AWS, AWS Elastic File System

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AWS EFS: Insanely Simple in Designing Dependable Cloud File Storage

Understanding File Storage: An Overview

What is file storage? Before we get to this question, we need to understand what different types of storage we have. So let us know that first. We have three different types of storage in the cloud

  1. Block Storage – In block storage, data is first divided into an array of unrelated blocks and then saved on the underlying storage device so that granular updating and accessing a part of the data is fast. When retrieving the whole data again, the blocks are combined and sent as the output. E.g., In this diagram, data of 100MB is stored in the form of smaller blocks.
  2. Object Storage – Object storage stores unstructured data as a whole object instead of block storage. An object has both the data and also metadata about the object. E.g., in this diagram, three different data of different sizes are stored as an object.
  3. File Storage – File storage is a way of storing data in a hierarchal manner where data can be managed as a file inside folders. And the main advantage is that this file system can be shared across multiple servers as a shared file system.

What is AWS EFS?

Now that we know what file storage is, let us find out what service we have in the Amazon cloud for implementing file storage.

In AWS, we have an EFS (Elastic File System) service for file storage.

EFS is deployed in AWS infrastructure and thus is highly available, reliable, and secure.

It also supports both encryptions in transit and encryption at rest. And we can attach this file storage to multiple devices or servers in the cloud and on-prem. EFS supports Linux-based servers for Windows-based servers. There is another flavor of EFS known as FSx for Windows.

When we create a file system using EFS, it is created inside your virtual private network VPC, and a mount target is formed in each availability zone (AZ) inside your VPC. Then you can mount this file system to your servers using these mount targets.

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Types of EFS Storage Classes

There are Four types of EFS storage class

  1. Standard – made for frequently accessed data that needs to be highly available.
  2. Standard IA (infrequent access) – made for data accessed significantly less but still need to be highly available in a disaster scenario.
  3. One Zone – It handles frequently accessed data employed to recreate during disasters, i.e., data that is not crucial.
  4. One Zone IA – is made for data that is not frequently accessed and is also not crucial in a disaster.

You have to pay a fee for the amount of data in each storage class. Also, You must pay a Data access fee for any data that switches between storage classes.

Architecture Diagram

How to Employ EFS with Multiple Servers in AWS Cloud?

(A Diagrammatic Representation)

How to Employ EFS with caws cloud and On-premises (hybrid)?

(A Diagrammatic Representation)





AWS EFS provides a highly available and reliable shared file system. With encryption supported at transit and rest. It is easy to scale as your data increases over a while. EFS supports different storage classes based on your data and access pattern. Data can be transit between other storage classes using lifecycle policies.

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1. When should I use Amazon EFS instead of  Amazon S3 or Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)?

ANS: – EFS is a file storage service for both on-premises servers and Amazon computation (EC2, containers, serverless). For up to a thousand EC2 instances, EFS offers a file system interface, access to file system semantics (such as robust consistency and file locking), and concurrently accessible storage. EC2 works with Block-level storage provided by Amazon EBS. For workloads requiring the quickest access to data from a single EC2 instance, EBS can offer better performance. Amazon S3 is an object storage service. S3 ensures the data is available through an internet API and can be accessed anywhere.

2. How can I begin utilizing Amazon EFS?

ANS: – You need an AWS account to use Amazon EFS. You can open an AWS account and immediately gain access to the AWS Free Tier if you don’t already have one. Refer to the EFS Getting Started guide to utilize EFS after creating an AWS account. You can construct a file system through the interface, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), and EFS API. (and various language-specific SDKs).

WRITTEN BY Aadish Jain



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