Elastic Performance with the Next Generation Block Storage on Oracle Cloud

November 14, 2019 | 4 minute read
Max Verun
Senior Principal Product Manager
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Today, we’re excited to announce the next generation of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volumes. You can now dynamically change the performance characteristics of all your block storage and boot volumes as needed, while they are online, as frequent as you like, without a lengthy process or downtime in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This elastic performance configuration capability for your volumes is the first in a series of updates coming soon as we innovate for the next generation of our block storage offering.

This new capability lets you reconfigure your existing or new block volumes to prioritize either performance or cost, or you can leave them as they are today. You pay independently for the storage and performance of your volumes. We’re introducing Volume Performance Units (VPUs) to give you flexibility in configuring the performance and cost of your volumes. Buying more VPUs allocates more resources to the volume and increases IOPS/GB, throughput/GB, and maximum IOPS for the volume. You also have the option to not buy any VPUs, or use less of them for any of your volumes, which reduces the performance characteristics of a volume but provides significant cost savings.

Industry First, Oracle Only

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is the only cloud vendor offering this industry-first capability of instantaneous storage performance customization, as frequent as you like. With other cloud vendors, you are required to pick a storage tier during initial provisioning, based on a complex list of performance and cost options. With the traditional cloud offerings from these vendors, changing the performance or cost of your volumes across different storage tiers post-provisioning requires either the migration of data across tiers with a lengthy process, or with some vendors it requires downtime for your applications and risk for your business.

We wanted to do better for our customers. You need both better-performing and lower-cost storage options depending on your workload anytime you like instantaneously, without the hassle of complex and disjointed tiers to manage. With this update of block storage from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we’re giving you flexibility and simplicity for managing both the elastic performance and the cost of your block storage, on demand, instantaneous, without a lengthy migration or downtime.

Elastic Options

Today, you now have three elastic and dynamic block storage performance configuration options.

Screenshot showing the three options as they appear in the Change Volume Performance dialog box in the Console.

  • Balanced: This is the default setting for new and existing volumes, and is the balanced choice for most workloads, including those that perform random I/O, such as boot disks. The price for this option matches the same US$0.0425/GB-month as our prior block storage offering. The price structure for this option consists of US$0.0255/GB-month for storage and US$0.017/GB-month for performance characteristics (10 VPUs/GB-month). With this, you get the same linearly scaling, predictable, and stable performance that you are accustomed to from us, with 60 IOPS/GB and up to 25,000 IOPS per volume. Similarly, the throughput continues to scale at 480 KB/s/GB, but now with a higher maximum of 480 MB/s per volume, a 50% increase from the prior maximum 320 MB/s per volume, at no additional charge.
  • Lower Cost: This option is recommended for workloads that are throughput intensive with large sequential I/O, such as big data and streaming, log processing, and data warehouses. You might also want to use this option for your detached volumes, for cost savings. You pay only for storage, without any VPU cost, at US$0.0255/GB-month, 40% less than the balanced configuration. This option gives you linearly scaling 2 IOPS/GB, up to a maximum of 3000 IOPS per volume, and 240 KB/s/GB throughput up to a maximum of 480 MB/s per volume. It’s equivalent to the price of our Object Storage offering, and it provides the same or better performance than the basic hard-drive-based storage options from other cloud vendors.
  • Higher Performance: This option is recommended for the most I/O-demanding workloads that require the best possible performance, such as large databases. You get 75 IOPS/GB linearly scaling performance, 25% better than the balanced configuration, with up to a maximum of 35,000 IOPS per volume, 40% higher than the balanced configuration. Throughput also scales at a 25% higher rate than the balanced configuration, at 600 KB/s/GB, up to a maximum of 480 MB/s per volume. The price for this option consists of US$0.0255/GB-month for storage, like other options, and US$0.034/GB-month for volume performance units (20 VPUs/GB-month), for a total of US$0.0595/GB-month.

You can try any of these options for your application workloads. If you want to choose different performance and cost options at any time, you can move the performance slider to get the performance and cost you need within seconds, while your volume is online, without any delays or downtime and impact to your business. For example, at any time in a day, as frequent as you like, you can scale the performance of each of your volumes up or down, and pay for performance when you need it and save when you don't, as listed in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure storage pricing.


The elastic block volume performance and cost capability is available to use in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, SDK, and CLI, and also in Terraform for your automation needs. This capability is automatically enabled for all your existing and new volumes. All the Block Volumes features—such as volume groups, deep disk-to-disk clones, and automated backups—apply to all the performance options. You also continue to experience the same Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Block Volume SLAs for the elastic performance storage options, except for the performance aspect of lower cost option.

As we continue to innovate for the next generation Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we’ll be providing additional and higher-performance block storage options, with the ability to increase the size of your storage volumes while they are online, and automatic performance configuration changes based on criteria that you set and manage. All of this will give you truly elastic and self-managing storage without any downtime.

Max Verun

Senior Principal Product Manager

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