What is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3, facilitated by Amazon Web Services, provides object storage through web interface. The term S3 stands for Simple Storage Service. Amazon’s S3 can store any kind of object that typically involves storing of data archives, disaster recovery, backup and recovery, hybrid cloud storage, and data lakes for analytics. But before we look into its detail, one must learn what object storage is.


What is Object Storage?

Object storage, also known as object-based storage, is a type of computer architecture to store data that keeps all kinds of information as objects; quite contrary to the popular architectures such as file (manages data as file hierarchy) and block (manages data as blocks in tracks and sectors) storage. This is to manage massive amount of unstructured data that a user wants to save, such as photos on Facebook, or files in Dropbox, or any other.

Its architecture works this way – Instead of keeping the whole data in its informative format into a file, object storage combines several pieces of data that makes a file. This file contains all the relevant metadata (data about data), and then finally a custom identifier is attached.

Object storage places everything to an address space which is called storage pool. This type of storing system designates several pieces of data as objects.

Now let’s move back to our topic of Amazon S3 that works on the principle of object-based storage. Though Amazon doesn’t disclose its real architecture, it claims S3 to be the finest Simple Storage Service.

Following are the advantages of Amazon S3 over others

High up-time

S3 provides the actual up-time of 99.999999999% that most others simply claim but fail to deliver. If, by chance, it still goes down then there is Service Level Agreement (SLA) to protect Amazon’s customers. Even in such kind of event, S3 never loses data and that is always restored back.

Scalability as per requirement

Amazon lets its customers scale their storage both up and down just by a mouse-click. The cost is thus reduced significantly since the user is going to use only that storage amount which is required at a moment.

For instance, if you were using a couple of Terabytes of data just for a month and then want to reduce that to a few Gigabytes, you are free to do that. Additionally, cut short the price as well.

Easy integration with other applications

Amazon S3 is compatible with other platforms, that is web-based and mobile-based applications, and that doesn’t show any unexpected delays.

Static site hosting

If the site is static, that is, built-up in basic HTML, CSS, or Javascript, or contains a few images, then S3 amazingly handles the hosting part. It runs the website too fast.

Data backup/disaster recovery

Amazon S3 has version controlled backups of its customers’ data that can be restored in the time of need. For instance, if data at one geographic location (Say New Zealand) needs to be recovered due to sudden natural calamity then the same data can be replicated by AWS Data Center belonging to Germany.

Big data and analytics

S3 can literally store millions of files online in buckets especially if it is combined with QuickSight UI in order to form an extremely powerful Big Data tool. As we all know that the data is growing rapidly, it is important to keep this in mind.

Cheaper cost

S3 provides free data accumulation of 5 GB in the beginning which also includes 2000 PUT requests, 20000 GET requests, and 15 GB of data transmission every month for the whole one year. Always keep in mind that the free storage depends on the region where one resides. You can now compare how affordable it is to use S3 instead of some other Cloud services.

Object tagging

As briefed earlier, the basic principle of Amazon S3 is object tagging. It helps in organizing the information better in a swift and secure manner even if the data is huge.

Amazon S3 is also eco-friendly, designed while keeping both customers and developers in mind. We can all now conclude that it is highly flexible, durable, and scalable. Moreover, it is easy to manage and cheaper solution for all organization whether small or large. Yet one need to choose whether it is wise and beneficial for their firm to go for Amazon’s Simple Storage Service.

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