Difference Between Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS

In a contemporary world, the storage of data plays a very important role to achieve peak efficiency. A proper storage strategy is required to achieve any business objective or storage needs of any person or organization. 


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To solve storage solutions of users there are many services provided in the market.

To tackle with storage needs of users, AWS (Amazon Web Services) came up with various decisions but two of the most common services are Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS. 

Amazon S3 vs Amazon EBS 

The difference between Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS is that for what they both can be used with. Amazon EBS is used with EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) and can be used by only one EC2 instance at a specific point in time. On the other hand, Amazon S3 is capable to use outside of EC2 and at a time it can be accessed by multiple instances. 

Amazon S3 vs Amazon EBS

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Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) was launched on March 14, 2006, in the United States by Amazon offer a storage service.

It is an object-level data storage that allocates data objects to several machines and the users can access the storage through the internet. It helps host website media, data analytics, etc. 

Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Storage) was launched in August 2008 by Amazon to offer block-level data storage.

Its files are stored in multiple volumes which can be called blocks and each volume can store up to 1 TB of data but this storage is not approachable through the internet.

It can be accessed only through a single instance that is attached to EBS. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonAmazon S3 Amazon EBS
LaunchedMarch 2006August 2008
Storage typeObject storageBlock storage
InterfaceWeb interfaceFile system interface
ScalabilityScalableHardly scalable
SecurityServer Side EncryptionEBS Encryption

What is Amazon S3? 

AWS (Amazon Web Services) offers many services one of them is Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service. Its main objective is to provide object-level data storage with the help of a web service interface.

It is a cloud storage service that is based on the web. Amazon S3 helps host website videos and images, data analytics, etc.  

When it comes to accessibility, Amazon S3 is based on IAM. It uses user policies as well as bucket policies to access it.

Amazon S3 is generally 99.9% available and accessible through the internet using APIs. And if it is lower, its returns are of 10-100% of the cost as service credits. 

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is capable to store several files and backups of the user due to its object storage design. It has multiple availability zones which are used to store the data.

As it has 100 buckets and each of them can store unlimited data which makes its storability more than S3. 

Amazon S3 is one of the best storage technologies due to many reasons such as its cost-saving storage classes, robust performance, audit features, easier security, and exacting data control, etc.

Amazon S3 uses cases for instance methodical archiving, robust backup, create a data lake, reliable disaster recovery, and big data analytics. 

What is Amazon EBS? 

Amazon EBS or Amazon Elastic Block Store is also one of the services which are provided by AWS (Amazon Web Services). Its main objective is to provide raw block-level storage which can be attached to Amazon EC2 instances.

EBS is used by Amazon RDS (Relational Database Services). For storage performance and cost, it provides several options and these options can be divided into SSD and MapReduce. 

Amazon EBS is much easier to use than Amazon S3 and EFS (Elastic File System) because its cause can be easily understood. But it should be paired such as with EC2 instance.

That’s why EBS is preferred when you require a single instance for high-performance storage. 

Amazon EBS is blocks Storage for EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) to compute instances which is similar to hard drives but it is for virtualized instances which makes it different.

Amazon EBS is capable to store the data even in a single availability zone which is its durability. 

Amazon EBS is considered the right storage strategy technology due to its easy data backup, highly secure storage, performance optimization, potential cost savings, geographic interchangeability, and rapid up or downscaling.

Amazon EBS uses cases such as relational databases, enterprise-wide applications, business consistency, No SQL databases, and testing and development. 

Main Differences Between Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS 

  1. Amazon S3 can store up to 100 buckets in which each bucket has unlimited data capacity to store. On the other hand, Amazon EBS can store up to 2 volumes in which each volume can store up to 1TB of data. 
  2. Amazon S3 uses versioning or cross-region replication for back up whereas Amazon EBS uses automated backups and snapshots for restoration of data. 
  3. When it comes to accessibility, Amazon S3 can be accessible publicly as well as privately. On the flip side, Amazon EBS is accessible only through the attached EC2 instance. 
  4. To read or write any type of information on Amazon S3 you need software. While on Amazon EBS you need a volume of EBS to mount it into an EC2 instance and as a result, it would look like a hard disk partition that can be format into a file. 
  5. In terms of pricing, Amazon S3 prices are completely based on the location of the bucket as lower costs equal lower prices. But on Amazon EBS, you have to pay GB-month based on provisioned storage. 
  1. http://cabibbo.dia.uniroma3.it/asw-2014-2015/altrui/AWS_Overview.pdf
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1383519.1383526
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