Amazon Elastic File System Vs S3 – Easy Comparison

The reason why we need this comparison of Amazon elastic file system vs S3 is to understand the difference so that we can pick the right solution for the requirement in hand. There are multiple solutions available on AWS cloud for your different storage needs.

There are technical differences, commercial differences, and there are differences in how you can consume these storage services.

This comparison of Amazon elastic file system vs s3 will help you to identify the right solution for you, as the services themselves offer different consumption. The key is you should have the correct requirements so that it becomes easy for you to select the correct storage system for your requirements.

So, let’s jump into the Amazon s3 vs EFS comparison and understand the difference.

Amazon Elastic File System Vs S3 – Easy Comparison

TypeEFS is a file storage systemS3 is an object storage system
ConnectYou can consume through EC2 You can consume it without EC2 too
Type of storage technologyPOSIX-compliant file storageObject storage
AccessMultiple EC2 instances can concurrently-access EFSAny service that has the right permissions can access S3
Max Storage Capacity DefinitionUnlimited system sizeVirtually unlimited 
Max Single File/Object Size47 TB5 TB
Throughput10+ GB per second.
Provisioned throughput plan are available
Multiple GBs per second
Availability  SLA99.9% SLA. Runs in multi – AZS3 Standard – 99.99% availability S3 Standard-IA – 99.9% availability
ScalabilityAutomatically grow and shrink as you add and delete files.Highly scalable, no limit
Access Control RequiredPOSIX-compliant user and group-level permissions Uses bucket policies and IAM user policies
Backup Uses replication through third party tools or AWS DataSynch Use versioning or cross-region replication
PricingYou pay for the amount of file system storage usedPrices are based on the location and the more you use S3 storage costs you less
Interface AvailableWeb and file system interfaceWeb interface
Service Access PointAccessed within one’s VPCCan be accessed within and outside a VPC using S3 bucket URL
Use CaseIs meant to be EC2 driveApplications & shareable workloads
Amazon S3 vs EFS

What Is Amazon EBS?

Our physical server needs a local disk drive to have OS and file storage, similarly, virtual machines also need a drive, EBS (Amazon Elastic Block Storage) is the storage needed by a virtual machine to have its local drive.

EBS can be used, once it is attached to the virtual machine EC2 (computing service). Amazon EBS is not a standalone storage service. Amazon EBS stores data as blocks of the same size. It is just like our traditional file system.

It is an easily scalable storage service, you just need to buy and configure a new, larger volume to your EC2 instance.

Amazon EBS Volume Types

  • General Purpose (SSD) Volumes
  • Provisioned IOPS (SSD) Volumes
  • Magnetic Volumes

What Is Amazon S3?

S3 stands for Simple Storage Service, also known as Amazon S3, it’s a storage service from AWS Cloud. It is an object storage system, where the objects are stored without hierarchy.

Each file stored in S3 has a unique identifier (key). Now this unique identifier (key) is used at the address and assesses the file directly using web requests. These web requests can be from anywhere. Any external user or machine with permission can access objects in your bucket via web requests.

Using S3 service you can host website with static content. With this, you can configure the CDN content delivery network (AWS CloudFront).

Amazon S3 is a highly scalable storage service with virtually no limits for growth, AWS can give you eleven nines data durability (99.999999999%) for S3 storage service available across different regions and availability zone.


EFS service is designed to provide flexible storage for multiple EC2 instances, and it is a highly scalable file storage service. While S3 is an object storage system and designed to provide low cost archiving and data storage options. This can directly interface with other services without the need to go through EC2 instances.

Now based using this understanding you can map your requirements and select the correct storage that fulfills all your needs. Hope you will like this comparison, let us know you thoughts on this in the comment section.  

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