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AWS EC2 instance store – migrate it or it will hurt you

A long time ago Amazon Webservices have introduced EBS storage.

Sometimes people asked me : “why should we migrate to EBS, as we have everything sorted out on the instance store”

Well, here is a good reason.

After the amazon instance got unresponsive, we got into a situation that it is not reboot-able. Meaning – you reboot it, and it doesn’t react.

After writing to amazon forum, as we have no support, we got the following answer ( in 4 hours ).

Your instance is running on hardware that has become degraded. As the instance is ephemeral storage-backed, you will need to terminate it, and relaunch it from your AMI. Your EBS disks can be attached to your new instance. Apologies for any operational pain this may have caused.

Best regards,

We came across this issues on a couple of different products, times, severities. And we have came to a simple conclusion. Instance store is a bad way to host anything important.

So here is our advise :

  • Just cut some time in your busy schedule with your SA, or simply do it yourself;
  • write down the migration plan;
  • start a fresh EBS instance ( for example from a alestic image );
  • and migrate your app.

Firstly – you won’t regret it. Secondly – you will clean up some of not-so-important hosting todo lists.

If you don’t choose to do it yourself and the time you can – the amazon hardware will choose that time for you.

It will degrade and you will end up doing it anyway. But in a heavy rush, with no access to the server and it’s previous storage, with frustration running through your blood vesels.