Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) provides a simple, scalable, fully managed, elastic NFS file system. It is built to scale on demand to petabytes without disrupting applications, growing and shrinking automatically as you add and remove files, eliminating the need to provision and manage capacity to accommodate growth.

Amazon EFS is well suited to a broad range of use cases, from home directories to business-critical applications. Customers can use Amazon EFS to move NFS-based file storage workloads to managed file systems on the AWS Cloud. Other use cases include: analytics, web serving and content management, application development and testing, media and entertainment workflows, database backups, and containers and serverless storage.

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 durable. All files and directories are redundantly stored within and across multiple Availability Zones in a region to prevent the loss of data from the failure of any single component. The distributed architecture of Amazon EFS provides data protection from an AZ outage, system and component failures, and network connection errors.

Storage classes and lifecycle management

Amazon EFS offers a Standard and an Infrequent Access storage class. The EFS Infrequent Access (EFS IA) storage class is cost-optimized for files accessed less frequently. You can start using EFS IA by simply enabling EFS Lifecycle Management for your file system and choosing an age-off policy (14, 30, 60, or 90 days). With EFS Lifecycle Management policies enabled, files automatically move from the Standard storage class to the EFS IA storage class, 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 EFS at an effective price of $0.08/GB-month (20% * $0.30/GB-month for files stored on EFS Standard + 80% * $0.025/GB-month for files stored on EFS IA = $0.08/GB-month)*.

*pricing in US East (N. Virginia) region, assumes 80% of your storage in EFS 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 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.

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.


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

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