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Amazon EFS vs Amazon S3: What are the differences?


In this Markdown code, we will discuss the key differences between Amazon EFS and Amazon S3. Both Amazon EFS (Elastic File System) and Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) are cloud-based storage solutions offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). While they both serve the purpose of storing and managing data in the cloud, there are several notable differences between the two.

  1. Data Access Method: Amazon EFS provides file-based storage, meaning it allows users to access data at the file level using standard file system APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). On the other hand, Amazon S3 offers object-based storage, where data is accessed using REST APIs. This means that EFS works like a traditional file system, while S3 treats each object as a separate entity.

  2. Data Consistency: In Amazon EFS, data consistency is maintained across multiple instances and Availability Zones (AZs). This means that changes made to a file are immediately visible to all other instances accessing the same file. In contrast, Amazon S3 does not offer immediate consistency for write-after-write operations. It may take some time (usually a few seconds) for S3 to propagate changes made to an object to all its replicas.

  3. Performance and Scalability: Amazon EFS is designed for low-latency, high-throughput access to shared file systems. It can scale horizontally by adding more instances to a file system, which allows for increased performance and capacity. On the other hand, Amazon S3 is highly scalable for storing large amounts of data, but it is optimized for high durability rather than low latency. S3 is best suited for storing and retrieving large objects with less frequent access.

  4. Pricing Structure: The pricing structure for Amazon EFS and Amazon S3 is different. EFS charges based on the amount of data stored, as well as on the number of file system operations performed. S3, on the other hand, charges based on the amount of data stored, data transfer costs, and the number of requests made (such as GET or PUT requests). It is important to consider these pricing factors when choosing between the two services, depending on your specific use case.

  5. File System Limits: Amazon EFS has certain limits that need to be considered when planning storage requirements. It has a maximum file system size and also imposes a limit on the number of files that can be stored. Amazon S3, on the other hand, has no file system size limit and can store an unlimited number of objects, making it suitable for storing vast amounts of data.

  6. Data Lifecycle Management: With Amazon EFS, data is automatically replicated within an Availability Zone, providing durability and availability in case of failures. However, it does not offer built-in data lifecycle management features. In contrast, Amazon S3 provides various lifecycle management options, allowing users to define rules for transitioning objects between storage classes (such as moving objects to cheaper storage options after a certain period of time) or automatically deleting objects based on specific conditions.

In summary, Amazon EFS is a file storage system that provides fast, shared access to data through standard file system APIs, while Amazon S3 is an object storage service optimized for durability and large-scale data storage. The key differences include the data access method, data consistency, performance and scalability, pricing structure, file system limits, and data lifecycle management capabilities.

Decisions about Amazon EFS and Amazon S3
Gabriel Pa

We offer our customer HIPAA compliant storage. After analyzing the market, we decided to go with Google Storage. The Nodejs API is ok, still not ES6 and can be very confusing to use. For each new customer, we created a different bucket so they can have individual data and not have to worry about data loss. After 1000+ customers we started seeing many problems with the creation of new buckets, with saving or retrieving a new file. Many false positive: the Promise returned ok, but in reality, it failed.

That's why we switched to S3 that just works.

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Pros of Amazon EFS
Pros of Amazon S3
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    • 590
    • 492
    • 456
    • 329
      Simple & easy
    • 83
      Many sdks
    • 30
    • 13
      Easy Setup
    • 11
      REST API
    • 11
      1000+ POPs
    • 6
    • 4
      Plug and play
    • 4
    • 3
      Web UI for uploading files
    • 2
      Faster on response
    • 2
    • 2
      GDPR ready
    • 1
      Easy to use
    • 1
    • 1
      Easy integration with CloudFront

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    Cons of Amazon EFS
    Cons of Amazon S3
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      • 7
        Permissions take some time to get right
      • 6
        Requires a credit card
      • 6
        Takes time/work to organize buckets & folders properly
      • 3
        Complex to set up

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      What is Amazon EFS?

      Amazon EFS is easy to use and offers a simple interface that allows you to create and configure file systems quickly and easily. With Amazon EFS, storage capacity is elastic, growing and shrinking automatically as you add and remove files.

      What is Amazon S3?

      Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web

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      What companies use Amazon EFS?
      What companies use Amazon S3?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon EFS or Amazon S3.
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      What tools integrate with Amazon EFS?
      What tools integrate with Amazon S3?

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      What are some alternatives to Amazon EFS and Amazon S3?
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