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Has anyone done a performance comparison of AWS RDS with the new provisioned IOPS vs EC2? I've found plenty of non-high IOPS RDS vs EC2 but nothing with the new high IOPS feature in RDS.

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I have done little testing on EC2 instances, but I have done extensive bench-marking of Oracle RDS instances with and without provisioned IOPS.

In my experience the provisioned IOPS deliver close to the advertised performance. Eg. if you provision 1000 IOPS, you will likely peak close to a thousand IOPS with a response time of less than a millisecond, depending on queue depth.

If your workload is I/O-bound then provisioning IOPS may lead to a significant increase in performance.

Note that IOPS provisioning is also available on EBS backed EC2 instances, presumably with comparable performance.

When comparing RDS to EC2 I suppose it mostly comes down to how much control you are willing to give up for the convenience of using RDS over self-managed databases.

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And beware that RDS has a hard limit of 1 TB. If there is slightest possibility you may outgrow it, be sure to plan for migration (or just stick with the EC2 and provisioned IOPS). Also, if you will use for anything more than one month per year of instance being utilized, the reserved instance will save you money. –  Thronk Apr 10 '13 at 1:42
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I saw a comment that EBS provisioned IOPS volumes can be spanned into a stripe set for even more perf. Is that true? –  samsmith Sep 23 '13 at 4:56

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