AWS FSx for Windows

AWS FSx for Windows

  • Amazon FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file storage that is accessible over the industry-standard Service Message Block (SMB) protocol.
  • FSx for Windows is built on Windows Server, delivering a wide range of administrative features such as user quotas, end-user file restore, ACLs, and Microsoft Active Directory (AD) integration.
  • FSx for Windows provides high levels of throughput and IOPS and consistent sub-millisecond latencies.
  • FSx for Windows offers single-AZ and multi-AZ deployment options, fully managed backups, and encryption of data at rest and in transit.
  • FSx for Windows File Server backups are file-system-consistent, highly durable, and incremental.
  • Amazon FSx is accessible from Windows, Linux, and MacOS compute instances and devices.
  • Amazon FSx provides concurrent access to the file system to thousands of compute instances and devices
  • Amazon FSx can connect the file system to EC2, VMware Cloud on AWS, Amazon WorkSpaces, and Amazon AppStream 2.0 instances.
  • Integrated with CloudWatch to monitor storage capacity and file system activity
  • Integrated with CloudTrail to monitor all Amazon FSx API calls
  • Amazon FSx was designed for use cases that require Windows shared file storage, like CRM, ERP, custom or .NET applications, home directories, data analytics, media, and entertainment workflows, web serving and content management, software build environments, and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • FSx file system is accessible from the on-premises environment using an AWS Direct Connect or AWS VPN connection.
  • FSx is accessible from multiple VPCs, AWS accounts, and AWS Regions using VPC Peering connections or AWS Transit Gateway.
  • FSx provides consistent sub-millisecond latencies with SSD storage and single-digit millisecond latencies with HDD storage
  • FSx supports Microsoft’s Distributed File System (DFS) to organize shares into a single folder structure up to hundreds of PB in size

FSx for Windows Security

  • FSx works with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to integrate with  existing Windows environments, which can either be an AWS Managed Microsoft AD or self-managed Microsoft AD
  • FSx provides standard Windows permissions (full support for Windows Access Controls ACLS) for files and folders.
  • FSx for Windows File Server supports encryption at rest for the file system and backups using KMS managed keys
  • FSx encrypts data-in-transit using SMB Kerberos session keys when accessing the file system from clients that support SMB 3.0.
  • FSx supports file-level or folder-level restores to previous versions by supporting Windows shadow copies, which are point in time snapshots of the file system.
  • FSx supports Windows shadow copies to enable the end-users to easily undo file changes and compare file versions by restoring files to previous versions, and backups to support the backup retention and compliance needs.
  • FSx complies with ISO, PCI-DSS, and SOC certifications, and is HIPAA eligible.

FSx for Windows Availability and durability

  • FSx for Windows automatically replicates the data within an Availability Zone (AZ) to protect it from component failure.
  • FSx continuously monitors for hardware failures and automatically replaces infrastructure components in the event of a failure.
  • FSx supports Multi-AZ deployment
    • automatically provisions and maintains a standby file server in a different Availability Zone.
    • any changes written to disk in the file system are synchronously replicated across AZs to standby.
    • helps enhance availability during planned system maintenance.
    • helps protect the data against instance failure and AZ disruption.
    • In the event of planned file system maintenance or unplanned service disruption, FSx automatically fails over to the secondary file server, allowing data accessibility without manual intervention.
  • Multi-AZ file systems automatically failover from the preferred file server to the standby file server if
    • An Availability Zone outage occurs.
    • Preferred file server becomes unavailable.
    • Preferred file server undergoes planned maintenance.
  • FSx supports automatic backups of the file systems, which incrementally store only the changes after the most recent backup.
  • FSx stores backups in S3.

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. A data processing facility wants to move a group of Microsoft Windows servers to the AWS Cloud. Theses servers require access to a shared file system that can integrate with the facility’s existing Active Directory (AD) infrastructure for file and folder permissions. The solution needs to provide seamless support for shared files with AWS and on-premises servers and allow the environment to be highly available. The chosen solution should provide added security by supporting encryption at rest and in transit. The solution should also be cost-effective to implement and manage. Which storage solution would meet these requirements?
    1. An AWS Storage Gateway file gateway joined to the existing AD domain
    2. An Amazon FSx for Windows File Server file system joined to the existing AD domain
    3. An Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file system joined to an AWS managed AD domain
    4. An Amazon S3 bucket mounted on Amazon EC2 instances in multiple Availability Zones running Windows Server and joined to an AWS managed AD domain.