I see the following graphs in one of my DynamoDB table:

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Between 2/15 9:30 and 2/15 10:00 some write requests were throttled while the average consumed write capacity was below the provisioned write capacity. How comes?

2 Answers 2


It doesn't have to be a hot key or partitioning issue where the total provisioned write capacity is spread across the partitions.

You have a 5 minute average chart there. Technically you could have a case where you do have zero write activity for a 4:50 minute period and then have 10 seconds of ridiculous amounts of writes. These will most likely exceed you provisioned writes while the average still is below the limit.


Perhaps your partition key badly distributes the workload between the items. Or you may be doing multiple writes into the same items. As mentioned here:

For example, if a table has a very small number of heavily accessed partition key values, possibly even a single very heavily used partition key value, request traffic is concentrated on a small number of partitions – potentially only one partition. If the workload is heavily unbalanced, meaning that it is disproportionately focused on one or a few partitions, the requests will not achieve the overall provisioned throughput level.

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