SoftNAS® Essentials does not support EBS storage, instead focusing on the more cost-effective object storage option. With ObjectBacker™ Backend Storage Acceleration with Patent pending ObjFast™ technology, which writes data to object storage up to 400% faster than prior SoftNAS® NAS versions, Essentials improves object storage performance to rival that of SoftNAS® block storage backends. Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet, specifically designed to make web-scale computing easier. Amazon S3 and SoftNAS S3 Cloud Disks provide access to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. 

Note: For Amazon AWS S3 Users only, SoftNAS recommends the use of VPC Endpoints. For more information on VPC Endpoints, see S3 Cloud Disk Best Practices.

How to Add SoftNAS S3 Cloud Disks

  1. Launch SoftNAS StorageCenter and choose Disk Devices from the main menu.

    The Disk Devices panel appears. 

  2. From Disk Devices, choose Add Device.

  3. From Add Device screen, choose the desired S3 provider you wish to connect to from the dropdown, and click Next to continue. 

Amazon S3 Cloud Extender Disk Settings

The following section illustrates how to connect to your Amazon S3 Cloud Extender Disk. The settings presented, however, (RAM, Bucket Basename, block cache file, etc.) apply equally to the other cloud disk extenders available for selection.

If adding your S3 Cloud Disk through Amazon, the following wizard pop-up will appear, allowing you to connect by entering credentials, associating a region and a bucket, as well as configuring disk size and encryption.

Note: The settings below apply equally to all cloud disk extenders listed in the sections following. If using another cloud disk extender, please follow the guidance provided by said vendor.


At least 1 GB of RAM is required to support S3 disks.

Bucket Basename

This name is used to automatically generate unique S3 bucket names to host the S3 Cloud Disk. Enter any unique bucket name comprised of all lower-case letters or an automatically generated name.


Use the pull-down menu to choose a regional data center where the S3 Cloud Disk and its corresponding S3 bucket will be created and maintained.

For more information on this topic, consult:

Amazon Regions and Availability Zones

Next, choose cloud disk options:

Maximum Disk Size

This value can be between 1 GB and 4095 TB (4 petabytes). This is the maximum cloud disk size for the device. As cloud disks are thin provisioned, there are no Amazon S3 storage costs until data is actually stored in a SoftNAS® storage pool and volume. 
When choosing a Maximum Disk Size, please keep in mind that a SoftNAS® license will be required for the maximum amount of storage planned for use. VMs will consume approximately 30GB of disk space.

Encrypted disk

Check this option and provide a Disk Password to encrypt the contents of the S3 cloud disk. This will ensure its contents cannot be accessed, except via this S3 Cloud Disk. 
Press Create S3 Cloud Disk.

The S3 Cloud Disk is created, automatically partitioned, and ready for use.

Note: The Extra Disk Info column shows the S3 bucket name and region where the bucket is located. 

The next step is to Create a Storage Pool which uses the already-partitioned S3 cloud disk.