On General Purpose SSD (gp2), Throughput Optimized HDD (st1), and Cold HDD (sc1) volumes, IOPS performance can burst higher than the base amount for short periods of time. Blue Matador detects when a volume is running out of burst capability so that you can take action to prevent a volume from reverting to its baseline performance.

Since the volume’s burst balance is only used when it uses more than the baseline amount of IOPS, it can be avoided by increasing the volume size to get more baseline performance. Volume size also affects the rate at which your volume accumulates burst credits.  It is possible to size the volume such that it accumulates credits fast enough to accommodate the needed burst, without making it large enough to always handle the required burst performance at baseline.

The maximum IOPS performance possible on these volume types is 10,000 IOPS on a drive that is 3,334 GB in size.  It is also worth noting that at 1TB, a volume’s base performance will be 3,000 IOPS, and it will no longer use burst credits. For I/O-intensive workloads, consider using Provisioned IOPS (io1) volumes instead, which have a higher maximum for IOPS that is not tied to the size of the volume.