Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) is a simple, serverless, set-and-forget elastic file system that lets you share file data without provisioning or managing storage. It can be used with AWS services and on-premises resources, and it's built to scale to petabytes on demand without disrupting applications.
Amazon EFS is well suited to support a broad spectrum of use cases from home directories to business-critical applications. Use cases include storage for containerized and serverless applications, big data analytics, web serving and content management, application development and testing, media and entertainment workflows, and database backups.
What is cloud file storage?
Learn more about cloud file storage and how it compares to other cloud storage solutions.
Amazon EFS is a fully managed service providing NFS shared file system storage for Linux workloads. With Amazon EFS, it's simple to create and configure file systems. You don't have to worry about managing file servers or storage, updating hardware, configuring software, or performing backups. In seconds, create a fully managed file system using the AWS Management Console, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or an AWS SDK.
Highly available and durable
Amazon EFS is designed for 99.999999999 percent (11 9s) of durability and up to 99.99 percent (4 9s) of availability. By default, Amazon EFS redundantly stores every file system object (in other words, a directory, file, and link) across multiple Availability Zones (AZs) for file systems using Standard storage classes. If you select Amazon EFS One Zone storage classes, your data is redundantly stored within a single AZ. Amazon EFS is designed to sustain concurrent device failures by quickly detecting and repairing any lost redundancy. In addition, you can access a file system that uses Standard storage classes concurrently from all AZs in the AWS Region where it’s located. In other words, you can architect your application for failover from one AZ to other AZs in the Region for a high level of application availability. Mount targets are designed to be highly available within an AZ for all Amazon EFS storage classes.
Amazon EFS Replication
EFS Replication allows you to replicate your file system data to another AWS Region or within the same Region in a few clicks, without requiring additional infrastructure or needing a custom process to monitor and synchronize data changes. Organizations in regulated industries are often subject to compliance requirements that mandate storing secondary data copies several hundred miles away from the original. Amazon EFS Replication automatically and transparently replicates your data to a second file system in a Region or AZ of your choice. You can use the Amazon EFS console, AWS CLI, and APIs to enable replication on an existing file system. EFS replication is continuous and designed to provide a recovery point objective (RPO) and a recovery time objective (RTO) of minutes, enabling you to meet your compliance and business continuity goals.
You can also set up your destination file system independent of your source file system. You can select the destination file system’s lifecycle management policy, backup policies, provisioned throughput, mount targets, and access points independent of the source file system. For example, you can optimize the destination file system storage costs by enabling EFS Lifecycle Management with a shorter age-off policy (such as 7 days) when compared to the source file system’s age-off policy (such as 7, 14, 30, 60, or 90 days). You can also replicate from a source file system created using Amazon EFS Standard storage classes to a destination file system created using Amazon EFS One Zone storage classes and the other way around.
AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service that makes it easy to centrally manage and automate backups of your Amazon EFS file systems, removing the need for costly custom solutions and manual processes. AWS Backup goes beyond backing up EFS and centralizes the backup of data across other AWS services in the cloud as well as on premises. As applications move to the cloud, their data can become distributed across multiple services, making it difficult to manage and consolidate backup activity without creating custom scripts and manual processes. Using AWS Backup, you can centrally configure and audit AWS resources, automate backup scheduling, set retention policies, and monitor backup activity.
Storage classes and lifecycle management
Amazon EFS offers Standard and One Zone storage classes for both frequently accessed and infrequently accessed files. Standard and One Zone storage classes are performance-optimized to deliver consistent low latencies. The Amazon EFS Standard-Infrequent Access (EFS Standard-IA) and Amazon EFS One Zone-Infrequent Access (EFS One Zone-IA) storage classes are cost-optimized for files accessed less frequently. Start saving on storage costs with EFS Lifecycle Management and an age-off policy (7, 14, 30, 60, or 90 days). Additionally, you can set a policy to automatically move accessed files from the cost-optimized infrequent access storage classes to the performance-optimized storage classes if files are accessed. With EFS Lifecycle Management policies enabled, you can automatically move files between EFS Standard storage and EFS Standard-IA storage, or between EFS One Zone storage and EFS One Zone-IA storage, reducing storage costs by up to 92%.
Using the industry-accepted estimate that 20% of data is actively used and 80% is infrequently accessed, you can store your files on Amazon EFS at an effective price of $0.043/GB-month (20% $0.16/GB-month1 for files stored on Amazon EFS One Zone + 80% $0.0133/GB-month1 for files stored on EFS One Zone-IA = $0.043/GB-month)1, or an effective price of $0.08/GB-month (20% $0.30/GB-month2 for files stored on Amazon EFS Standard + 80% $0.025/GB-month2 for files stored on EFS Standard-IA = $0.08/GB-month)2.
1pricing in US East (N. Virginia) Region; assumes 80% of your storage is in EFS One Zone-IA
2pricing in US East (N. Virginia) Region; assumes 80% of your storage is in EFS Standard-IA
Security and compliance
Control network access to your file systems using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) security group rules, and application access to your file systems using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and Amazon EFS Access Points. Amazon EFS satisfies many eligibility and compliance requirements to help you meet your regulatory needs. Click here for a list of compliance programs in scope for Amazon EFS.
Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, I/O operations per second (IOPS), and low latency necessary for a broad range of workloads. Throughput and IOPS scale as your file system grows and can burst to higher throughput levels for short periods of time, supporting the unpredictable performance needs of file workloads. For the most demanding workloads, Amazon EFS supports performance over 10 GB/second and more than 500,000 IOPS.
Amazon EFS provides secure access for thousands of connections for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, as well as AWS container and serverless compute services. Amazon EFS also simultaneously supports on-premises servers using a traditional file permissions model, file locking, and hierarchical directory structure through the NFS v4 protocol. Amazon EC2 instances can access your file system across AZs and Regions while on-premises servers can access it via AWS Direct Connect or AWS VPN services.
Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, IOPS, and low latency necessary for a broad range of workloads. Amazon EFS offers two performance modes: General Purpose and Max I/O. General Purpose provides sub-millisecond read latency and low single-digit millisecond write latency for random or sequential IO patterns. Max I/O scales to higher levels of aggregate throughput and operations per second, which is ideal for highly parallelized applications that can scale out to thousands of EC2 instances. Max I/O performance mode is available only on Amazon EFS file systems using Standard storage classes.
Amazon EFS offers two throughput modes, which determine the overall throughput a file system can achieve: Bursting and Provisioned. With Bursting Throughput mode, throughput scales with the size of the file system, dynamically bursting as needed to support the spiky nature of many file-based workloads. Provisioned Throughput mode is designed to support applications that require higher dedicated throughput than the default Bursting mode and it can be configured independently of the amount of data stored on the file system.
Elastic and scalable
With Amazon EFS, storage capacity is elastic, growing and shrinking automatically as you add and remove files to dynamically provide storage capacity to your applications as needed. With elastic capacity, provisioning is unnecessary, and you’re billed only for what you use. Amazon EFS is designed to be highly scalable both in storage capacity and throughput performance, growing to petabyte scale and allowing massively parallel access from EC2 instances. With Amazon EFS, throughput and IOPS scale as your file system grows, while file operations are delivered with consistent low latencies.
Amazon EFS provides a comprehensive encryption solution to secure both your stored data and data in flight. Data at rest is transparently encrypted using encryption keys managed by the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS), eliminating the need to build and maintain a key management infrastructure. Encryption of data in transit uses industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure network traffic, without the need to modify your applications. Refer to the user documentation on encryption for more information about encrypting file system data.
Containers and serverless file storage
Amazon EFS is integrated with AWS containers and serverless compute services that require shared storage for latency-sensitive and IOPS-heavy workloads at any scale. In a single step, Amazon EFS provides applications running on Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda with access to shared file systems for stateful workloads.
AWS DataSync is a managed data transfer service that makes it faster and simpler to move data between on-premises storage and Amazon EFS. Use DataSync to transfer active datasets over the internet or AWS Direct Connect at speeds up to 10 times faster than open-source tools, without the need to modify your applications or write to an API. Use the service for one-time data migrations, ongoing workflows with periodic synchronization, or replication for data protection and recovery. DataSync automatically handles many tasks known to slow down migrations or burden IT operations, including infrastructure management, encryption, data validation, and data transfer orchestration.
AWS Transfer Family
AWS Transfer Family provides fully managed support for file transfers directly into and out of Amazon EFS. With support for Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), File Transfer Protocol over SSL (FTPS), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Transfer Family helps you seamlessly migrate your file transfer workflows to AWS.