AWS, Cloud Computing

3 Mins Read

The Power of Amazon EC2 I4i Instances for Storage-Intensive Workloads

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Amazon Web Services takes a quantum leap in cloud computing with the debut of the highly anticipated Amazon EC2 I4i instances. These instances represent a pinnacle in the evolution of storage-optimized solutions, meticulously crafted to address the burgeoning demands of storage I/O intensive workloads.

Enhanced Performance and Cutting-Edge Features

The Amazon EC2 I4i instances are a testament to innovation, leveraging the prowess of 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Boasting an all-core turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz, they exhibit a staggering 30% improvement in compute price performance over their predecessors, the Amazon EC2 I3 instances.

One of the crowning achievements of these instances lies in their storage innovation. With up to 30 TB of NVMe storage from Amazon Nitro SSDs, they present a paradigm shift by offering up to 60% lower storage I/O latency and a remarkable 75% reduction in storage I/O latency variability compared to the previous Amazon EC2 I3 instances. This monumental leap in storage performance reshapes the landscape for various applications.

Integrating Intel Total Memory Encryption (TME) ensures unprecedented always-on memory encryption, fortifying data security for sensitive workloads.

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Applications and Versatility

The versatility of Amazon EC2 I4i instances extends across a spectrum of demanding applications. They are the backbone for databases like MySQL, Oracle DB, Microsoft SQL Server, and many NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, Couchbase, Aerospike, and Redis. Their low-latency local NVMe storage capability proves instrumental in meeting stringent application service level agreements (SLAs).

Moreover, these instances aren’t confined solely to database operations. Their prowess in handling storage-intensive workloads expands to include analytics, big data processing, content delivery networks (CDNs), and more, making them a versatile choice for diverse cloud computing needs.

Global Availability and Scalability

The regional expansion of Amazon EC2 I4i instances marks a significant stride towards global accessibility. Now available across various AWS regions worldwide, customers can relish the diversity of instance sizes, ranging from 2 vCPUs to the colossal 128 vCPUs. The introduction of the i4.32xlarge size, equipped with 128 vCPUs and 1,024 GiB of memory, catapults scalability to unprecedented heights.

Adoption and Considerations

Customers can procure these instances based on their preferences—On-Demand, Reserved instances, Spot instances, or as part of Savings Plans. However, an Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) driver update might be imperative to ensure optimal networking performance on these new instances. This update plays a pivotal role in maximizing the networking capabilities of I4i instances.

Security and Reliability

Beyond their performance prowess, Amazon EC2 I4i instances prioritize security and reliability. The Nitro security model and Nitro Enclaves ensure a high isolation level for sensitive workloads. This hardware-based isolation enhances security boundaries, protecting critical data from potential breaches or unauthorized access.

Additionally, these instances are built for reliability, featuring Amazon EBS optimization that minimizes the impact of Amazon EBS volumes on instance performance. This optimization enhances the overall reliability of storage operations, reducing the likelihood of interruptions or failures during intensive workloads.

Cost Optimization Strategies

While the performance enhancements are undeniable, cost optimization strategies are also vital. Customers can employ various strategies to maximize cost-effectiveness when utilizing Amazon EC2 I4i instances. Utilizing AWS cost management tools, such as AWS Budgets and AWS Cost Explorer, allows users to monitor, analyze, and optimize spending.

Implementing auto-scaling based on workload demands ensures that resources are efficiently utilized without overprovisioning. Additionally, considering Reserved Instances or Savings Plans for sustained workloads can significantly reduce costs while ensuring access to the required compute capacity.

Performance Tuning and Best Practices

Fine-tuning these instances for specific workloads involves adopting best practices. For instance, optimizing database performance may involve fine-tuning query execution plans, indexing strategies, and memory allocations to efficiently leverage the high-speed NVMe storage.

Utilizing instance store volumes alongside Amazon EBS volumes can enhance performance by segregating workloads based on their I/O characteristics. Leveraging read-intensive or write-intensive volumes can optimize performance for different application scenarios.


Amazon EC2 I4i instances emerge as a tour de force in the cloud computing arena. Their amalgamation of cutting-edge technology, unmatched performance, and adaptability cements their position as a game-changer for storage-intensive workloads.

Whether powering databases, analytics, or other storage-driven applications, these instances stand tall as the epitome of cloud computing innovation.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Amazon EC2 I4i Instances and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. How do I optimize performance on Amazon EC2 I4i instances for database applications?

ANS: – Leveraging the NVMe-based local storage on I4i instances for database applications significantly enhances performance. Additionally, utilizing an Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) on the 32xlarge size enables low-latency and highly scalable inter-node communication, ideal for database transactions.

2. Are there any specific considerations for networking when migrating to Amazon EC2 I4i instances?

ANS: – Customers might need to update the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) driver to ensure optimal networking performance for these new instances. This update will enhance networking capabilities and maximize the benefits of Amazon EC2 I4i instances.

3. Can I use Amazon EC2 I4i instances for other workloads apart from databases?

ANS: – Absolutely! While these instances excel in database operations due to their low-latency NVMe storage, they can power a wide range of storage-intensive workloads, including analytics, big data processing, and content delivery networks (CDNs).

WRITTEN BY Mohammad Zubair Saifi

Mohammad Zubair Saifi works as a Research Associate at CloudThat. He has knowledge of AWS Cloud Services and resources and DevOps tools like Jenkins, Docker, K8s, Ansible, and Terraform. He is passionate about improving his skills and learning new tools and technologies.



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