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Databases (RDS) do need storage and EBS is their tool for that. If something else was better, it should replace EBS across products.

To your point, w/o knowing architecture, seems like ELB run state could likely be on ephemeral storage (if ELBs are EC2 instances) backed by configs on S3 unless run state is crucial across resets. If not instances, maybe use S3 directly, or ElastiCache.

Heterogeneity aids resilience because it reduces the risk that the same mode of failure occurs simultaneously. It's not clear to me that there should be one and only one mechanism for storage, because variety has a value in and of itself, apart from relative merits of different kinds of storage.

They have 3 mechanisms for storage, all can be accessed from an EC2 server: ephemeral disk, EBS, and S3.

That said, I agree with you. I commented similarly during the outage, noting that AWS may have too many interdependencies: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4685571

Would be very cool to have s3 snapshots available for ephemeral instances, but I am guessing that is not very practical.

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