AWS Storage Optimisation

7 Steps to Optimize AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) Costs

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is a highly scalable, durable, and cost-effective storage solution for Amazon Web Services (AWS) workloads. However, as with any cloud resource, it is necessary to optimize EBS usage to minimize costs without compromising performance or availability. Here are 7 steps to help you with the same -

1. Right-size your EBS volume types

Amazon EBS provides different volume types designed for specific use cases. Understand the characteristics of these volume types to optimize costs by selecting the most appropriate option for your workload. For example, General Purpose (SSD) volumes are cost-effective for a broad range of applications, while Provisioned IOPS (SSD) volumes are ideal for performance-intensive workloads. Use AWS tools such as EC2 Instance Advisor and AWS Compute Optimizer to identify underutilized volumes and resize them to a more cost-effective size.

2. Leverage EBS snapshots archive

EBS snapshots are a powerful feature for data backup and disaster recovery. However, keeping snapshots indefinitely can contribute to escalating costs. The EBS Snapshot Archive is a new storage tier for EBS snapshots designed for long-term storage. Snapshots stored in the EBS Snapshot Archive cost only $0.0125 per GB per month, up to 75% less than the cost of storing snapshots in standard EBS storage. Use the EBS Snapshot Archive to store backups that you must keep for extended periods for compliance or legal reasons.

3. Leverage Provisioned IOPS

Amazon EBS allows users to provision IOPS (input/output operations per second) based on application requirements. While provisioned IOPS volumes deliver consistent and low-latency performance, it is important to strike a balance between performance and cost. Evaluate the actual IOPS needs for your applications and adjust the provisioned IOPS accordingly. Use AWS CloudWatch metrics to monitor and fine-tune IOPS settings over time.

4. Utilize burstable performance tiers

Burstable performance tiers, such as T2 and T3 instances, are a cost-effective way to store data that does not require high levels of I/O performance. These tiers provide baseline performance with the ability to burst to higher performance levels as needed. This means that you can pay for the storage space that you need, but you must pay for higher performance only when you need it.

5. Migrate from GP2 to GP3

Amazon introduced GP3 drives in 2020. Moving from your GP2 drives to GP3 results in an immediate decrease in costs by 20% with no perceptible drop in performance. The migration takes approximately 6 hours and happens in the background without interrupting EC2 instances.

6. Consider Using Reserved Instances

Reserved Instances enable you to purchase EBS volumes at a discounted price. Reserved Instances are purchased for a one- or three-year term, and you only pay for the storage space that you use. Reserved Instances can be a cost-effective way to save money if you have predictable patterns of EBS usage.

7. Keep track of AWS pricing updates

Amazon regularly updates its pricing structure, so it is important to stay informed about changes that may affect your EBS costs. Subscribe to AWS notifications to receive alerts about pricing changes. Review AWS pricing updates often to ensure that you are taking advantage of the most cost-effective options available.


Amazon EBS is a versatile and reliable storage solution that can be used to store a variety of data for AWS workloads. Nonetheless, the key to EBS cost optimization lies in continuous monitoring, analysis, and proactive resource management. By implementing the strategies outlined in this post, you can effectively manage your EBS usage, optimize costs, and ensure your applications continue to perform seamlessly without breaking the bank.

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