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The 100% easiest elastic file storage guide

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 8, 2019

3 min. read
A row of storage cupboards.

Not super tech savvy? Perfect! This is an easy-to-understand article about difficult concepts. If you’re an expert, you’re in the wrong place. If you want to get a firm grasp on EFS (also EC2 and AWS), the following information is key. Let’s begin with the basics.

What is elastic file storage?

Elastic File Storage (EFS) is a cloud storage service by Amazon that stores files securely. Elastic File Storage is true to its name because storage size changes based on the space required from the company using it. Therefore, if an enterprise has a lot of files going into the EFS, it will stretch to fit them.

Think of EFS like a giant balloon that attaches to a hose. The balloon begins at a medium size and can stay at that size if necessary. Once the hose is turned on, the balloon stretches in size to accommodate the water (files).

A picture of multiple water balloons.
An EFS acts similarly to water balloons.

Pretty easy right? Now let’s help you visualize how it works to help companies in their daily operations.

How does EFS work?

Let’s say you work at a company with 10 older computers incapable of running Microsoft Word. The boss decides they need you working with Word, so they set up a virtual space on the cloud where you can use Word online instead of your computer. This is basically how an Amazon EC2 works – it’s like a web-based space to run programs and do projects.

Now imagine these EC2s like floating computers in a virtual space. Your company now has five ‘computers’ they can use when they want to do Microsoft Word projects. Here’s where EFS comes into play. These five computers then connect to a physical storage system (the EFS). This way all the Microsoft Word documents you need to save go to the EFS.

EFS creates layers of different cloud servers.

EFS and EC2 are all part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite. Think of this like a restaurant, like McDonald’s. They sell Big Macs, and they also sell fries. Both Big Macs (EFS) and fries (EC2) are part of Mcdonald’s (AWS) food suite. Amazon has an array of different foods (programs) to use.

Whew, you made it through. Now you can easily visualize all the moving parts. Now it’s time to check out some of the cool stuff Elastic File Storage is capable of.

The 5 most interesting elastic file storage benefits

  1. Very, very fast. Elastic File Storage is optimized to maintain a high speed for each connection.
  2. Reliable. EFS was built to last and not fail you when it counts.
  3. Can handle large numbers of file system operations at the same time.
  4. Grows alongside the size of the file system (scalable).
  5. Provides the EC2 with a file system interface.
Digital clouds over a large binary city.
The EFS is a very fast system.

When to use it

There are a lot of basic functions EFS offers that make it ideal for companies looking for file storage. It’s absolutely jaw-dropping speed and accessibility are two features that really stand out. However, a fast, easy-to-use system doesn’t mean a business should implement it. It needs to fulfill the tasks the company set out to accomplish with ease.

When a company is in need of things like content management and big data analytics, then it’s time to give EFS a shot. This is only a small part of what makes EFS stand out among other systems. Once a business decides it needs to further its cloud storage, EFS becomes a system that must be considered.

I’m certain you now have a decent grasp of how an EFS works. You definitely now have some of the reasons it’s important for your company to use one. If you’re already using AWS, an EFS should be strongly considered if available in your area.