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Brian, Thanks for the answer. I do appreciate that ELB has EBS dependencies, and what it means for its reliability. My original question is a bit more general, rather than ELB-specific, and probably boils down to the number of instances of a particular functionality (LB in our case) you need. If a number of LBs needed is also small (read: manually manageable), then you're better off with a simpler system. However once you start dealing with a larger number, you will likely need to involve/develop a system for automated management of your LB instances, and this is where the benefits of home-grown vs. one provided by your service provider will start to become more questionable. Hope this makes sense.