Amazon S3 is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. It is designed for storing and retrieving any amount of data at any time, from anywhere on the web.

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Use Case: Data Backup and Restore

For example, S3 can be used for backup and restore, disaster recovery, archive, and data lakes for analytics. Companies can upload their data to Amazon S3 and use it as a reliable and secure offsite backup solution.

In addition, with versioning enabled, S3 can store all versions of an object (including all writes and deletes) allowing for restoring previous versions of data when necessary.

import boto3

s3 = boto3.client('s3')
s3.put_object(Bucket='mybackupbucket', Key='myfile', Body=b'mydata')

Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)

Amazon EFS is a scalable file storage for use with Amazon EC2 instances. You can create an EFS file system and configure your instances to mount the file system, allowing you to have a common place to store and share files between instances.

Use Case: Content Management

Companies often use EFS for content management systems where multiple instances need access to the same set of files. For example, a website with multiple web servers can use EFS to share assets like images, files, and scripts so that all servers display the same content.

# create EFS
aws efs create-file-system --creation-token mytoken

# mount EFS to instance
sudo mount -t nfs -o nfsvers=4.1,rsize=1048576,wsize=1048576,hard,timeo=600,retrans=2,noresvport mount-target-DNS:/ efs-mount-point

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)

Amazon EBS allows you to create persistent block storage volumes for your Amazon EC2 instances. The volumes offer consistent, low-latency performance needed to run your workloads.

Use Case: Databases

The high performance, durability, and low latency of EBS volumes make them ideal for use with databases. EBS volumes can be attached to a running EC2 instance and you can use them like you would use a physical hard drive. Furthermore, EBS volumes can be backed up to S3 by taking point-in-time snapshots.

# create EBS volume
aws ec2 create-volume --availability-zone us-west-2a --size 80 --volume-type gp2

# attach EBS volume to instance
aws ec2 attach-volume --volume-id vol-049df61146f12e3bd --instance-id i-0e55e7e8e0186f2d7 --device /dev/sdf

In conclusion, AWS provides a range of storage services with varying capabilities to meet your specific needs. By understanding the differences and use cases, you can choose the best storage option for each of your applications. This knowledge will not only help you in real-world AWS usage but is also integral for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam.

Practice Test

True or False: AWS S3 and Amazon EBS are the same.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: Amazon S3 is an object storage service ideal for storing and retrieving any amount of data while Amazon EBS is a block storage service useful for persistent storage for Amazon EC2 instances.

Which AWS storage service would you ideally use for lift-and-shift enterprise applications?

  • a. Amazon EFS
  • b. Amazon S3
  • c. Amazon EBS

Answer: a. Amazon EFS

Explanation: Amazon EFS is a file storage service for Amazon EC2 instances, which makes it ideal for lift-and-shift enterprise applications that require network file system.

Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) supports NFS version 0 and 1?

  • a. True
  • b. False

Answer: a. True

Explanation: Amazon EFS supports both NFS versions 0 and 1 which allow parallel access to thousands of instances, enabling high levels of aggregation.

Select Suitable storage services for backup, archiving, and disaster recovery.

  • a. Amazon S3
  • b. Amazon EFS
  • c. Amazon EBS

Answer: a. Amazon S3

Explanation: S3 provides a highly durable and scalable storage which makes it ideal for backup, archiving and disaster recovery use-cases.

Amazon EBS supports encryption at rest?

  • a. True
  • b. False

Answer: a. True

Explanation: Amazon EBS supports encryption at rest and in transit making it reliable for sensitive data and ensuring regulatory compliance.

True or False: Single Amazon EC2 instance can be mounted to multiple Amazon EFS file systems.

Answer: True

Explanation: Amazon EFS supports the mounting of a single EC2 instance across multiple file systems.

Which of the following can be an appropriate use case for Amazon S3?

  • a. Storing static website content
  • b. Block storage for EC2 instances
  • c. File system for EC2 instances

Answer: a. Storing static website content

Explanation: Amazon S3 is ideal for storing any type of content including images, videos, log files etc making it suitable for storing static website content.

Amazon EBS is most suitable for:

  • a. Cold archival storage
  • b. High-availability databases
  • c. Storing static website content

Answer: b. High-availability databases

Explanation: Amazon EBS provides block-level storage volumes for use with EC2 instances making it most suitable for high-availability databases.

True or False: You can use Amazon EFS to store website content.

Answer: False.

Explanation: EFS is not meant to be used as a web server.

Which type of Amazon S3 storage is best for long-term archival of backup data?

  • a. Amazon S3 Standard
  • b. Amazon S3 Infrequent Access
  • c. Amazon S3 Glacier

Answer: c. Amazon S3 Glacier

Explanation: Amazon S3 Glacier is most suitable for long-term archival of backup data due to its very low cost.

Amazon EFS supports which of the encryption types?

  • a. KMS
  • b. In-transit
  • c. Both A and B

Answer: c. Both A and B

Explanation: EFS supports encryption at rest using KMS and encryption in transit.

True or False: Snapshots can be taken for Amazon EBS volumes.

Answer: True

Explanation: Snapshots are point-in-time copies of volumes that can be taken for EBS.

AWS Elastic Block Store is ideally used for:

  • a. Large scale data analytics
  • b. Data archiving
  • c. Persistently storing data for EC2 instances

Answer: c. Persistently storing data for EC2 instances

Explanation: Amazon EBS is a high performance block storage service that is designed to be used with EC2 for both throughput and transaction intensive workloads at any scale.

Interview Questions

What is Amazon S3 used for?

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) provides scalable object storage for data archiving, backup and restore, content distribution, and data analysis. It is designed for storing and retrieving any amount of data from anywhere on the web.

Can we use Amazon EBS as an object level storage service?

No, Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) operates as a block-level storage and not an object-level storage. It is mainly used for persisting data from Amazon EC2 instances.

When should Amazon Elastic File System be used?

Amazon EFS is used when shared file storage is required across multiple instances. It’s suitable for applications that require a filesystem interface, file semantics, and concurrent access across multiple instances.

How durable is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3 is designed for 99.999999999% (11 9’s) of durability. It achieves this by automatically creating and storing copies of all S3 objects across multiple systems.

What is the key difference between Amazon EBS and Amazon EFS?

Amazon EBS is a block storage service suitable for EC2 instances and provides the persistence layer for data, while EFS is a file system service that can be shared across multiple EC2 instances and other AWS services.

Can Amazon S3 be used to host a static website?

Yes, Amazon S3 can host a static website. It can deliver the entire website, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image files, and it can be set up to automatically handle errors.

Which Amazon storage service would be most appropriate for a database?

Amazon EBS is well-suited for database-style applications that require random read and write access to data.

Which service would you use for shared storage in AWS?

For shared storage, you would use Amazon EFS (Elastic File System) because it can be accessed concurrently by multiple EC2 instances from multiple Availability Zones.

Can Amazon S3 store and retrieve any amount of data at any time?

Yes, Amazon S3 provides developers the ability to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web.

How is data protection implemented in Amazon EBS?

Amazon EBS provides the ability to back up point-in-time snapshots of your data to Amazon S3 for durable recovery.

Is it possible to access Amazon EBS snapshots across regions?

Yes, Amazon EBS provides the ability to copy snapshots across AWS regions, which you can use for geographical expansion, data duplication, or disaster recovery.

What type of storage service is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3 is an object storage service which is ideal for storing unstructured data.

Which storage service is suitable for big data analytics?

Amazon S3 is suitable for big data analytics as it can store and retrieve any amount of data at any time.

Can I maximize throughput in EFS?

Yes, the throughput on Amazon EFS scales as the size of the file system in the standard storage class grows.

Is it possible to scale storage capacity with Amazon EFS?

Yes, Amazon EFS is designed to provide elastic capacity that automatically scales as files are added and removed, thus providing virtually unlimited storage capacity.

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