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50-Plus Biggest AWS Announcements From re:Invent 2020

CRN breaks down more than 50 new product and service announcements from the top-ranked cloud provider’s annual partner and customer conference that continues in January.

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AWS announced the launch of Amazon EBS Gp3, its next-generation, general-purpose, solid-state drive volumes for Amazon EBS that allow customers to provision performance independent of storage capacity and provide up to a 20 percent lower per-gigabyte cost than existing EBS Gp2 volumes. Customers can scale IOPS (input/output operations per second) and throughput without provisioning additional block storage capacity.

“The announcement of EBS Gp3 that allows you to select IOPS and throughput independently of volume size will be immediately useful for some of our customers who have pushed the limits of the Gp2 architecture with their data applications,” Mission’s Anderson said.

Data and data stores are being radically reinvented, according to Jassy.

“Analysts say that in every hour today, we‘re creating more data than what we did an entire year 20 years ago, or they predict that in the next three years, there will be more data created than in the prior 30 years combined,” Jassy said. “This is an incredible amount of data growth, and the old tools and the old data stores that existed the last 20 to 30 years are not going to cut it to be able to handle this.”

Block storage is a foundational and pervasive type of storage used in computing, Jassy noted. Unlike object storage, which has metadata that governs the access and the classification of it, block storage has its storage or data split into evenly sized blocks that just have an address and nothing else.

“And since it doesn‘t have that metadata, it means that the reads and the writes and access to them are much faster,” Jassy said. “It’s why people use block storage with virtually every EC2 use case.”

AWS launched Amazon EBS in 2008 as the first high-performance, scalable block store in the cloud.

“It gave you an easy ability to provision what storage you needed and what IOPS you needed and what throughput you needed, and then you could adjust it as you saw fit,” Jassy said.

In 2014, AWS built Gp2, on which the vast majority of EBS workloads run, but customers asked for per-gigabyte costs to be reduced and the ability to sometimes scale throughput, or scale IOPS, without also having to scale the storage with it.

“The baseline performance of these new Gp3 volumes is 3,000 IOPS and 125 megabytes per second, but you can disperse that and scale that up to a peak of 1,000 megabytes per second, which is four times that of Gp2,” Jassy said. “Customers will be able to run many more of their demanding workloads on Gp3s than they even were for Gp2s.”

The 20 percent cost reduction is great news, according to Tim Varma, global director of product management at Syntax, a managed cloud provider for mission-critical enterprise applications and AWS Advanced Consulting Partner based in Montreal. But, Varma said, “We are still hoping for a lower-priced EBS snapshot storage price, but no announcement has been made just yet.”

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