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Introduction to AWS Elastic File System (EFS)

Last updated on Jul 15,2024 25 Views

A passionate and knowledgeable tech enthusiast known for his expertise in the... A passionate and knowledgeable tech enthusiast known for his expertise in the world of technology and programming. With a deep-rooted passion for coding, Sarfaraz...

Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) is a service that Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides. It is intended to deliver serverless, fully-elastic file storage that enables you to share data independently of capacity and performance. This article aims to explain what is AWS Elastic File System and the features that make it stand out, the available choices of backups, how to create an EFS file system, and providing you with helpful FAQs about this tool and how to gain maximum from it successfully.

Table of Content

  1. What is Amazon EFS?
  2. What features does AWS Elastic File System offer?
  3. Amazon EFS backup options
  4. Create an EFS file system using Amazon EFS Quick Create
  5. Test the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)
  6. Delete the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQs


What is Amazon EFS?

AWS Elastic File System (EFS) is a service for storing files in the cloud provided by AWS which is scalable, elastic, and highly available. Intended for use in various software contexts, EFS provides easy-to-use APIs for creating and managing filesystems while scaling seamlessly up to petabytes.

AWS EFS allows one to set up an extremely elastic and robust storage tier with concurrent thousands of Amazon EC2 instances’ accessible shared file system, making it suitable for tier-0 workloads. It supports the NFSv4 protocol that integrates existing applications and operating systems with the implementation without code modifications.

Another benefit that may be revealed in AWS EFS is the flexibility of usage. It scales itself up and down depending on several documents put in or taken out, thus providing on-demand resources, which means no manual provisioning and capacity planning. This means that you only pay for the storage space you require, which has the benefit of being cheap, especially when you need extremely variable storage space.

AWS EFS is intended for high availability and durability, the data is stored in two or more AZs of an AWS region. Multi-AZ deployment helps to prevent data loss, as well as other problems, including hardware failures, by always allowing access to files.

EFS provides solid features such as encryption and data integrity of data at rest and in transit; IAM integration for secure user access; it is compatible with AWS KMS for managing the KMS encryption keys. All these features make it easier to safeguard your data and also keep to the legal requirements.

AWS Elastic File System is elastic, adaptable, and has low latency and great throughput, making it suitable for many workloads such as web serving and content stores, enterprise applications, media processing pipelines, data analytics, backups, and restore systems. It is a user-friendly system, flexible, and very dependable which makes it a tool of choice especially for any organization that wishes to employ cloud storage for its files.


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AWS EFS Tutorial | Amazon Elastic File System | AWS Storage Services | AWS Training | Edureka

This “Amazon Elastic File System” video by Edureka will give you an idea about what exactly is AWS Elastic File System


What features does AWS Elastic File System offer?

AWS EFS has a variety of options that aim at making the storage of files in the cloud highly scalable and always available. Key features include:

1. Scalability and Elasticity: They are fully scalable and the capacity of the file storage is increased or decreased depending on your application need without any interruption. This way, you only get charged for the resources consumed and this gets rid of the need for reserved storage.

2. High Availability and Durability: EFS is intended to offer the availability and durability of hard disk storage by placing data copies in different Availability Zones (AZs) of an AWS Region. This means that no matter the AZ outage, your work and data will still be easily retrievable and unharmed.

3. Performance Modes: These performance modes may be selected through the Mode Switch button and EFS has two modes of performance.

  • General Purpose: Best for latency-intensive applications such as web hosting and CMS.
  • Max I/O: Optimized for transform tasks that would require throughput and IOPS hence used by companies such as big data and media processing.

4. Throughput Modes: EFS has two throughput modes:

    • Bursting Throughput: Dynamically and automatically brings throughput based on the file system size and activity, suitable for most workloads.
    • Provisioned Throughput: You can specify the throughput you want, independent of the file system size, which is perfect for applications requiring high throughput.

    5. Security and Compliance: EFS supports data encryption both in transit and at rest for the protection of security. It supports detailed granular access control through AWS IAM and complies with the most rigorous standards of HIPAA, GDPR, and more.

    6. Integration with AWS Services: EFS is tightly integrated with a wide range of other AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda, and Kubernetes, for rapid and frictionless deployment and management of file-based workloads.

    7. Cost-Effectiveness: EFS has a pay-as-you-go model with no upfront costs and is cost-effective for a wide variety of use cases. In addition, EFS contains a lifecycle management function that helps reduce costs by automatically moving infrequently accessed files into the EFS Infrequent Access storage class.

    8. Ease of Use: The EFS is fully managed; it requires very little administrative overhead. It provides an easy-to-use interface for the creation and management of file systems and supports standard file system interfaces to make it easy to use with currently existing applications and workflows.

    These features make AWS EFS a very handy and robust file storage system for almost any kind of application they can host from the website, its infrastructure, data analytics, and much more.


    Amazon EFS backup options

    Amazon EBS is a highly flexible software file system designed to store data for use with AWS cloud-developed services and on-premises systems. For data security, consciousness Amazon EFS has multiple avenues for backup.

    1. Native AWS Backup Service

    The Amazon EFS is further compatible with AWS Backup, a fully automated and Policy-Based Backup Service. AWS Backup brings in one one-click solution to the management of backup tasks since users create backup policies to initiate the automatic backups of the EFS file systems. Key features include:

    • Scheduled Backups: Decide on how often backups will be created and for how long they will be stored.
    • Lifecycle Management: Therefore, the option is to automatically transfer backups to cold storage to minimize the expenses.
    • Cross-Region Backups: Backup OS images and data and replicate the backups across different AWS regions to strengthen the disaster recovery infrastructure.

    2. EFS-to-EFS Backup Solution

    It is noteworthy that Amazon EFS when using a backup solution can create a copy of data within the same or in another file system. This is true as it enables increment backups to be easily made by restoring from a file system copy without using services from outside to complete the process.

    3. User-Managed Snapshots

    One important thing about Amazon EFS is that although it does not have native support and integration with snapshots, there are other ways of running backups and the most common one is to use AWS DataSync or write some scripts. DataSync – it is a fully managed AWS service used for transferring data on a large scale from EFS to other types of storage in an AWS environment, such as S3 or EBS. These backups can then be used during file system restore times as is done by some organizations.

    4. Third-Party Backup Solutions

    A third-party vendor has described the multitude of backup solutions for the EFS. These tools sometimes have additional features such as differential backup where the backup software backs up only that which has changed since the last backup, elimination of redundant backup data to reduce data storage costs, and backed up data compression respectively for efficiency of storage space.

    Amazon EFS gives organizations the freedom to choose backup options ranging from AWS Backup solutions to third-party tools for enhanced data protection as per a business’s requirements and needs. These solutions aim at data longevity and accessibility and therefore are in tune with disaster recovery and business continuity policies of an organization.

    Related Program: AWS Masters Program to become a Cloud Professional


    Create an EFS file system using Amazon EFS Quick Create

    Amazon EFS Quick Create is an option that allows the user to create an Amazon Elastic File System while performing a basic configuration, thus, it enables the creation of AWS EFS within a few simple steps.

    Here are the steps to create an EFS file system using Amazon EFS Quick Create:

    1. Sign in to AWS Management Console:

    Open the AWS Management Console and sign in with your credentials.

    2. Navigate to the EFS Console:

    In the AWS Management Console, search for “EFS” in the services search bar and select “Amazon EFS” from the results.

    3. Start the Quick Create Process:

    On the Amazon EFS dashboard, click on the “Create file system” button.

    4. Quick Create Option:

    In the “Create file system” page, choose the “Quick create” option. This option uses default settings to expedite the creation process.

    5. Review Default Settings:

    a. The Quick Create option automatically configures the following settings:

    • VPC and Subnets: EFS uses the default VPC and selects all availability zones within the region.
    • Security Group: A default security group is created and assigned.
    • Performance Mode: General purpose.
    • Throughput Mode: Bursting.
    • Lifecycle Management: Disabled by default.

    b. Review these settings to ensure they meet your requirements. You can adjust them later if needed.

    6. Create the File System:

    Click the “Create” button at the bottom of the page. This initiates the creation of your EFS file system using the default settings.

    7. Monitor the Creation Process:

    You will be redirected to the “File systems” page where you can see your new EFS file system being created. This process usually takes a few minutes.

    8. Mount the File System:

    Once the file system is available, click on it to view details. Use the provided mount instructions to mount the EFS file system to your EC2 instances. Instructions are available for both Amazon Linux and other Linux distributions.

    In this way, if you want to use the file system of Amazon EFS in its simple form which is pre-configured for various environments, you can follow these steps. Barring any technical difficulties that might arise later, some minor adjustments and optimizations can be made.


    Test the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)

    Testing the AWS Elastic File System (EFS) involves several key steps to ensure its performance and reliability for cloud-based storage solutions.

    1. First, set up an EFS file system through the AWS Management Console, CLI, or SDK. Mount the file system on an Amazon EC2 instance using the NFS protocol to verify connectivity and accessibility.
    2. Perform read and write operations to test latency and throughput. Measure performance metrics such as IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) and throughput using tools like `fio` or `dd`.
    3. Evaluate the scalability by simulating different workloads and user access patterns. Test the built-in backup and restore features to ensure data protection and recovery.
    4. Additionally, check for integration capabilities with other AWS services like Lambda, ECS, and EKS. Conduct security assessments to verify encryption, access controls, and compliance with organizational policies. Document findings and optimize configurations based on test results.


    Delete the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)

    To delete an AWS EFS, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Amazon EFS console, select the file system, click on “Actions,” and choose “Delete file system.”
    2. Confirm the deletion in the dialog box that appears. Ensure all associated resources and data are backed up or no longer needed before proceeding.



    Amazon EFS is a robust, scalable, and highly available cloud storage solution offered by AWS. With features like seamless scalability, high availability, security, and integration with other AWS services, EFS is ideal for diverse applications. By following best practices for creation, testing, and deletion, users can maximize EFS benefits. Edureka also provides comprehensive AWS tutorials, covering various services and best practices to help users effectively utilize AWS’s capabilities.



    What is the elastic file system?

    Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) is a scalable and fully managed cloud file storage service by AWS.

    What is the use of an elastic file system in AWS?

    EFS provides scalable, shared file storage for AWS services and on-premises resources, ideal for applications requiring high throughput and low latency.

    What is the difference between EBS and EFS file systems?

    EBS is block storage for a single EC2 instance, while EFS is shared file storage accessible by multiple EC2 instances.

    What are the different types of Amazon EFS?

    Amazon EFS offers Standard and Infrequent Access (IA) storage classes for cost optimization based on data access frequency.


    Edureka offers comprehensive AWS certifications, courses, tutorials, and a huge set of AWS interview questions to help you master cloud services, including Amazon EFS. Our training programs cover key concepts, practical skills, and hands-on experience, ensuring you’re well-equipped to leverage AWS for your organization’s needs.

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    Introduction to AWS Elastic File System (EFS)