GP2 vs. GP3 - 20% Savings with just an API Call?

Free Money, Where?!

AWS Recently Announced their newest GP3 volume types during Re:Invent 2020 with a lot of fanfare. It’s time to see how they hold up - and if you should switch from your existing GP2 to GP3 Volume types.

What’s the difference?

The most significant difference is how the pricing model is handled, GP2 scaled IOPs and Throughput off the storage size, whereas GP3 allows you to scale the IOPs, Throughput, and Storage size individually. This is a big change when it comes to calculating the pricing of these volumes and has left more than a few people (Myself included) wondering if it really is cheaper.

IOPS Baseline 100 IOPs, then Multiply 3X Storage Size Baseline 1000 IOPs, then $0.005/IOP-Month
Throughput <170GB = 128MiB/s;
>170GB - < 334 GB = 128MiB/s (Burst 250 MiB/s);
>334 GB = 250MiB/s
125 MiB/s - $0.04/MiB/s-Month over 125, maximum of 1000 MiB/S
Storage $0.10/GiB $0.08/GiB

What’s the difference?

GP3 Volumes will always be cheaper than their equivalent GP2 counterpart for similar specifications.

Graph Depicting Price Differential of GP2 and GP3

The above graph is designed to compare GP2 to GP3 as if it were apples to apples by making the GP3 volume closely match the GP2 Volume scaling specifications with size. At the baseline of 100 GB, the GP3 volume is precisely 20% cheaper than GP2, but as the volume size increases, the percentage savings will decrease. It’s also important to note that GP2 Volume throughput scales with volume size as well. Between 170 and 334 GB, the savings will be slightly lower to accommodate the increased network throughput.

What’s the difference?

It’s recommended that smaller volumes be converted to GP3 from GP2 for a free increase in both IOPs and a price decrease, especially if the application is not sensitive to latency increases. In all scenarios, the GP3 will be cheaper than GP2, but it’s important to note that there are some small drawbacks with GP3 volumes.

How do I switch?

It’s fast and easy to switch; you can easily migrate a running GP2 EBS Volume to GP3 by modifying the volume type through the AWS API or the console - without a reboot required.

Who shouldn’t switch?

It’s been found that GP3 volumes have a minimal increase in read and write latency by Silas Hansen, his article covering this more in-depth can be found here He’s proven that this is not just “Free Money” and you should ensure that the minor increase in latency will not have any significant impact on your environment.

What next?

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