What is AWS s3? Amazon Simple Storage Service

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What is AWS S3?

What is AWS s3? Amazon Simple Storage Service(s3) – AWS.

Amazon S3 (AWS S3)

Object storage is built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.

How it works

Amazon Simple Storage Service (AWS S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. Customers of all sizes and industries can store and protect any amount of data for virtually any use case, such as data lakes, cloud-native applications, and mobile apps. With cost-effective storage classes and easy-to-use management features, you can optimize costs, organize data, and configure fine-tuned access controls to meet specific business, organizational, and compliance requirements.

Getting Started

Amazon Simple Storage Service (AWS S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. You can use Amazon S3 to store and retrieve any amount of data, anytime, from anywhere.
To get the most out of Amazon S3 (AWS S3), you need to understand a few simple concepts. Amazon S3 stores data as objects in buckets. An object consists of a file and optionally any metadata that describes that file. To store objects in Amazon S3 (AWS S3), you upload the files you want to save to a bucket. When you upload a file, you can set permissions on any object and metadata.

A bucket is a container for objects. You can have one or more buckets. For each bucket, you can control there access (which can create, delete, and list objects in the bucket), view access records for that bucket and its objects, and choose the geographic region where Amazon S3 will store the bucket and its contents.

Set up and log in to your AWS account

To use Amazon S3, you need an AWS account. If you don’t already have one, you will be prompted to create an account when you sign up for Amazon S3. You won’t be charged for Amazon S3 until you use it.

Create a bucket

Every object in Amazon S3 is stored in a bucket. Before you can store data in Amazon S3, you must create an S3 bucket

Start building AWS

Once you’ve created a bucket, you’re ready to add objects to it. Objects can be any kind of file: text files, photos, videos, and so on. Read the Getting Started Guide to learn more and get started building.

Read More

Using the AWS SDK

Developers building applications can choose from a wide variety of simplified AWS SDKs using Amazon S3 (AWS S3) in their use cases. The AWS SDK for Amazon S3 includes libraries, code samples, and documentation for the following programming languages ​​and platforms.

AWS for Java

AWS for .NET

AWS for Python


AWS for Node.js

AWS for Ruby

Amazon S3 features

S3 provides 99.999999999% durability for objects stored in the service and supports multiple security and compliance certifications. An administrator can also link S3 to other AWS security and monitoring services, including CloudTrail, CloudWatch and Macie. There’s also an extensive partner network of vendors that link their services directly to S3.

Data can be transferred to S3 over the public internet via access to S3 application programming interfaces (APIs). There’s also Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration for faster movement over long distances, as well as AWS Direct Connect for a private, consistent connection between S3 and an enterprise’s own data center. An administrator can also use AWS Snowball, a physical transfer device, to ship large amounts of data from an enterprise data center directly to AWS, which will then upload it to S3.

In addition, users can integrate other AWS services with S3. For example, an analyst can query data directly on S3 either with Amazon Athena for ad hoc queries or with Amazon Redshift Spectrum for more complex analyses.

Amazon S3 use cases

Amazon S3 can be used by organizations ranging in size from small businesses to large enterprises. S3’s scalability, availability, security and performance capabilities make it suitable for a variety of data storage use cases. Common use cases for S3 include the following:

  • data storage;
  • data archiving;
  • application hosting for deployment, installation and management of web apps;
  • software delivery;
  • data backup;
  • disaster recovery (DR);
  • running big data analytics tools on stored data;
  • data lakes;
  • mobile applications;
  • internet of things (IoT) devices;
  • media hosting for images, videos and music files; and
  • website hosting — particularly well suited to work with Amazon CloudFront for content delivery.

Amazon S3 (AWS S3) storage classes

Amazon S3 (AWS S3) comes in seven storage classes:

  1. AWS S3 Standard is suitable for frequently accessed data that needs to be delivered with low latency and high throughput. S3 Standard targets applications, dynamic websites, content distribution and big data workloads.
  2. AWS S3 Intelligent-Tiering is most suitable for data with access needs that are either changing or unknown. AWS S3 Intelligent-Tiering has four different access tiers: Frequent Access, Infrequent Access (IA), Archive and Deep Archive. Data is automatically moved to the most inexpensive storage tier according to customer access patterns.
  3. AWS S3 Standard-IA offers a lower storage price for data that is needed less often but that must be quickly accessible. This tier can be used for backups, DR and long-term data storage.
  4. AWS S3 One Zone-IA is designed for data that is used infrequently but requires rapid access on the occasions that it is needed. Use of AWS S3 One Zone-IA is indicated for infrequently accessed data without high resilience or availability needs, data that is able to be recreated and backing up on-premises data.
  5. AWS S3 Glacier is the least expensive storage option in S3, but it is strictly designed for archival storage because it takes longer to access the data. Glacier offers variable retrieval rates that range from minutes to hours.
  6. AWS S3 Glacier Deep Archive has the lowest price option for S3 storage. S3 Glacier Deep Archive is designed to retain data that only needs to be accessed once or twice a year.
  7. AWS S3 Outposts adds S3 object storage features and APIs to an on-premises AWS Outposts environment. S3 Outposts is best used when performance needs call for data to be stored near on-premises applications or to satisfy specific data residency requirements.

File Size Limit

An object in S3 can be between 1 byte and 5TB. If an object is larger than 5TB, it must be divided into chunks prior to uploading. When uploading, Amazon S3 allows a maximum of 5GB in a single upload operation; hence, objects larger than 5GB must be uploaded via the S3 multipart upload API

Working with S3 buckets

Amazon does not impose a limit on the number of items that a subscriber can store; however, there are limits to Amazon S3 bucket quantities. Each AWS account allows up to 100 buckets to be created; limits can be increased to 1,000 with service limit increases. An Amazon S3 bucket exists within a particular region of the cloud. An AWS customer can use an Amazon S3 API to upload objects to a particular bucket. Customers can configure and manage S3 buckets.

Protecting your S3 data

User data is stored on redundant servers in multiple data centers. S3 uses a simple web-based interface — the Amazon S3 console – and encryption for user authentication.

S3 buckets are kept private from public access by default, but an administrator can choose to make them publicly accessible. A user can also encrypt data prior to storage. Rights may be specified for individual users, who will then need approved AWS credentials to download or access a file in S3.

When a user stores data in S3, Amazon tracks the usage for billing purposes, but it does not otherwise access the data unless required to do so by law.

Competitor services

Competitor services to Amazon S3 include other object storage software tool services. Major cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and Alibaba offer comparable object storage services. Main competitor services to Amazon S3 include the following:

Google Cloud Storage

  • Azure Blob storage
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage
  • DigitalOcean Spaces
  • Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS)
  • Cloudian
  • Zadara Storage
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage

What is AWS S3: Overview, Features and Storage Classes Explained
Lesson 5 of 14By Rahul Arun

Last updated on Mar 7, 2022281537
What is AWS S3: Overview, Features and Storage Classes Explained
Table of Contents
What is Cloud Storage?Types of AWS StorageBefore AWS S3What is AWS S3?AWS S3 BenefitsView More
With more than 32 percent of the world’s public cloud share, it’s no surprise that Amazon Web Services (AWS) serves more than 190 countries with scalable, reliable, and low-cost cloud infrastructure. One of its most powerful and commonly used storage services is Amazon S3. So, what is AWS S3? AWS S3 (“Simple Storage Service”) enables users to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time or place, giving developers access to highly scalable, reliable, fast, and inexpensive data storage. Designed for 99.999999999 percent durability, AWS S3 also provides easy management features to organize data for websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, and many other applications.

Now, let’s jump into our first topic and learn about cloud storage in general.

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What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a web service where your data can be stored, accessed, and quickly backed up by users on the internet. It is more reliable, scalable, and secure than traditional on-premises storage systems.

Cloud storage is offered in two models:

Pay only for what you use
Pay on a monthly basis
Now, let’s have a look at the different types of storage services offered by AWS.

Types of AWS Storage
AWS offers the following services for storage purposes:

Storage services offered by Amazon

Storage services offered by Amazon

We’ll eventually take an in-depth look at the S3 service. But before we get to that, let’s have a look at how things were before we had the option of using Amazon S3.

Before AWS S3
Organizations had a difficult time finding, storing, and managing all of your data. Not only that, running applications, delivering content to customers, hosting high traffic websites, or backing up emails and other files required a lot of storage. Maintaining the organization’s repository was also expensive and time-consuming for several reasons. Challenges included the following:

Having to purchase hardware and software components
Requiring a team of experts for maintenance
A lack of scalability based on your requirements
Data security requirements
These are the issues AWS S3 would eventually solve. So, what exactly is AWS S3?

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What is AWS S3?
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) provides object storage, which is built for storing and recovering any amount of information or data from anywhere over the internet. It provides this storage through a web services interface. While designed for developers for easier web-scale computing, it provides 99.999999999 percent durability and 99.99 percent availability of objects. It can also store computer files up to 5 terabytes in size.

AWS S3 Benefits

Some of the benefits of AWS S3 are:

  • Durability: S3 provides 99.999999999 percent durability.
  • Low cost: S3 lets you store data in a range of “storage classes.” These classes are based on the frequency and immediacy you require in accessing files.
  • Scalability: S3 charges you only for what resources you actually use, and there are no hidden fees or overage charges. You can scale your storage resources to easily meet your organization’s ever-changing demands.
  • Availability: S3 offers 99.99 percent availability of objects
  • Security: S3 offers an impressive range of access management tools and encryption features that provide top-notch security.
  • Flexibility: S3 is ideal for a wide range of uses like data storage, data backup, software delivery, data archiving, disaster recovery, website hosting, mobile applications, IoT devices, and much more.
  • Simple data transfer: You don’t have to be an IT genius to execute data transfers on S3. The service revolves around simplicity and ease of use.
  • These are compelling reasons to sign up for S3. Now, let’s move on and have a look at some of the major components of the AWS S3 storage service.

AWS Buckets and Objects

An object consists of data, key (assigned name), and metadata. A bucket is used to store objects. When data is added to a bucket, Amazon S3 creates a unique version ID and allocates it to the object.

Example of an object, bucket, and link address

Example of an object, bucket, and link address

AWS Login

Logging into AWS

AWS Login - Selecting S3 from Service offerings

Selecting S3 from Service offerings

AWS Login - Amazon S3 bucket list

Amazon S3 bucket list (usually empty for first-time users); create a bucket by clicking on the “Create bucket” button

AWS Login - Create a bucket by setting up name, region and other options

Create a bucket by setting up name, region, and other options; finish off the process by pressing the “Create” button

AWS Login - Select the created bucket

Select the created bucket

AWS Login - Click on upload to select a file

Click on upload to select a file to be added to the bucket

AWS Login - Select a file to be added 

Select a file to be added 

AWS Login - The file is now uploaded into the bucket

The file is now uploaded into the bucket

AWS S3 Features

Lifecycle Management

In lifecycle management, Amazon S3 applies a set of rules that define the action to a group of objects. You can manage and store objects in a cost-effective manner. There are two types of actions: 

1. Transition Action

With this action, you can choose to move objects to another storage class. With this, you can configure S3 to move your data between various storage classes on a defined schedule. Assume you’ve got some data stored in the S3 standard class. If this data is not used frequently for 30 days, it would be moved to the S3 infrequent access class. And after 60 days, it is moved to Glacier. This helps you to migrate your data to lower-cost storage as it ages automatically. 

2. Expiration Actions

Here, S3 removes all objects within the bucket when a specified date or time period in the object’s lifetime is reached.

An example of how lifecycle management works:

S3 Features

From within your bucket select management

S3 Features - Select Lifecycle and then click on the Add lifecycle rule

Select “Lifecycle” and then click on the “Add lifecycle rule.”

S3 Features - Add a rule name and scope

Add a rule name and scope

S3 Features - Configure transaction options

Configure transaction options

S3 Features - Set up expiration details 

Set up expiration details 

Bucket Policy

Bucket policy is an IAM policy where you can allow or deny permission to your Amazon S3 resources. With bucket policy, you also define security rules that apply to more than one file within a bucket. For example: If you do not want a user to access the “Simplilearn” bucket, then with the help of JSON script, you can set permissions. As a result, a user would be denied access to the bucket.

S3 Features

Use an online tool to generate a policy. Select the type of policy as an S3 bucket policy. Select the appropriate effect. In this case, denying access.

S3 Features - Find the ARN of the bucket 

Find the ARN of the bucket 

S3 Features - set up a JSON script to deny access

Set up additional conditions and set up a JSON script to deny access to a particular user. In this case, “simplilearn.”

S3 Features - set up a bucket policy under Permissions

Go back to the bucket and set up a bucket policy under “Permissions.” Then click on “Save.”

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Data Protection

Amazon S3 provides IT teams with a highly durable, protected, and scalable infrastructure designed for object storage.

Amazon S3 protects your data using two methods: 

  1. Data encryption
  2. Versioning
  3. Cross-region Replication
  4. Transfer Acceleration
S3 Features - turn on Versioning

Go to your bucket, select properties, and turn on “Versioning.”

S3 Features - Upload an object

Upload an object

S3 Features - Upload another file of the same name

Upload another file of the same name

S3 Features - Select the file and alternate between its current and older versions

Select the file and alternate between its current and older versions

1. Data Encryption

This refers to the protection of data while it’s being transmitted and at rest. It can happen in two ways, client-side encryption (data encryption at rest) and server-side encryption (data encryption in motion).

2. Versioning

It is utilized to preserve, recover, and restore an early version of every object you store in your AWS S3 bucket. Unintentional erases or overwriting of objects can easily be managed with versioning. For example, in a bucket, it is possible to have objects with the same key name but different version IDs. 

3. Cross-region Replication

Cross-region replication provides automatic copying of every object uploaded to your buckets (source and destination bucket) in different AWS regions. Versioning needs to be turned on to enable CRR.

Create a new bucket in a different region

Create a new bucket in a different region

go to Management and then replication

Select uploaded file, go to “Management” and then replication. 

Here, click on “Add Rule.”

Select the source, destination and IAM rule

Select the source, destination, and IAM rule

4. Transfer Acceleration

This enables fast, easy, and secure transfers of files over long distances between your client and S3 bucket. The edge locations around the world provided by Amazon CloudFront are taken advantage of by transfer acceleration. It works by carrying data over an optimized network bridge that keeps running between the AWS Edge Location (closest region to your clients) and your Amazon S3 bucket.

Go to properties and select transfer acceleration to enable it

Go to properties and select transfer acceleration to enable it

Amazon S3 Console

The Amazon S3 Console, found inside AWS Management, helps you to easily manage objects and buckets. The console gives users an intuitive, browser-based interface that lets you easily interact with AWS services.

You use the S3 console to create, configure, and manage buckets, and to upload, download, and manage objects. The console also lets you organize storage using a logical hierarchy.


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