Amazon EBS vs. Ephemeral Storage

Elastic Block Storage is used to add storage space with the EC2 instance containing all the configurations like Network settings, Operating systems, etc. More specifically, Ephemeral storage provides temporary storage which is directly attached to the EC2 instance. However, EBS is utilized to store static data of the instance and Ephemeral storage is used to store dynamic content.

This guide will explain EBS and Ephemeral storage with the differences between them.

What is Amazon EBS?

Amazon Elastic Block Stores are used as a virtual hard disk or storage device with the EC2 instance to store data on it. EBS storage is automatically attached to the EC2 instance when it is created to store initial configurations. The platform also offers the user to attach EBS volumes to the EC2 instance at any time it seems necessary:

Advantages of EBS

Some of the advantages of EBS storage are mentioned below:

  • The user can attach a volume of any size to the EC2 instance at any time.
  • EBS offers snapshots to create a backup of the data to be used in case of emergency.
  • Lifecycle Manager is used for automating the process of creating backups and adding volumes.
  • EBS service offers scalability to the EC2 instance:

What is Ephemeral Storage?

Ephemeral storage is an alternative to the EBS if the user requires temporary storage attached to the EC2 instance. It is directly attached to the EC2 instance containing the root volume which is the operating system of the virtual machine (EC2 instance). It is known as the Instance store on the AWS platform and is used to optimize the speed of the instance.

Advantages of Ephemeral

Some of the advantages of Ephemeral storage are mentioned below:

  • It provides efficiency to the EC2 instance as it is directly attached to it.
  • Ephemeral storage also improves the speed of the instance.
  • It helps improve the I/O performance of the virtual machine.
  • It provides high throughput and low latency.

EBS vs Ephemeral Storage

Some instances do not come with the EBS volume instead use instance stores (Ephemeral Storage). Ephemeral is better for temporary data that is changing frequently like buffer, cache, and other temporary content. The user can’t stop the instance if its root volume uses ephemeral storage rather it needs to be rebooted or terminated.


To sum up, Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and Ephemeral services offer storage areas to be used with EC2 instances. The major difference between them is that ephemeral storage is used for temporary data that keeps fluctuating and EBS is utilized for static data. This guide has explained Amazon EBS and Ephemeral storage and their differences.

About the author

Talha Mahmood

As a technical author, I am eager to learn about writing and technology. I have a degree in computer science which gives me a deep understanding of technical concepts and the ability to communicate them to a variety of audiences effectively.