Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) provides 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 Cloud services and on-premises resources, and is built to scale on demand to petabytes 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.

Fully managed

Amazon EFS is a fully managed service providing NFS shared file system storage for Linux workloads. Amazon EFS makes it 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, you can create a fully managed file system by using the AWS Management Console, the AWS CLI, or an AWS SDK.

Highly available and durable

Amazon EFS is designed to be highly available, and is designed for 99.999999999% (11 9’s) durability. By default, every Amazon EFS file system object (i.e. directory, file, and link) is redundantly stored 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, a file system using Standard storage classes can be accessed concurrently from all AZs in the region where it is located, which means that you can architect your application to failover from one AZ to other AZs in the region in order to ensure the highest level of application availability. Mount targets are designed to be highly available within an AZ for all Amazon EFS storage classes.

Storage classes and lifecycle management

Amazon EFS offers Standard and One Zone storage classes for both frequently accessed and infrequently accessed files. 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. You can start saving on your storage costs by simply enabling EFS Lifecycle Management for your file system and choosing an age-off policy (7,14, 30, 60, or 90 days). With EFS Lifecycle Management policies enabled, files automatically move from Amazon EFS Standard storage to EFS Standard-IA storage , or from Amazon EFS One Zone storage to 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 to EFS Standard-IA storage class = $0.08/GB-month)2.

1pricing in US East (N. Virginia) region, assumes 80% of your storage in EFS One Zone-IA
2pricing in US East (N. Virginia) region, assumes 80% of your storage in EFS Standard-IA

Security and compliance

You can control network access to your file systems using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) security group rules, and you can control application access to your file systems using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and 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.

Scalable performance

Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, IOPS, and low latency needed for a broad range of workloads. Throughput and IOPS scale as a file system grows and can burst to higher throughput levels for short periods of time to support the unpredictable performance needs of file workloads. For the most demanding workloads, Amazon EFS can support performance over 10 GB/sec and over 500,000 IOPS.

Shared file system with NFS v4.0 and v4.1 support

Amazon EFS provides secure access for thousands of connections for Amazon EC2 instances, AWS container and serverless compute services, and on-premises servers simultaneously using a traditional file permissions model, file locking, and hierarchical directory structure via the NFSv4 protocol. Amazon EC2 instances can access your file system across AZs and regions while on-premises servers can access via AWS Direct Connect or AWS VPN.

Performance modes

Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, IOPS, and low latency needed for a broad range of workloads and offers two performance modes: General Purpose and Max I/O. General Purpose provides the lowest latency per file system operation and can achieve this for random or sequential IO patterns. Max I/O can scale to higher levels of aggregate throughput and operations per second and is ideal for highly parallelized applications that can scale out to thousands of Amazon EC2 instances. Max I/O performance mode is only available on Amazon EFS file systems using Standard storage classes.

Throughput modes

Amazon EFS offers two throughput modes: Bursting and Provisioned. The throughput mode helps determine the overall throughput a file system can achieve. With Bursting Throughput, the 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 is designed to support applications that require higher dedicated throughput than the default Bursting mode and 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, dynamically providing the storage capacity to applications as they need it. Since capacity is elastic, there is no provisioning necessary and you will only be billed for what you use. Amazon EFS is designed to be highly scalable both in storage capacity and throughput performance. It can grow to petabyte scale and allows massively parallel access from Amazon EC2 instances to your data. With Amazon EFS, throughput and IOPS scale as a file system grows, and file operations are delivered with consistent, low latencies.

Encryption

Amazon EFS offers encryption for data at rest and in transit providing 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 (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 having 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 containers and serverless compute services from AWS 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, access to shared file systems for stateful workloads.

Data transfer and backup

AWS DataSync

AWS DataSync is a managed data transfer service that makes it faster and simpler to move data between on-premises storage and Amazon EFS. You can use DataSync to transfer active datasets over AWS Direct Connect or the internet at speeds up to 10 times faster than open-source tools. It does this without the need for you to modify your applications or write to an API. You can use the service for one-time data migrations, ongoing workflows with periodic synchronization, and replication for data protection and recovery. DataSync automatically handles many of the tasks that can slow down migrations or burden your IT operations, including infrastructure management, encryption, data validation, and data transfer orchestration.

AWS Backup

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 Amazon EFS and centralizes the back up 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.

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), the AWS Transfer Family helps you seamlessly migrate your file transfer workflows to AWS.

Learn more about Amazon EFS pricing

Visit the pricing page
Ready to build?
Get started with Amazon EFS
Have more questions?
Contact us