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Amazon S3

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

In this article, we will discuss about Amazon S3, how it works and its storage classes. This time, lets look into this article in a conversation mode between two friends.


Hi John! How are you? Nice to see you after long time.

Hi Jim! I am doing good and hope the same with you as well.

Yes, thanks John. I wanted to quickly discuss with you something. I have a business website where many users upload different documents and they are being accessed by other users. I need a durable, scalable and reliable storage solution. I have heard about a storage solution from Amazon and I am aware you are a AWS Certified Solution Architect. Could you throw some light on the storage solution from Amazon?

Oh sure. Happy to help you on that. Its called Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Would you like to know more about that?

Yes, it would be great if you could explain what AWS S3 is and its storage limit?

Sure Jim. Amazon S3 is a cloud based simple storage service provided by Amazon. You can store and retrieve any amount and any type of data in S3. So there is no limit for storage. S3 stores data as objects, this means you can upload any type of file like document or image or audio or video file. Also, it stores the objects in individual containers called Buckets. You can create multiple buckets to store objects as you like.

Sounds interesting John!. Could you please briefly explain how S3 works?

Its very simple Jim. Let me briefly explain to you how it works with a pictorial illustration. For more details, you could refer to aws documentation.

  • Create an account with AWS either for your company or have an individual account.

  • Create an IAM user (may be Admin) and provide access to S3.

  • Sign-in to AWS as IAM user (Admin).

  • Then you can create a S3 bucket and upload objects.

  • You have option to maintain versions of individual objects.

  • You can also configure objects for replication in same or different regions.

This is very simple and good John. Also, there are thousands of images and documents from very old to new but we may view and update some documents very frequently. Is there any way to mark them?

If you have large number of data, you can set life cycle for every object to move into different storage classes. Take a look at these storage classes.

You can set a life cycle for your objects in a bucket as shown in below example.


How about data safety?

In S3, you can have access only if you have the permissions set in IAM. In addition to that, you have 2 options to encrypt your data.

  • Server Side Encryption: You can request Amazon to encrypt the data before saving into buckets and decrypt when you download the objects. Amazon uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) to encrypt your data.

  • Client Side Encryption: You can choose this option to encrypt the data at client side and then upload encrypted data into S3 bucket.

Finally what about the pricing for S3?

The pricing is model is generally pay-as-you-use and it varies depending on the storage class. Please go through the details directly from amazon web services site.

Thank you John. That gives a fair idea on Amazon S3 now. As you suggest, I would go through the documentation from Amazon for more details.

You are welcome Jim. What I have told you is only a summarized version of S3. There are lots you can learn from amazon documentation.

Wish you all the best!.


I hope this provides a high level view of what Amazon S3 is, in a conversation mode. This may be useful for beginners and people preparing for SAA exam . Kindly let me know if you like this article, in comments section.

I am pleased to share with you all that my blog has been listed as one of the Top 20 AWS blogs on the web by Feedspot. Kindly take a look this link.

Thank You.

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