Amazon’s Elastic File System Out of AWS Beta

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Take note, cloud-infrastructure professionals: Amazon’s Elastic File System (EFS) is now out of beta.

EFS is a file system designed to complement Amazon’s SAN-style block storage, also known as the Elastic Block Store (EBS), as well as Amazon’s “simple” S3 storage. It is now available for production use in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) regions.

In theory, EFS offers AWS users an easier way to manage file storage at scale, especially if they’re running server farms or content-management systems with a common namespace and a clearly defined file hierarchy. Big Data applications also rely on large files, necessitating a system along the lines of EFS.

“EFS lets you create POSIX-compliant file systems and attach them to one or more of your EC2 instances via NFS,” read the EFS walkthrough posted to Amazon’s AWS blog. “The file system grows and shrinks as necessary (there’s no fixed upper limit and you can grow to petabyte scale) and you don’t pre-provision storage space or bandwidth. You pay only for the storage that you use.”

Although Google, Microsoft, and Oracle currently battle AWS on everything from price to features, Amazon’s platform continues to swallow up a considerable portion of the cloud-infrastructure market, powering more than a million customers. The ten-year-old platform started out with the aforementioned “simple” S3 storage before launching a wide variety of products, including the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to rent virtual computers to crunch data and run applications.

Given the prevalence of AWS, tech professionals who work with cloud infrastructure on a regular basis may consider earning AWS certifications, which include three Associate and two Professional exams. The knowledge needed for these certifications is extensive; but given the variety of use-cases for the AWS platform, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

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