July 1, 2020: Publish up to date to take care that Amazon EFS elevated file system minimal throughput, when burst credit are exhausted, to 1 MiB/s.

I’m very completely happy to announce that AWS Lambda features can now mount an Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), a scalable and elastic NFS file system storing knowledge inside and throughout a number of availability zones (AZ) for top availability and sturdiness. On this means, you should use a well-known file system interface to retailer and share knowledge throughout all concurrent execution environments of 1, or extra, Lambda features. EFS helps full file system entry semantics, reminiscent of robust consistency and file locking.

To attach an EFS file system with a Lambda perform, you employ an EFS access point, an application-specific entry level into an EFS file system that consists of the working system consumer and group to make use of when accessing the file system, file system permissions, and might restrict entry to a particular path within the file system. This helps protecting file system configuration decoupled from the appliance code.

You possibly can entry the identical EFS file system from a number of features, utilizing the identical or totally different entry factors. For instance, utilizing totally different EFS entry factors, every Lambda perform can entry totally different paths in a file system, or use totally different file system permissions.

You possibly can share the identical EFS file system with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) situations, containerized purposes utilizing Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate, and on-premises servers. Following this method, you should use totally different computing architectures (features, containers, digital servers) to course of the identical recordsdata. For instance, a Lambda perform reacting to an occasion can replace a configuration file that’s learn by an software operating on containers. Or you should use a Lambda perform to course of recordsdata uploaded by an online software operating on EC2.

On this means, some use circumstances are a lot simpler to implement with Lambda features. For instance:

  • Processing or loading knowledge bigger than the house out there in /tmp (512MB).
  • Loading probably the most up to date model of recordsdata that change ceaselessly.
  • Utilizing knowledge science packages that require space for storing to load fashions and different dependencies.
  • Saving perform state throughout invocations (utilizing distinctive file names, or file system locks).
  • Constructing purposes requiring entry to giant quantities of reference knowledge.
  • Migrating legacy purposes to serverless architectures.
  • Interacting with knowledge intensive workloads designed for file system entry.
  • Partially updating recordsdata (utilizing file system locks for concurrent entry).
  • Shifting a listing and all its content material inside a file system with an atomic operation.

Creating an EFS File System
To mount an EFS file system, your Lambda features should be linked to an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud that may attain the EFS mount targets. For simplicity, I’m utilizing right here the default VPC that’s robotically created in every AWS Area.

Observe that, when connecting Lambda features to a VPC, networking works otherwise. In case your Lambda features are utilizing Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or Amazon DynamoDB, it’s best to create a gateway VPC endpoint for these providers. In case your Lambda features have to entry the general public web, for instance to name an exterior API, it is advisable configure a NAT Gateway. I normally don’t change the configuration of my default VPCs. If I’ve particular necessities, I create a brand new VPC with non-public and public subnets utilizing the AWS Cloud Development Kit, or use considered one of these AWS CloudFormation sample templates. On this means, I can handle networking as code.

Within the EFS console, I choose Create file system and guarantee that the default VPC and its subnets are chosen. For all subnets, I exploit the default safety group that offers community entry to different sources within the VPC utilizing the identical safety group.

Within the subsequent step, I give the file system a Title tag and depart all different choices to their default values.

Then, I choose Add entry level. I exploit 1001 for the consumer and group IDs and restrict entry to the /message path. Within the Proprietor part, used to create the folder robotically when first connecting to the entry level, I exploit the identical consumer and group IDs as earlier than, and 750 for permissions. With this permissions, the proprietor can learn, write, and execute recordsdata. Customers in the identical group can solely learn. Different customers haven’t any entry.

I am going on, and full the creation of the file system.

Utilizing EFS with Lambda Capabilities
To start out with a easy use case, let’s construct a Lambda perform implementing a MessageWall API so as to add, learn, or delete textual content messages. Messages are saved in a file on EFS so that each one concurrent execution environments of that Lambda perform see the identical content material.

Within the Lambda console, I create a brand new MessageWall perform and choose the Python 3.eight runtime. Within the Permissions part, I depart the default. This can create a brand new AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) position with primary permissions.

When the perform is created, within the Permissions tab I click on on the IAM position title to open the position within the IAM console. Right here, I choose Connect insurance policies so as to add the AWSLambdaVPCAccessExecutionRole and AmazonElasticFileSystemClientReadWriteAccess AWS managed policies. In a manufacturing setting, you’ll be able to prohibit entry to a particular VPC and EFS entry level.

Again within the Lambda console, I edit the VPC configuration to attach the MessageWall perform to all subnets within the default VPC, utilizing the identical default safety group I used for the EFS mount factors.

Now, I choose Add file system within the new File system part of the perform configuration. Right here, I select the EFS file system and accesss level I created earlier than. For the native mount level, I exploit /mnt/msg and Save. That is the trail the place the entry level will probably be mounted, and corresponds to the /message folder in my EFS file system.

Within the Perform code editor of the Lambda console, I paste the next code and Save.

import os
import fcntl

MSG_FILE_PATH = '/mnt/msg/content material'

def get_messages():
        with open(MSG_FILE_PATH, 'r') as msg_file:
            fcntl.flock(msg_file, fcntl.LOCK_SH)
            messages = msg_file.learn()
            fcntl.flock(msg_file, fcntl.LOCK_UN)
        messages = 'No message but.'
    return messages

def add_message(new_message):
    with open(MSG_FILE_PATH, 'a') as msg_file:
        fcntl.flock(msg_file, fcntl.LOCK_EX)
        msg_file.write(new_message + "n")
        fcntl.flock(msg_file, fcntl.LOCK_UN)

def delete_messages():
        os.take away(MSG_FILE_PATH)

def lambda_handler(occasion, context):
    methodology = occasion['requestContext']['http']['method']
    if methodology == 'GET':
        messages = get_messages()
    elif methodology == 'POST':
        new_message = occasion['body']
        messages = get_messages()
    elif methodology == 'DELETE':
        messages = 'Messages deleted.'
        messages = 'Technique unsupported.'
    return messages

I choose Add set off and within the configuration I choose the Amazon API Gateway. I create a brand new HTTP API. For simplicity, I depart my API endpoint open.

With the API Gateway set off chosen, I copy the endpoint of the brand new API I simply created.

I can now use curl to check the API:

$ curl https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
No message but.
$ curl -X POST -H "Content material-Sort: textual content/plain" -d 'Good day from EFS!' https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
Good day from EFS!

$ curl -X POST -H "Content material-Sort: textual content/plain" -d 'Good day once more :)' https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
Good day from EFS!
Good day once more :)

$ curl https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
Good day from EFS!
Good day once more :)

$ curl -X DELETE https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
Messages deleted.

$ curl https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MessageWall
No message but.

It could be comparatively simple so as to add distinctive file names (or particular subdirectories) for various customers and prolong this straightforward instance right into a extra full messaging software. As a developer, I recognize the simplicity of utilizing a well-known file system interface in my code. Nonetheless, relying in your necessities, EFS throughput configuration should be taken into consideration. See the part Understanding EFS efficiency later within the publish for extra data.

Now, let’s use the brand new EFS file system assist in AWS Lambda to construct one thing extra fascinating. For instance, let’s use the extra house out there with EFS to construct a machine studying inference API processing photographs.

Constructing a Serverless Machine Studying Inference API
To create a Lambda perform implementing machine studying inference, I have to be ready, in my code, to import the mandatory libraries and cargo the machine studying mannequin. Usually, when doing so, the general dimension of these dependencies goes past the present AWS Lambda limits within the deployment package deal dimension. A technique of fixing that is to precisely reduce the libraries to ship with the perform code, after which obtain the mannequin from an S3 bucket straight to reminiscence (as much as Three GB, together with the reminiscence required for processing the mannequin) or to /tmp (up 512 MB). This practice minimization and obtain of the mannequin has by no means been simple to implement. Now, I can use an EFS file system.

The Lambda perform I’m constructing this time wants entry to the general public web to obtain a pre-trained mannequin and the photographs to run inference on. So I create a brand new VPC with private and non-private subnets, and configure a NAT Gateway and the route desk utilized by the the non-public subnets to provide entry to the general public web. Utilizing the AWS Cloud Development Kit, it’s only a few lines of code.

I create a brand new EFS file system and an entry level within the new VPC utilizing comparable configurations as earlier than. This time, I exploit /ml for the entry level path.

Then, I create a brand new MLInference Lambda perform utilizing the Python 3.7 runtime with the identical arrange as earlier than for permissions, and join the perform to the non-public subnets of the brand new VPC. Machine studying inference is kind of a heavy workload, so I choose Three GB for reminiscence and 5 minutes for timeout. Within the File system configuration, I add the brand new entry level and mount it below /mnt/inference.

The machine studying framework I’m utilizing for this perform is PyTorch, and I have to put the libraries required to run inference within the EFS file system. I launch an Amazon Linux EC2 occasion in a public subnet of the brand new VPC. Within the occasion particulars, I choose one of many availability zones the place I’ve an EFS mount level, after which Add file system to robotically mount the identical EFS file system I’m utilizing for the perform. For the safety teams of the EC2 occasion, I choose the default safety group (to have the ability to mount the EFS file system) and one that offers inbound entry to SSH (to have the ability to connect with the occasion).

I connect with the occasion utilizing SSH and create a necessities.txt file containing the dependencies I want:


The EFS file system is robotically mounted by EC2 below /mnt/efs/fs1. There, I create the /ml listing and alter the proprietor of the trail to the consumer and group I’m utilizing now that I’m linked (ec2-user).

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/efs/fs1/ml
$ sudo chown ec2-user:ec2-user /mnt/efs/fs1/ml

I set up Python Three and use pip to put in the dependencies within the /mnt/efs/fs1/ml/lib path:

$ sudo yum set up python3
$ pip3 set up -t /mnt/efs/fs1/ml/lib -r necessities.txt

Lastly, I give possession of the entire /ml path to the consumer and group I used for the EFS entry level:

$ sudo chown -R 1001:1001 /mnt/efs/fs1/ml

General, the dependencies in my EFS file system are utilizing about 1.5 GB of storage.

I am going again to the MLInference Lambda perform configuration. Relying on the runtime you employ, it is advisable discover a approach to inform the place to search for dependencies if they aren’t included with the deployment package deal or in a layer. Within the case of Python, I set the PYTHONPATH setting variable to /mnt/inference/lib.

I’m going to make use of PyTorch Hub to obtain this pre-trained machine learning model to recognize the kind of bird in a picture. The mannequin I’m utilizing for this instance is comparatively small, about 200 MB. To cache the mannequin on the EFS file system, I set the TORCH_HOME setting variable to /mnt/inference/mannequin.

All dependencies at the moment are within the file system mounted by the perform, and I can kind my code straight within the Perform code editor. I paste the next code to have a machine studying inference API:

import urllib
import json
import os

import torch
from PIL import Picture
from torchvision import transforms

transform_test = transforms.Compose([
    transforms.Resize((600, 600), Image.BILINEAR),
    transforms.CenterCrop((448, 448)),
    transforms.Normalize((0.485, 0.456, 0.406), (0.229, 0.224, 0.225)),

mannequin = torch.hub.load('nicolalandro/ntsnet-cub200', 'ntsnet', pretrained=True,
                       **{'topN': 6, 'machine': 'cpu', 'num_classes': 200})

def lambda_handler(occasion, context):
    url = occasion['queryStringParameters']['url']

    img = Picture.open(urllib.request.urlopen(url))
    scaled_img = transform_test(img)
    torch_images = scaled_img.unsqueeze(0)

    with torch.no_grad():
        top_n_coordinates, concat_out, raw_logits, concat_logits, part_logits, top_n_index, top_n_prob = mannequin(torch_images)

        _, predict = torch.max(concat_logits, 1)
        pred_id = predict.merchandise()
        bird_class = mannequin.bird_classes[pred_id]
        print('bird_class:', bird_class)

    return json.dumps({
        "bird_class": bird_class,

I add the API Gateway as set off, equally to what I did earlier than for the MessageWall perform. Now, I can use the serverless API I simply created to investigate photos of birds. I’m not actually an knowledgeable within the discipline, so I seemed for a few fascinating photographs on Wikipedia:

I name the API to get a prediction for these two photos:

$ curl https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MLInference?url=https://path/to/picture/atlantic-puffin.jpg

{"bird_class": "106.Horned_Puffin"}

$ curl https://1a2b3c4d5e.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/default/MLInference?url=https://path/to/picture/western-grebe.jpg

{"bird_class": "053.Western_Grebe"}

It really works! Taking a look at Amazon CloudWatch Logs for the Lambda perform, I see that the primary invocation, when the perform masses and prepares the pre-trained mannequin for inference on CPUs, takes about 30 seconds. To keep away from a sluggish response, or a timeout from the API Gateway, I exploit Provisioned Concurrency to keep the function ready. The subsequent invocations take about 1.eight seconds.

Understanding EFS Efficiency
When utilizing EFS along with your Lambda perform, is essential to grasp how EFS performance works. For throughput, every file system might be configured to make use of bursting or provisioned mode.

When utilizing bursting mode, all EFS file methods, no matter dimension, can burst at the least to 100 MiB/s of throughput. These over 1 TiB in the usual storage class can burst to 100 MiB/s per TiB of information saved within the file system. EFS makes use of a credit score system to find out when file methods can burst. Every file system earns credit over time at a baseline price that’s decided by the dimensions of the file system that’s saved in the usual storage class. A file system makes use of credit at any time when it reads or writes knowledge. The baseline price is 50 KiB/s per GiB of storage. For file methods smaller than 20 GiB, minimal throughput is 1 MiB/s.

You possibly can monitor using credit in CloudWatch, every EFS file system has a BurstCreditBalance metric. In case you see that you’re consuming all credit, and the BurstCreditBalance metric goes to zero, it’s best to allow provisioned throughput mode for the file system, from 1 to 1024 MiB/s. There’s an additional cost when using provisioned throughput, primarily based on how a lot throughput you’re including on high of the baseline price.

To keep away from operating out of credit, it’s best to consider the throughput as the typical you want in the course of the day. For instance, when you have a 10GB file system, you’ve 500 KiB/s of baseline price, and every single day you’ll be able to learn/write 500 KiB/s * 3600 seconds * 24 hours = 43.2 GiB.

If the libraries and the whole lot you perform must load throughout initialization are about 2 GiB, and you solely entry the EFS file system throughout perform initialization, like within the MLInference Lambda perform above, meaning you’ll be able to initialize your perform (for instance due to updates or scaling up actions) about 20 occasions per day. That’s not rather a lot, and you’d most likely have to configure provisioned throughput for the EFS file system.

When you have 10 MiB/s of provisioned throughput, then every single day you’ve 10 MiB/s * 3600 seconds * 24 hours = 864 GiB to learn or write. In case you solely use the EFS file system at perform initialization to examine 2 GB of dependencies, it means that you could have 400 initializations per day. Which may be sufficient in your use case.

Within the Lambda perform configuration, you can even use the reserve concurrency management to restrict the utmost variety of execution environments utilized by a perform.

If, by mistake, the BurstCreditBalance goes right down to zero, and the file system is comparatively small (for instance, just a few GiBs), there’s the chance that your perform will get caught and might’t execute quick sufficient earlier than reaching the timeout. In that case, it’s best to allow (or improve) provisioned throughput for the EFS file system, or throttle your function by setting the reserved concurrency to zero to keep away from all invocations till the EFS file system has sufficient credit.

Understanding Safety Controls
When utilizing EFS file methods with AWS Lambda, you’ve a number of ranges of safety controls. I’m doing a fast recap right here as a result of they need to all be thought-about in the course of the design and implementation of your serverless purposes. You could find extra data on using IAM authorization and access points with EFS in this post.

To attach a Lambda perform to an EFS file system, you want:

  • Community visibility when it comes to VPC routing/peering and safety group.
  • IAM permissions for the Lambda perform to entry the VPC and mount (learn solely or learn/write) the EFS file system.
  • You possibly can specify within the IAM coverage situations which EFS entry level the Lambda perform can use.
  • The EFS entry level can restrict entry to a particular path within the file system.
  • File system safety (consumer ID, group ID, permissions) can restrict learn, write, or executable entry for every file or listing mounted by a Lambda perform.

The Lambda perform execution setting and the EFS mount level makes use of trade commonplace Transport Layer Safety (TLS) 1.2 to encrypt data in transit. You possibly can provision Amazon EFS to encrypt data at rest. Knowledge encrypted at relaxation is transparently encrypted whereas being written, and transparently decrypted whereas being learn, so that you don’t have to change your purposes. Encryption keys are managed by the AWS Key Management Service (KMS), eliminating the necessity to construct and preserve a safe key administration infrastructure.

Accessible Now
This new characteristic is obtainable in all areas the place AWS Lambda and Amazon EFS can be found, except for the areas in China, the place we’re working to make this integration out there as quickly as attainable. For extra data on availability, please see the AWS Region table. To be taught extra, please see the documentation.

EFS for Lambda might be configured utilizing the console, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), the AWS SDKs, and the Serverless Application Model. This characteristic lets you construct knowledge intensive purposes that have to course of giant recordsdata. For instance, now you can unzip a 1.5 GB file in just a few traces of code, or course of a 10 GB JSON doc. It’s also possible to load libraries or packages which are bigger than the 250 MB package deal deployment dimension restrict of AWS Lambda, enabling new machine studying, knowledge modelling, monetary evaluation, and ETL jobs situations.

Amazon EFS for Lambda is supported at launch in AWS Partner Network options, together with Epsagon, Lumigo, Datadog, HashiCorp Terraform, and Pulumi.

There isn’t a extra cost for utilizing EFS from Lambda features. You pay the usual value for AWS Lambda and Amazon EFS. Lambda execution environments all the time connect with the best mount goal in an AZ and never throughout AZs. You possibly can connect with EFS in the identical AZ by way of cross account VPC however there might be knowledge switch prices for that. We don’t assist cross area, or cross AZ connectivity between EFS and Lambda.


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