Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the first to launch full-stack cloud solutions to foster enterprise digital transformation. AWS launched Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as part of the AWS cloud solutions. Amazon S3 is a familiar term in the cloud storage space that offers highly robust and stable data storage services. It offer various capabilities such as scalability, security, data availability, and performance.
What is Amazon S3?
Data is the key to driving business decisions but data management is one of the biggest challenges a business faces. The process of managing data is where the evolution of Amazon S3 came into play. Amazon S3 delivers easy-to-use data management capabilities to organize, store, and retrieve data effortlessly. This service involves a plethora of use cases not only for storing objects for websites and mobile applications, but also for backup and restoration, and archiving advanced application data.
S3 provides an easy-to-use secured interface to store and retrieve any amount of data at any given time and device. The beauty of this service is it’s scalable, where multiple users can read or write data simultaneously with appropriate authentication. Amazon S3 allows businesses to have uninterrupted, effortless and secured connectivity with cloud-based storage.
Figure: Amazon S3 working process.
Key Capabilities of S3
Robust Data Backup
AWS services such as S3 Glacier, Amazon Elastic File System, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) backs up data and retrieves it with ease. These services augment or replace on-premise infrastructure.
Unforeseen disasters are a business' worst nightmare. Securing data and applications during catastrophes is critical. AWS provides a flexible data recovery architecture framework for users to build according to their needs. With S3, the data recovery architecture can be integrated with other AWS applications like Cross-Region Replication.
Valuable insights can be extracted using a data lake in Amazon S3 with the support of query-in-place, analytics, and machine learning tools. We can also use AWS Lake formation to quickly create a data lake that can collect data across databases and S3 resources, move into a new data lake, and apply filters using machine learning algorithms.
To meet business-specific requirements, S3 permits the integration of on-premise applications and AWS services. Users can utilize AWS Storage Gateway for access to all storage options. Automated sync can be attained using AWS DataSync to transfer data at speeds faster than open-source tools. Another approach is to use AWS Transfer for SFTP.
S3 storage classes are efficient and durable. Amazon S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive support this feature. S3 Lifecycle policy and S3 Object Lock properties can be applied to meet specific requirements. S3 Glacier provides archiving solutions by enabling the user to create archives and vaults. This service presents 3 different retrieval types according to the retrieval time requirement.
Advantages of Adopting Amazon S3
Amazon S3 allows admins to scale storage services dynamically according to demand. Amazon S3 is designed for higher data durability, as it automatically creates and stores copies of all S3 objects across multiple systems if that feature is enabled.
OS3 Storage classes support different data access levels at different price ranges. As per the business requirement, one can choose the rate specific storage class and can use the S3 Lifecycle policy and S3 intelligent-tiering feature for better cost-saving procedures.
Security, Compliance, and Audit Capabilities
The strong encryption features and access management tools in Amazon S3 is highly secured from unauthorized access. S3 allows you to block public access to all objects at the bucket or account level with S3 Block Public Access.
Rich Set of Data Control Tools
AWS offers a wide variety of data control tools to manage, report, and classify data, using attributes such as S3 Storage Class Analysis, S3 Lifecycle policies, S3 Cross-Region Replication, S3 Object Lock, and many more.
Unlike Amazon services that are only available in a particular region with defined storage size, Amazon S3 can be accessed from anywhere and there is no limit on storage quantity.
Cloud Storage Alternatives
Amazon S3 doesn’t suit all storage needs. The following table presents some storage needs for which you should consider other AWS storage options.
The takeaway is pretty clear. Amazon S3 is one of the most widely adopted cloud storage solutions on the market. It is easy to use, durable, and cost-effective, even as your data is increasing. There may be limitations to S3, so consider all cloud storage options carefully. If you need help, consult one of V-Soft AWS experts today.
Nisha Ganesh works as a Senior Software Engineer at V-Soft Consulting. She has 13 years of experience as a software engineer. In her long career, she gained expertise in various programming languages, technologies, and platforms and developed software products for various industries, which include education, health, medical, cosmetic, finance, project management, matrimonial, social networking, and online consultation. More specifically, she has developed different kinds of web applications using the Ruby on Rails framework and also worked on various cloud platforms such as GCP and AWS. She is AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer Silver.