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Importing Data


EFS in Practice
7m 23s
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This course dives into the AWS Elastic File Service - commonly known as EFS - and explains the service, its components, when it should be used, and how to configure it. EFS is considered file-level storage, supporting access by multiple EC2 instances at once, and is also optimized for low latency access. It appears to users like a file manager interface and uses standard file system semantics, such as locking files, renaming files, updating them, and using a hierarchical structure. This is just like what we're used to on standard premises-based systems.

The course kicks off with a high-level overview of EFS including its features, benefits, and use cases. This is followed by a review of the different storage class options it provides, namely Standard and Infrequent Access. A demonstration then provides a walk-through on how to configure an EFS file system within your VPC. The course covers how to secure your elastic file system, touching upon access control, permissions, and encryption as methods for protecting your data effectively. Finally, it moves on to importing existing on-premises data into EFS. If you want to cement your knowledge of this topic with hands-on experience, you can then try out the Introduction to Elastic File System lab.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the AWS Elastic File System along with its benefits and use cases
  • Understand which performance and storage class to configure based upon your workloads
  • Configure and create an elastic file system
  • Mount EFS to your existing Linux instances
  • Understand some security features and requirements of EFS
  • Import existing data into your elastic file system

Intended Audience

This course has been created for:

  • Storage engineers responsible for maintaining, managing and administering file-level storage 
  • Security engineers who secure and safeguard data within AWS
  • IT professionals preparing for either the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam or one of the three Associate-level certifications
  • Those who are starting their AWS journey and want to understand the various services that exist and their use cases


To get the most from this course, you should be familiar with the basic concepts of AWS as well as with some of its core components, such as EC2 connectivity and configuration, in addition to VPC. You should also have an understanding of IAM permissions and how access is granted to resources.


Hello and welcome to this short lecture, which will provide a high-level overview of how you can import on-premise data into EFS. If you're looking to use EFS, then it's likely that you already have a dataset in mind that you think would be better served using this service. For example, your home directories for your employees that might be served on local file servers on-premises. So how would you go about moving this data into EFS to use the benefits that it offers? 

 The recommended course of action is to use another service called AWS DataSync. This service is specifically designed to help you securely move and migrate and synchronize data for your existing on-premises site into AWS Storage Services such as Amazon EFS or Amazon S3 with simplicity and ease. The data transfer can either be accomplished over a direct connect link or over the internet. To sync source files from your on-premises environment, you must download the DataSync agent as a VMware ESXi host to your site. The agent is configured with the source and destination target and associated with your AWS account, and logically sits in between your on-premise file system and your EFS file system. 

DataSync is also very useful if you want to transfer files between EFS file systems either within the same AWS account or cross-account and owned by a third-party. To help with the management and implementation of this transfer, AWS has created an AWS DataSync in-cloud quick start and scheduler, which can be found here on GitHub.

Within the overview documentation of this tool, the following use cases are provided. You can migrate an NFS file system from Amazon EC2 to Amazon EFS within the same AWS region. Replace an NFS file system from Amazon EC2 in one AWS region to an Amazon EFS file system in a different AWS region for disaster recovery. You can migrate an Amazon EFS file system from EFS standard with no lifecycle management to an EFS file system with lifecycle management enabled.

File systems with lifecycle management enabled will automatically move to a lower-cost Infrequent Access storage class based on a predefined lifecycle policy. You can migrate an Amazon EFS file system from one performance mode to another performance mode within the same AWS region, and replicate an Amazon EFS file system from one AWS region to another Amazon EFS file system in a different AWS region for disaster recovery. The configuration and implementation of the AWS DataSync tool is out of scope of this course. However, you can find more information on this service here. 

That brings me to the end of this lecture. Coming up next, I'll be providing a summary of the key points throughout the previous lectures of this course.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.