzle -- that enables start-ups and large corporations alike to conjure the resources they need to build any application possible. Persistence is key to most applications, and EBS provides more flexibility in this area than anything previously available. We are developing a platform in the semantic web space with requirements for unlimited, fast, reliable persistence. EC2 and EBS not only make this application feasible, they make it cost-effective and scalable.”

“ShareThis has received tremendous benefits from working with Amazon Web Services for our leading sharing platform,” said Manu Murkerji, Senior Software Developer for ShareThis, a service providing a one click way to instantly post, tag and send content via email, instant messaging and text messaging. “Amazon EBS has enabled us to create large-scale, enterprise-level databases that allow us to run and maintain various, disparate applications. EC2 and EBS together provide a cost-effective, flexible system that allows us to crunch data faster than we had been previously able – giving us a much needed advantage for our business.”

“Sun's MySQL is the one of the most popular databases on Amazon EC2. With the introduction of EBS, MySQL users will be able to increase the durability and portability of their database applications deployed in the cloud,” said Juan Carlos Soto, VP of Global Market Development at Sun Microsystems. “With Sun also recently making the OpenSolaris platform available on EC2, Web companies can now access the unique features of the ZFS file system--such as Rollback and 128-bit checksum capabilities--to enable the highest level of data integrity on EC2.”

“With the release of Amazon Elastic Block Store, the ability to deploy any application, anywhere, including the cloud, is a reality. By providing a persistent and consistent compute environment, both on-premise and in the cloud, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP on Amazon EC2 will help achieve the vision of the virtual datacenter,” said Scott Crenshaw, Vice President of Platform Business Unit, Red Hat. “Now with the highly anticipated release of Amazon EBS, our enterprise EC2 customers have the ability to persist virtual machine configuration and application data across instantiations and manage their cloud solutions in as consistent a manner as their on-premise deployments.”

“Amazon EBS adds significant value to the product development effort at Elastra. We’re able to provide our customers with seamless, automated database recovery, and an enhanced persistent data solution with faster throughput, all without their needing to manage cumbersome scripting,” said Nate Smith, Vice President of Product Management for Elastra. “These are the types of capabilities our customers, especially the ISVs and enterprises, are looking for. Amazon EBS functionality allows our team to focus on delivering more advanced capabilities for our offering where scaling relational databases is essential. The resulting benefit to our customers is that they save time and can in turn devote their resources to business-differentiating activities, which drive innovation and new revenue streams.”

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