Ankur Mandal

AWS "Disk Auto-Scaler" effective

for Rightsizing EBS?

Find Out the Truth Now!


Ankur Mandal

4 min read

The current era is witnessing a massive surge in data storage, where an enormous volume of information is being accumulated and preserved at an unprecedented scale. As a result, the demand for scalable, efficient, and inexpensive storage solutions is on the rise. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a range of storage services that can meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. However, managing storage resources can be challenging, especially when dealing with fluctuating workloads.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is a block-level storage service designed for use with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). It provides highly available, scalable, and reliable storage for Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are highly flexible and can be easily attached or detached from Amazon EC2 instances.

Rightsizing EBS volumes is crucial for optimizing performance and reducing costs in AWS. When EBS volumes are too small, they can become a bottleneck and cause downtime, whereas oversized volumes result in wasted resources and higher costs.

AWS offers a range of tools that can help automate many of the tasks involved in resizing the EBS storage. AWS published a blog post discussing how to automate Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume resizing using AWS Step Functions and AWS Systems Manager.

The blog post provides detailed instructions on how to scale up your EBS volumes and I highly recommend checking it out. While the solution presented in the blog post can be useful for automating the process of expanding EBS volumes and optimizing performance, it is crucial to consider downsizing the volume to avoid cost escalation resulting solely from volume expansion. 

It is important to consider several factors associated with expanding or shrinking an EBS volume in AWS.

“ Expanding EBS volumes is an essential capability for avoiding downtime risks, shrinking them is equally crucial for cost optimization and avoiding inflated volumes.”

Expanding an AWS EBS volume requires careful consideration of several factors: 

  • Increased Costs -  Expanding an EBS volume leads to increased costs, as AWS charges for the size of the EBS volume provisioned, regardless of the amount of data stored on it. Therefore, it is important to consider the actual storage requirements before increasing the EBS volume size. Any unused capacity will inflate the costs, and thus, puts additional importance on capacity planning.

  • Performance Impact - Expanding an EBS volume can result in performance issues of the EC2 instance to which it is attached if the instance does not have sufficient resources to handle the increased I/O load. It is important to ensure that the EC2 instance has adequate CPU, memory, and network resources to handle the increased I/O load.

  • Time constraint - When it comes to modifying an EBS volume, Amazon imposes restrictions with a cool-down period. This requires you to wait for a minimum of six hours and verify that the volume is either in use or available before attempting any further modifications on the same volume. This can become a significant barrier considering the downtime risks in a production environment.

On the other hand, shrinking an EBS volume without downtime is not possible as of today. You can manually create a new smaller-sized EBS volume and move the data from the existing volume to the newly created volume.

Challenges with the manual shrinking process involve the below factors: 

  • Size constraint - Shrinking an EBS volume requires that the amount of data stored on the volume is less than the new size of the volume. If the amount of data stored on the volume is greater than the new size of the volume, the shrink operation will fail.

  • Downtime - Shrinking and EBS volume require stopping the instance for some time, which can lead to downtime for the application running on the instance. In some cases, this downtime may not be acceptable, especially in production environments, leading to financial and reputational losses.

  • Increased Wait time - It requires a longer time to resize larger volumes. Resizing larger EBS volumes can take longer than smaller volumes, which can lead to increased downtime and longer wait times for users.

Wondering if there is a solution that could take away all these challenges and make life easier with EBS resizing?

We have the right platform to make this possible.

Introducing Lucidity Auto-Scaler - Our industry-first Auto-Scaler solution can monitor disk utilization and automatically resize EBS volumes as needed. It can dynamically expand and shrink EBS volumes based on disk utilization, optimizing resource allocation and cost-efficiency in AWS. By doing so, it ensures a healthy disk utilization of 75-80% so that your applications have the necessary resources to function effectively while potentially reducing costs by up to 70%. . By focusing on automated shrinking without downtime, businesses can save significant costs on storage resources and improve operational efficiency.

Check out the magic here:
Need a demo? Just hit Request demo and our team will showcase the solution for you.

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