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SoftNAS can leverage both block storage (such as the varieties of EBS volumes available on AWS) and object storage such as S3. This flexibility is one of the key features of SoftNAS. It can, however, introduce some complexities when determining your requirements. As performance is based not only on the instance size selected but also the storage characteristics, leveraging different types of storage in the same solution will affect your performance.

EBS Volumes

To determine what this effect might be, we must first understand the individual performance characteristics of each storage type. The table below outlines the available block storage options for Amazon Web Services:

Solid-State Drives (SSD)

Hard disk Drives (HDD)

Volume Type

General Purpose SSD

Provisioned IOPS SSD

Throughput Optimized HDD

Cold HDD


General purpose SSD volume that balances price and performance for a wide variety of transactional workloads

Highest-performance SSD volume designed for mission-critical applications

Low cost HDD volume designed for frequently accessed, throughput-intensive workloads

Lowest cost HDD volume designed for less frequently accessed workloads

Use Cases

  • Recommended for most workloads
  • System boot volumes
  • Virtual desktops
  • Low-latency interactive apps
  • Development and test environments
  • Critical business applications that require sustained IOPS performance, or more than 10,000 IOPS or 160 MiB/s of throughput per volume
  • Large database workloads, such as:
    • MongoDB
    • Cassandra
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • MySQL
    • PostgreSQL
    • Oracle
  • Streaming workloads requiring consistent, fast throughput at a low price
  • Big data
  • Data warehouses
  • Log processing
  • Cannot be a boot volume
  • Throughput-oriented storage for large volumes of data that is infrequently accessed
  • Scenarios where the lowest storage cost is important
  • Cannot be a boot volume

Volume Size

1 GiB - 16 TiB

4 GiB - 16 TiB

500 GiB - 16 TiB

500 GiB - 16 TiB

Max. IOPS**/






Max. Throughput/


160 MiB/s

320 MiB/s

500 MiB/s

250 MiB/s

Max. IOPS/






Max. Throughput/Instance

1,250 MiB/s

1,250 MiB/s

1,250 MiB/s

1,250 MiB/s

Dominant Performance Attribute





For more information on EBS volume types, click the following links:

Simple Storage Service (S3)

AWS object storage, known as Simple Storage Service, or S3 has its own characteristics. S3 serves as a repository for Internet data. It provides access to reliable, fast, and inexpensive data storage infrastructure. It is designed to make web-scale computing easy by enabling you to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from within Amazon EC2 or anywhere on the web. Amazon S3 stores data objects redundantly on multiple devices across multiple facilities and allows concurrent read or write access to these data objects by many separate clients or application threads. You can use the redundant data stored in Amazon S3 to recover quickly and reliably from instance or application failures.

SoftNAS can leverage S3 Storage within its infrastructures, creating disks, pools and volumes, much as you would with EBS block storage. It offers similar performance characteristics to General Purpose SSD. However, this performance cannot be improved by stacking disks into a RAID configuration, for example.

For a more in depth look at S3 best practices and considerations see the following links: