gp2 vs gp3 Cost Comparison – EBS Volumes

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched the gp3 type EBS Volume and they are saying that it is 20% cheaper compared to gp2 types. Since the gp3 has a different pricing model compared to the gp2, I decided to go down this rabbit hole to see if the statement that gp3 is 20% cheaper than gp2 is always true.

My goal here is to confidently know that moving from a gp2 to gp3 will give us significant savings without the degraded performance.

TL;DR – Most of the time gp3 is cheaper than gp2. There are scenarios where the gp3 is more expensive than the gp2.

gp2 and gp3 EBS Pricing Models

Based on the Amazon EBS Pricing page this is the pricing of gp2 and gp3 Volumes.

gp2 Pricing

gp2 Volume Pricing$0.10 per GB-month of provisioned storage

gp3 Pricing

gp3 Storage Pricing$0.08/GB-month
gp3 IOPS Pricing3,000 IOPS free and
$0.005/provisioned IOPS-month over 3,000
gp3 Throughput Pricing125 MB/s free and
$0.04/provisioned MB/s-month over 125

Note: Pricing below is based on N. Virginia Region. Different regions have different pricing but the concepts and percent discount will be the same.

The 20% Cheaper Statement

If we only look at the pricing of the gp3 in terms of Storage Size ($0.08/GB-month) compared to the pricing of gp2 ($0.10/GB-month) we can definitely say that gp3 is 20% cheaper than gp2 Volumes.

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gp2 Throughput Explained – EBS Volumes

I wanted to investigate if the statement of Amazon Web Services (AWS) that “gp3 is 20% cheaper than gp2” is always true. That is why I’m creating this series of post to investigate when can we say that gp3 is really cheaper than gp2.

I have already written about Throughput of Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes and Throughput of gp3 EBS Volume type.

In this post, I will be discussing the Throughput of gp2 Volumes.

What is the Throughput of gp2 Volumes?

A quick look in the AWS documentation, here are the details of gp2 Volumes.

Minimum Size1 GiB
Maximum Size16 TiB
Price*$0.10 per GB-month of provisioned storage
Maximum IOPS16,000 IOPS
Maximum Throughput250 MiB/s

price is based on N. Virginia Amazon Web Services (AWS) Region.

The table in the Solid State Drive (SSD) part of the documentation only said something about Maximum Througput, but it never really say anything about what is the real Throughput or what are the conditions that affect the Throughput of gp2 volumes.

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EBS Volumes Throughput Explained

I have been using gp2 type Elastic Block Store (EBS) Volumes by default, that when the gp3 type was launched I was really curious about the difference between the two.

This lead me into a rabbit hole trying to look beyond the statement of Amazon Web Services (AWS) that “gp3 is 20% cheaper than gp2 EBS Volume types”.

I realized that I have a small understanding about Throughput compared to IOPS, so in this post, I will go into the details about the Throughput of EBS Volumes.

What is Throughput?

For an EBS Volume, throughput is the total amount of data that a storage can read/write per second.

In the AWS documentation the unit for Throughput is MiB/s.

Here are some simple examples on how to compute Throughput.

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