When not explicitly configured Cassandra uses nio.FileStore.getTotalSpace to determine the total amount of available space in order to calculate the preferred commit log size. Amazon EFS instances report a filesystem size of 8 EiB when empty. getTotalSpace causes an integer overflow (JDK-8162520) and returns a negative number, resulting in a negative preferred size and causing the checked integer to throw.
Overriding commitlog_total_space_in_mb is not sufficient as DataDirectory.getAvailableSpace makes use of nio.FileStore.getUsableSpace.
AMQ-6441 is a comparable issue in ActiveMQ.