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Table of contents
A brief about AWS and Cloud Computing
Understanding Amazon EBS
Feature of EBS
Understanding Amazon EFS
Feature of EFS
When to Choose AWS EBS vs EFS?
Choose EBS 
Choose EFS 
Difference between AWS EBS vs EFS
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Data stored be encrypted in AWS EBS and EFS? 
How does data duplication work in AWS EFS? 
Can EBS volumes be shared among multiple EC2 instances?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024


Author Dhruv Rawat
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In the world of Amazon Web services (AWS), two well-known storage solutions that stand out are Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Elastic File System (EFS). These services are important in the cloud computing ecosystem as they offer different capabilities to meet various application needs. 


Let's take a deep dive and understand what AWS EBS and EFS are and see when to use them in the cloud journey.

Before continuing to the AWS EBS vs EFS, first, let's understand AWS and Cloud Computing.

A brief about AWS and Cloud Computing

AWS stands for Amazon web services, and it offers cloud services to other companies related to storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment.


AWS and cloud computing


Cloud computing refers to storing and using data and programs over the internet instead of a physical computer. It's like having a digital backpack. It can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

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Understanding Amazon EBS

EBS, i.e.Elastic Block Store (EBS) can be described as a personal storage drive. It only contains the important data of the applications that require high IOPS and low latency. EBS works with a virtual server called EC2 instances. 

EC2 instances are used to run applications on AWS and are designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. 

EBS graphical representation

EBS provides super safe storage for the files because the files get replicated across different computers in multiple availability zones, which keeps the file safe even if one computer runs into a problem.

Feature of EBS

EBS offers a range of features, such as:

  • High performance: EBS volumes provide low latency and high IOPS to applications that require large disk spaces or databases.


  • Durability: EBS volumes are replicated across multiple Availability Zones for high availability and durability. 
  • Scalability: EBS volumes can be easily scaled up or down with respect to the need of the application.

Understanding Amazon EFS

EFS, i.e. Elastic File System (EFS) can be understood as a massive shared notebook. It is a good choice for applications that require shared file access, such as content management systems and media streaming applications. It can be accessed by multiple virtual computers, i.e. EC2 instances, at the same time.

EFS graphical representation

EFS can be used when creating a team project so that the team can see and update to the latest version as the project progresses.

Feature of EFS

EFS offers a range of features, such as:

  • Scalability: EFS can scale automatically to meet the changing needs of the applications.
  • Performance: EFS provides low latency, making it a good choice for applications requiring a lot of file access. 
  • Durability: EFS data is copied across multiple Availability Zones for high availability and durability

When to Choose AWS EBS vs EFS?

Let's understand when to choose which one by the points below:

Choose EBS 

  • EBS will always stick around the virtual computer. It's fast and perfect for when there is a requirement for private storage space.
  • Choose EBS when there is a requirement for high-speed storage. For example, running super-fast games or apps that need a lot of power
  • EBS is perfect when there is a need for point-in-time snapshots and data backups.

Choose EFS 

  • EFS is simple to use and is used in modernised application development like media and content-sharing applications.
  • When there are multiple EC2 instances that need shared access to the same files.
  • EBS is perfect for applications that require automatic stability to accommodate the growing storage demands.

Difference between AWS EBS vs EFS

Below is a table presenting the differences between AWS EBS vs EFS:

Parameters  Elastic Block Store (EBS) Elastic File System (EFS)
High-Performance Apps Perfect for applications needing fast data access Not ideal, optimized for shared access only.
Data-Intensive Workloads Perfect for applications with high-throughput EFS is more focused on shared collaboration
Individual Storage Dedicated storage for each EC2 instance EFS is a shared file system
Collaborative Projects Not designed for shared access Perfect for applications with multiple instances
Scalable File Storage Do Not scalable automatically Scales automatically based on storage needs
Point-in-time Snapshots Allows taking snapshots for data backups EFS does not support snapshots
Web Server Hosting Works well for web server data Ideal for web servers with shared data requirements


Frequently Asked Questions

Can Data stored be encrypted in AWS EBS and EFS? 

Yes, both AWS EBS and EFS support encryption of the data stored, which acts as an extra layer of security for the data. By enabling encryption, we can ensure the data remains protected and confidential.

How does data duplication work in AWS EFS? 

AWS EFS duplicates data across various availability zones within the region. It ensures data availability and durability, as when one zone experiences an issue, the other zones can be used to access the data. 

Can EBS volumes be shared among multiple EC2 instances?

No, EBS volumes cannot be shared among multiple EC2 instances. They are attached to one instance at a time and cannot be accessed or shared concurrently by multiple instances.


Congratulations, you did a fantastic job!!. This article covered AWS EBS vs EFS services, their key features, and which one to choose according to the requirements and differences. At last, some frequently asked questions have been discussed.

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