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June 30, 2016updated 21 Oct 2016 4:36pm

AWS cloud storage for business takes on the scale of traditional suppliers

Elastic File System – not a geek rock band, a new storage service from Amazon

By Sam

Amazon Web Services announced Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), a fully managed service that makes it easy to set up and scale file storage in the AWS Cloud.

In the AWS Management Console, customers can use Amazon EFS to create file systems that are accessible to multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances via the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Amazon EFS can automatically scale without needing to provision storage or throughput, enabling file systems to grow seamlessly to petabyte scale, while supporting thousands of concurrent client connections with consistent performance.

Amazon EFS is designed to support a broad range of file workloads – from big data analytics, media processing, and genomics analysis that are massively parallelized and require high levels of throughput, to latency-sensitive use cases such as content management, home directory storage, and web serving. Amazon EFS is highly available and durable, redundantly storing each file system object across multiple Availability Zones. There is no minimum fee or setup cost, and Amazon EFS customers pay only for the storage they use. For more information about Amazon EFS, visit https://aws.amazon.com/efs
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Today, companies of all sizes are moving their critical workloads to the AWS Cloud.

Many of these workloads depend on Network Attached Storage (NAS). Traditionally, it has been costly and time consuming to operate shared file systems because file growth is unpredictable, procurement times are long, and monitoring and patch management are administrative burdens.

Amazon says EFS is easy to set up and use and doesn’t require customers to provision and manage file system software or storage hardware.

When mounted to Amazon EC2 instances, an Amazon EFS file system provides a standard file system interface and file system semantics, allowing customers to seamlessly integrate Amazon EFS with their existing applications and tools. Amazon EFS is designed to provide the throughput, Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS), and low latency that file workloads require. Every file system can burst to at least 100 MB per second, and file systems greater than 1 TB in size can burst to higher throughput as file system capacity grows.

"As customers continue to move more and more of their IT infrastructure to AWS, they’ve asked for a shared file storage service with the elasticity, simplicity, scalability, and on-demand pricing they enjoy with our existing object (Amazon S3), block (Amazon EBS), and archive (Amazon Glacier) storage services," said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Compute Services, AWS. "Initially, our customers most passionately asking for a file system were trying to solve for throughput-heavy use cases like data analytics applications, large-scale processing workloads, and many forms of content and web serving. Customers were excited about Amazon EFS’s performance for those workloads, and pretty soon they were asking if we could expand Amazon EFS to work excellently for more latency-sensitive and metadata-heavy workloads like highly dynamic web applications. That’s what we’ve been working on for the last few months and we’re excited to release it to customers today."

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Atlassian delivers team collaboration and development tools like JIRA, Confluence, HipChat, and Bitbucket to more than 57,000 customers. "We are growing by leaps and bounds, and our core offering is all about better support delivery. During the course of developing our next-generation internal support system, we never wanted to worry about scale again, yet we had existing architectural commitments that meant a distributed file solution was required," said Sri Viswanath, CTO, Atlassian. "Atlassian chose Amazon EFS because it was the only option available that scaled both capacity and performance – without the up-front payments or the management overhead of traditional models. This allows our support teams to focus on what matters most – helping our customers."

Arcesium, launched in 2015 by the D. E. Shaw group and Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, is a technology and services company that provides asset managers with software and service solutions for their post-trade activities. "Arcesium is a financial services SaaS platform that requires resilient, secure, and scalable file storage," said Gaurav Suri, CEO, Arcesium. "Amazon EFS offers us a powerful way to operate and scale file storage for our Amazon EC2 instances, which has allowed us to build out our platform quickly without compromising quality."

Seeking Alpha is a platform for investment research, with broad coverage of stocks, asset classes, ETFs, and investment strategy.

"Seeking Alpha subscribers rely on us for accurate trading information," said Asi Segal, Chief Technology Officer, Seeking Alpha. "Amazon EFS helps us manage the thousands of web pages on our site. It also helps us manage the traffic spikes generated by financial market events, and ensure that every bit of content requested during these spikes is quickly and reliably delivered to our subscribers."

Zend, now a Rogue Wave company, was founded by the co-authors of PHP and provides commercial PHP solutions and support for development leaders, DevOps, and developers. "Our technology drives over 80 percent of the websites on the internet today," said Boaz Ziniman, Senior Director, Cloud Strategy, Zend. "As our customers move websites to AWS, they need a highly available, highly scalable, easy to use, and affordable file system and we found Amazon EFS ideal for customer facing websites."

Customers can launch Amazon EFS using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS SDKs. Amazon EFS is available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) Regions and will expand to additional Regions in the coming months.

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