Use EBS Optimized Instances

This document describes how to use the EBS (Elastic Block Store) optimized instances with Engine Yard Cloud.

EBS optimized instances provide persistent, high-performance, high-availability block-level storage which you can attach to a running instance. EBS optimized instances provide a dedicated and faster network path between your app and data storage for reliable volume performance.

You can use EBS optimized instances with provisioned IOPS volumes to increase performance levels as well as reliability. EBS optimized instances are also supported using standard EBS volumes.

Most current generation instance types, excluding T2 and T3, are EBS optimized by default. To see which instances offer EBS optimizisation by default or optionally please see the table in this document.

Get started with EBS optimized instances on Engine Yard Cloud


  • This article assumes you already have an Engine Yard account. If not, see Sign up for an Engine Yard Account.
  • You must:

    • Add a new instance to use this feature. You cannot modify an existing instance / volume.
    • Use 64-bit instances (32-bit instances are not supported).

Configure EBS optimized instances

Important: We recommend testing in a staging environment before applying changes in a production environment.

You can configure EBS optimized instances when you add new instances to a new or existing environment.

To add a new EBS optimized instance

  1. Add an instance in the usual way.

    See the database docs for more information about adding a database instance to an environment.

  2. If using previous generation instances, select the appropriate EBS optimized instance type, which appears with the added "[EBS-Optimized]" in the instance size description.

  3. If you are also using provisioned IOPS volumes, specify the values you need for the volume and IOPS.




    • The ratio of IOPS to GB can be up to 50:1. For example, 5000 IOPS needs a volume size of at least 100 GB.
    • When you create a new environment, you cannot set the provisioned IOPS value for a database replica, its value automatically matches the database master.
  4. Click Add to Cluster.

    See the related documentation for more information on adding instances to your environment.

    Note: You also need to click Apply to update the database.yml file.

Verify EBS optimized instances

Note: When you are testing in staging, consider the differences between your test and production loads.

To verify EBS optimized instances

  1. Ensure that instance provisioning worked and the instance is running.

    In general, that is enough of an indication that provisioned EBS optimized instances are working fine.

  2. You can use I/O benchmarking utilities to verify that the performance levels are what you need.
  3. Review the Troubleshooting tips below for more information.


This table contains troubleshooting tips related to EBS optimized instances.

Symptom Solution
The new instance appears to be stuck in Chef provisioning. This can happen when the EBS instance has been provisioned yet the PIOPS volume provisioning did not succeed. Try terminating and reprovisioning the instance. See the known issue for more information.

More information

This table provides other resources related to EBS optimized instances.

For more information about... See...
Using provisioned IOPS Use Provisioned IOPS with Engine Yard Cloud
Adding an instance to an environment Add Instances to an Environment
Adding a database instance to an environment Add a database replica (slave) to an existing environment

If you have feedback or questions about this page, add a comment below. If you need help, submit a ticket with Engine Yard Support.


Article is closed for comments.