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Amazon EC2 Boot From EBS

Amazon EC2 has  announced the ability to boot instances directly from Amazon EBS snapshots, providing significantly increased flexibility on how customers can manage their instances.Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) can now either be stored in Amazon S3 or as an Amazon EBS  snapshot.


  • The root device ( / partition ) will be stored on an Amazon EBS volume . So  the data can persist beyond the life of a running instance
  • The root device can contain up to 1 TB of storage.
  • Faster launch times .
  • Ability to repair a misconfigured instance
  • Ability to stop an instance without terminating
  • The whole bundling process can be done  with a single  API call .


  • While the instance is stopped it does not accrue any usage hours and customers are only charged for the storage associated with the Amazon EBS volume.The stopping and starting of servers can also make development more cost effective. Developers who  use dev & test servers can stop them at the end of the day and start them back up when they next need them.
  • The ability to boot from Amazon EBS gives customers very powerful control over the boot configuration of the Amazon EC2 instances.In the traditional boot process, the root partition of the image will be the local disk, which is created and populated at boot time.And the new boot process is significantly faster because a local disk no longer needs to be populated.
  • When an instance is restarted, the customer can choose to use a different instance type (e.g., with more memory or CPU), a different operating system (e.g., with new security patches installed), or add new user data.

3 ) FAQ’s

1Q ) Is this starting and restarting a traditional “start/stop” or a faster  “standby/resume”?

A ) It is start/stop, standby/resume would require saving memory and OS state and that is not supported.

2Q ) By default the size of root partition ( /dev/sda1 ) is 15GB . How do we increase this value when you launch it ?

A ) Resizing the root partition on launch can be done as follows:

[bash]ec2run  ami-b232d0db  -b  /dev/sda1=:100[/bash]

Should you wish the volume to not be deleted when the instance is    terminated, the following command can be used:

[bash]ec2run ami-b232d0db -b /dev/sda1=:100:false[/bash]

Note the addition of ‘ :false ‘ to the previous example.

Associated Links

  • Amazon.com
  • Cloud infrastructure
  • Cloud storage
  • Web services
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store
  • Network file systems
  • Amazon.com
  • Amazon S3
  • EBS
  • Amazon Machine Image
  • Snapshot


    1. […] which will allow you to have  upto  1TB   for Root Partition . Please check our  blog on  BootFromEBS to  find out how to resize  the root partition in an EC2 instance.   Basically we can have more […]

    2. […] for document root of apache and tomcat ( webapps folder ) or you can change the data directory and run it from EBS. To see how to run the database from EBS , Please check our article on how to  run […]

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