Amazon Introduces Elastic File System— Shared File Storage for EC2

Yesterday, at the AWS Summit in San Francisco, Amazon introduced the newest addition the Amazon Web Services cloud portfolio: Amazon Elastic File System (EFS).

EFS is a fully managed file storage system for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances that  provides low-latency, shared access file system for multiple virtual machines running on EC2.

NFSv4, a popular protocol that allows users to access network storage is if it were locally managed, by supporting NFS, an industry standard, EFS will work with many existing file systems, and allow easy integration with existing apps.

EFS is elastic and will grow or shrink automatically as user data is added or removed; EFS file systems can grow to a petabyte scale. Like other AWS offerings (and most reputable cloud services) users will only pay for the storage that they use, at a rate of $.30 per gigabyte per month.

As a fully managed system, EFS removes user responsibility for network, hardware and file layers.

In an official blog post, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr wrote that Amazon expects EFS to be used to content repositories, development environments, web server farms, home directories, and Big Data applications.

Data uploaded to EFS is automatically replicated to different availability zones, and because EFS file systems are SSD-based, there should be few latency and throughput related problems with the service.

EFS is the latest addition to AWS’s storage portfolio, which currently includes Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for object storage, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for block storage, and Amazon Glacier for archival, cold storage.

EFS has been specifically designed to support security and IAM requirements for large organizations, according to Barr’s blog post. Users will be able to use IAM to grant or restrict access to EFS APIs, and VPC security groups to control access to file systems.

EFS is not yet available to the public, but interested AWS users can sign up for a preview version, which should be available sometime in the summer, here.

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Jeff Edwards

Editor at Solutions Review
Jeff Edwards is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large.He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and previously worked as a reporter covering Boston City Hall.
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