Amazon makes AWS EFS file read ops 5x faster

Amazon Web Services has upped the read operations per second for default Elastic File Systems users from 7,000 to 35,000 – at no charge.

The company has posted some details in a blog, which explains there are two file access modes:

  • General purpose (GP) with now 35,000 random read IOPS,
  • MAX I/O performance mode with up to 500,000 IOPS and slightly higher metadata latencies than GP mode.

AWS’s EFS competes with Azure and Google file services. With this initiative, AWS has made its default or standard file access seven times faster than Google’s standard access mode. Amazon’s MAX IO performance mode’s 500,000 IOPS comfortably outstrips Google’s premium mode, with its 60,000 IOPS.

Google Cloud Filestore

At the end of 2018 Google began beta testing Cloud Filestore with NFS v3 support and two classes of service:

  • Standard costing 20¢/GB/month, 80 MB/sec max throughput and 5,000 max IOPS,
  • Premium at 30¢/GB/month, 700 MB/sec and 30,000 IOPS.

Google also offered startup Elastifile’s file service which supported NFS v3/4, SMB, AWS S3 and the Hadoop File System. The service delivered millions of IOPS at less than 2ms latency, according to Google, It bought Elastifile in July 2019 and said it would be integrated into the Cloud Filestore. This now offers standard (5,000 IOPS) and performance (60,000 IOPS) tiers.

Azure Files

Microsoft’s Azure Files supports SMB access and is sold in three flavours

  • General Purpose V2 or basic with blob, file, queue, table, disk and data lake support,
  • General Purpose V1 for legacy users with blob, file, queue, table, and disk support,
  • FileStorage for file only.

GP v2 and v1 have standard and premium performance tiers, with files access only in the standard tier. The premium tier includes FileStorage and uses SSDs. The default premium tier quota is 100 baseline IOPS with bursting up to 300 IOPS for an hour. If the client exceeds baseline IOPS, it will get throttled by the service.

This performance is nowhere near AWS EFS or Google Cloud Filestore. levels. Microsoft will need to raise its game here.

Update 8 April 2020. Azure Files Principal PM Manager Mike Emard contacted Blocks & Files to tell us: “Azure Premium Files supports up to 100,000 IOPS and 10GB/s of throughput.” Inspect https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/files/storage-files-planning#storage-tiers to find out more.

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