Using Amazon EBS and a Virtual SQL Server for Non-Existent Data storage on the AWS Platform

Amazon EBS is a cloud data management tool. It is mainly intended for short-term applications, which are normally scaled up over time and used in production environments. Amazon Elastic Block Store offers block-level data storage that is directly attached to Amazon EC2 servers and is used in conjunction with Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). Amazon EBS helps in data reduction, which improves the overall efficiency of an organization.

The main advantage of using the Amazon EBS as compared to other formats such as the IBM WebSphere DataBank is that it provides standard interfaces for both data access and computations. Data access is possible through a web browser or a command line interface. Through the use of an Amazon block store, users have access to their own private data stores, which they use for storing, monitoring, and managing their data. They can easily create, modify and delete them depending on the needs of their organization.

Data reduction is possible through the use of algorithms and other tools like the Consolidated SQL Access database. For instance, an application using the Amazon EBS Volume Viewer can reduce the amount of data stored per instance. The Amazon EBS volume view can also be configured to show only instance details for a particular region. Furthermore, it can also be configured to limit the number of accounts per user or per load balancing zone. This helps in reducing costs, while maintaining improved performance and availability.

There are several ways through which Amazon EBS can be used for reducing costs. The first and the most common is to associate costs of instance creation with the number of workloads required to launch them. Amazon keeps track of the number of active tasks associated with each instance, which can be used for assigning costs per instance. A drawback to this form of cost allocation is that it only measures current costs. Amazon will eventually have to develop tools that allow for continual measurement of instance costs across multiple workloads.

AWS EBS (Elastic Block Store)
AWS EBS using SSD vs HDD

Another way of reducing costs per second is to use different volume types during the course of a day. Amazon stores information on the number of active database workloads per second and this information is used for calculating the cost per second. Amazon has proposed solutions that would allow for allowing users to specify which instances and databases require the use of a specific I/O device. Amazon has not, to date, offered any solutions that connect the costs of different volume types during the course of a single workday.

The key benefit of the elasticity provided by the Amazon Web Services platform is evident in its ability to scale up and down without requiring drastic changes. As a company grows, there may be a temptation to eliminate some of the unused infrastructure. However, this can seriously impact costs. Amazon EBS allows companies to eliminate unnecessary lower level database roles such as I/O device pools. Furthermore, Amazon provides data deduplication so that duplicate records are eliminated from the database. Duplicate records are especially problematic in large environments such as ebs-optimized instances due to the enormous amount of data that is stored.

Data duplication is especially important in an environment where storage volumes attach to the web servers for application servers and also for ebs-optimized instances. Large numbers of applications and database workloads can saturate a single database and result in a huge financial hit to a company.

Amazon has proposed a mechanism called deduplicate-on-demand that enables ebs-optimized instances to use as much storage as necessary without using too much storage capacity on the main web servers. Amazon proposes that an application server or ebs-optimized instance of an application server with only one storage volume attached to the web server is called a single-volume store. On the other hand, an ebs-optimized instance of an application server with many storage volumes attached to the web server is called a multi-volume store.

Multi-volume stores are designed so that each instance of an application resides on its own physical disk block. Amazon claims that this design improves reliability by minimizing the probability of two individual servers experiencing data loss in a geographically disparate area of an EBS system. Amazon states that it will continue to improve its storage services so that these types of imbalances between e-bs and mainframe servers are eliminated in the future. However, for now the recommended approach is to use Amazon’s existing EBS as well as a hosted database to avoid any potential issues with duplicate records or other possible flaws in the EBS system.

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