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AWS Announces Lower Cost Storage Classes for Amazon Elastic File System

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Recently AWS announced the new Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) One Zone storage classes, which deliver the same features and benefits as the existing Amazon EFS storage classes yet reduce storage costs by 47%. With One Zone storage classes, customers can redundantly store data within a single Availability Zone (AZ).

Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) provides a simple, serverless, set-and-forget, elastic file system that allows enterprises to share file data without provisioning or managing storage. Earlier, AWS only gave Amazon EFS customers the Standard storage classes option, which provides data storage across multiple geographically separated Availability Zones redundantly. This option can be a significant cost factor when a high level of the provided availability and durability is unnecessary. With the two new single AZ storage classes, Amazon EFS One Zone and One Zone-Infrequent Access (One Zone-IA), customers will get options to choose a lower-cost version.

File systems using One Zone storage classes are configured with an automatic backup policy using AWS Backup to provide an extra level of data protection, replicate to three AZs within a region, and be restored in any AZ or copied to a different region. Furthermore, EFS One Zone Storage classes offer a three 9's availability SLA, while maintaining the same capabilities as Standard storage classes such as elasticity, simplicity, scalability, and lifecycle management.

One Zone storage classes are ideal for customers' workloads and applications that do not require the availability and durability offered by regional Amazon EFS storage classes, which provide redundant data storage across multiple geographically separated AZs. According to an AWS News blog post by Channy Yun, a principal developer advocate for AWS:

One Zone storage classes are ideal for workloads such as development, build, staging environments, and applications such as analytics and simulation and media transcoding, which don't require the highest availability and durability of Amazon EFS Standard storage classes. They are also ideal for storing replicas, secondary copies of on-premises data, data that can be easily recreated, and applications with built-in replication and high-availability features that do not need to rely on the multi-AZ resilience of Amazon EFS Standard storage classes.

Users can leverage One Zone storage classes by creating a new file system using the Amazon EFS Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS SDKs. They can, for instance, from the Amazon EFS console, click on Create file system, subsequently select One Zone for their chosen Availability and Durability option, and pick an AZ to create a file system with recommended settings, including automatic backup and a default lifecycle management policy.


Note that the One Zone storage classes provide the same features, API, and console experience as Amazon EFS Standard storage classes. It allows users to create and access shared file storage for instances, containers, and serverless or on-premises servers via AWS Direct Connect or AWS VPN.

In an AWS Press release Wayne Duso, vice president of file, edge, and data services at AWS, said:

When we set out to build Amazon EFS, we designed it with Multi-Availability Zone redundancy to deliver the highest levels of durability and availability. We've also heard from customers that they'd like a lower-cost file storage option for workloads that have lower resiliency requirements. Our new One Zone storage classes for Amazon EFS reduce storage costs by almost 50% compared to regional Amazon EFS storage classes, giving our customers an even less expensive file storage option to meet a range of various workloads.

And also, Matthew Wilson, distinguished engineer at AWS, stated in a tweet:

We're always working to improve performance in any way we can. Using One Zone storage classes does eliminate some network traffic that can increase latency, especially on small file/metadata operations. But you may find that Standard is improving there too, without changes.

One Zone storage classes are currently available in various AWS regions in the US, Europe, and Asia, with more regions to follow soon. The pricing information of EFS and different storage classes is available on the pricing page.

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