Amazon Elastic File System now available with on-premises access through direct connect

Amazon Web Services announced Tuesday that it is making Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) more useful with the introduction of simple and reliable on-premises access via AWS Direct Connect. This will be useful for migration, cloudbursting, and backup.

To use this feature for migration, users must attach an EFS file system to the on-premises servers, copy data to it, and then process it in the cloud as desired, leaving data in AWS for the long term.  For cloudbursting, users would copy on-premises data to an EFS file system, analyze it at high speed using a fleet of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, and then copy the results back on-premises or visualize them in Amazon QuickSight.

Consumers will get the same file system access semantics including strong consistency and file locking, whether accessing EFS file systems from on-premises servers or from EC2 instances. They will also get access to the same multi-AZ availability and durability that is part-and-parcel of EFS.

With Amazon EFS, storage capacity is elastic, growing and shrinking automatically as the user adds or removes file, so that applications have the storage they need, when they need it.

When mounted on Amazon EC2 instances, an Amazon EFS file system provides a standard file system interface and file system access semantics, allowing users to integrate Amazon EFS with your existing applications and tools.

Multiple Amazon EC2 instances can access an Amazon EFS file system at the same time, allowing Amazon EFS to provide a common data source for workloads and applications running on more than one Amazon EC2 instance.

Amazon EFS has been designed for high availability and durability, and provides performance for a broad spectrum of workloads and applications, including big data and analytics, media processing workflows, content management, web serving, and home directories.

In order to take advantage of this new feature, users will need to use Direct Connect to set up a dedicated network connection between on-premises data center and an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud; and then will need to make sure that filesystems have mount targets in subnets that are reachable through the Direct Connect connection.

Amazon EFS has a simple web services interface that allows users to create and configure file systems. The service manages all the file storage infrastructure, avoiding the complexity of deploying, patching, and maintaining complex file system deployments.

Multiple Amazon EC2 instances can access an Amazon EFS file system, so applications that scale beyond a single instance can access a file system. Amazon EC2 instances running in multiple Availability Zones (AZs) within the same region can access the file system, so that many users can access and share a common data source.

Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, IOPS, and low latency needed for a broad range of workloads. With Amazon EFS, throughput and IOPS scale as a file system grows, and file operations are delivered with consistent, low latencies. Amazon EFS provides the capacity needed, when required, without having to provision storage in advance. Users must pay for what is used, with no minimum commitments or up-front fees.

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