What's the Story in EBS Glory: Evolutions and Lessons in Building Cloud Block Store


Weidong Zhang, Erci Xu, Qiuping Wang, Xiaolu Zhang, Yuesheng Gu, Zhenwei Lu, Tao Ouyang, Guanqun Dai, Wenwen Peng, Zhe Xu, Shuo Zhang, Dong Wu, Yilei Peng, Tianyun Wang, Haoran Zhang, Jiasheng Wang, Wenyuan Yan, Yuanyuan Dong, Wenhui Yao, Zhongjie Wu, Lingjun Zhu, Chao Shi, Yinhu Wang, Rong Liu, Junping Wu, Jiaji Zhu, and Jiesheng Wu, Alibaba Group

Awarded Best Paper!


In this paper, we qualitatively and quantitatively discuss the design choices, production experience, and lessons in building the Elastic Block Storage (EBS) at Alibaba Cloud over the past decade. To cope with hardware advancement and users' demands, we shift our focus from design simplicity in EBS1 to high performance and space efficiency in EBS2, and finally reducing network traffic amplification in EBS3.

In addition to the architectural evolutions, we also summarize the lessons and experiences in development as four topics, including: (i) achieving high elasticity in latency, throughput, IOPS and capacity; (ii) improving availability by minimizing the blast radius of individual, regional, and global failure events; (iii) identifying the motivations and key tradeoffs in various hardware offloading solutions; and (iv) identifying the pros/cons of the alternative solutions and explaining why seemingly promising ideas would not work in practice.

Deployed-Systems Paper

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@inproceedings {294807,
author = {Weidong Zhang and Erci Xu and Qiuping Wang and Xiaolu Zhang and Yuesheng Gu and Zhenwei Lu and Tao Ouyang and Guanqun Dai and Wenwen Peng and Zhe Xu and Shuo Zhang and Dong Wu and Yilei Peng and Tianyun Wang and Haoran Zhang and Jiasheng Wang and Wenyuan Yan and Yuanyuan Dong and Wenhui Yao and Zhongjie Wu and Lingjun Zhu and Chao Shi and Yinhu Wang and Rong Liu and Junping Wu and Jiaji Zhu and Jiesheng Wu},
title = {What{\textquoteright}s the Story in {EBS} Glory: Evolutions and Lessons in Building Cloud Block Store},
booktitle = {22nd USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 24)},
year = {2024},
isbn = {978-1-939133-38-0},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {277-291},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/fast24/presentation/zhang-weidong},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb

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