Amazon S3

Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is an object storage service on the cloud with unparalleled industry-leading scalability, data availability, security and performance. It is one of the legacy services launched in 2006. It is designed for 99.999999999% durability and 99.99% availability which translates to only 43 minutes of downtime every month. Object-based storage is an architecture that manages unstructured data in the form of object blobs along with metadata as opposed to other storage architectures like file-systems which treats data as a file hierarchy ( used in Operating Systems ) and block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks ( used in physical storage devices like Hard Disk, DVD etc.., )

The basic storage unit of S3 is a bucket having a unique user-assigned key called bucket-name. Files or objects can be stored within these buckets. Buckets and its content can be managed by the GUI ( AWS console ) or programmatically via language-specific SDK or Amazon S3 REST Endpoints. Each file in the S3 bucket can be up to 5 Terabytes in size with up to 2 Kilobytes of metadata. Files larger than 5 Terabytes can be stored as multi-part files. But the logic of breaking down while storing n S3 and consolidating the file parts after they are retrieved from S3 needs to be handled by the consumer.

S3 Storage Classes

S3 Standard

Offers the highest durability, availability and performance which is the default storage class of S3 because it delivers lowest latency and high throughput. It is suitable for a variety of use cases like content distribution, dynamic websites, mobile and gaming applications and object storage.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

This class is designed to optimize cost by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective tier, without performance impact or operational overhead. It works by placing objects in two access tier-one frequent access tier and optimized for the low-cost tier. This at a small cost of monitoring and automation fee by Amazon.

S3 One Zone Infrequent Access

This class is similar to S3-IA suited for infrequent access, but rapid access is provided when needed. The difference is the data is stored only in a single AZ as opposed to storing in minimum 3 AZ’s like in other storage classes. This translates to a 20% lower cost than S3-IA. This suits customers who are not after the resilience and availability offered by S3-IA at lower cost.

S3 Glacier

This class is cold storage suitable for archiving files. Suitable for storing very infrequently accessed files like old media archives. It supports configurable retrieval times ranging from minutes to hours. Ideal for the lowest cost with highly durable storage.

S3 Glacier Deep Archive

Same as Glacier but suited for data that are accessed once or twice in an entire year. Data storage cost is the lowest when compared to all other classes. Suited for customers in highly regulated industries like Financial Services, Healthcare and Public sectors which are required to retain data sets for the last 7 to 10 years or longer to meet regulatory compliance. Restore time is close to 12 hours.

Access Control

Bucket policies provide centralized, access control to buckets. The bucket access is given in two ways namely Bucket Policy and Bucket Control list. In Bucket Policy, the user can give customized access to particular user, account and business hours. Access control lists (ACL) can only add (grant) permissions on individual objects and policies.

Each bucket and object in Amazon S3 have an ACL that defines its access control policy. The user can give 100 grants per ACL after that the user can adopt the Bucket Policy. Entire buckets can be made public or individual objects inside the bucket can be made accessible to necessary recipients.

Static Web Hosting

aws s3 static web hosting

  • All the website contents will be uploaded to a S3 bucket and this bucket need to be made public, so it is exposed as a static website to users across the world.
  • In order to use our custom domain, we need to configure using Route 53 and connect it to the S3 bucket to serve static content behind our custom domain.


aws amazon s3 storage

  • Dropbox is a billion-dollar company which offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud and client software. It is built on top of Amazon S3 for its storage capabilities.
  • Netflix delivers millions of hours of quality content to its end-users with durable S3 service backing its storage necessities.
  • Tumblr, Pinterest host their images on S3.

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Disclaimer: I am the author at PLM ECOSYSTEM, focusing on developing digital-thread platforms with capabilities across CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, ERP, and IT systems to manage the product data lifecycle and connect various industry networks. My opinions may be biased. Articles and thoughts on PLMES represent solely the author's views and not necessarily those of the company. Reviews and mentions do not imply endorsement or recommendations for purchase.