Amazon offers a range of cloud storage solutions to meet different needs of customers. The below picture illustrates the various storage solutions for different needs of both cloud based and on-premise customers.
Simple Storage Solution; Stores data as objects.
To use S3, one need to create buckets in S3 and store data in buckets. Can create any number of buckets.
Objects in a bucket can have life cycle policies set.
Data encryption options available.
Buckets need to have IAM policies attached to it in order to create, update or delete objects in it.
Instances can connect to S3 through VPC end point.
Provides many flavours and charges vary.
S3 Reduced Redundancy
Amazon S3 Glacier
Storage solution for infrequently accessed data or cold data or data archival.
You need to create a vault in Glacier to upload archival data
You can upload or download or delete data from and to archive vault.
Data retrieval time between 3 - 5 hours
There is no retrieval limit
Amazon Storage Gateway
Storage Gateway is a service that connects On-premise applications with cloud based storage.
Provides secure and seamless integration.
Provides three flavours of storage solutions.
File based – supports interface with S3;
Volume based - provides cloud backed storage system as Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI); and
Tape based - provides cloud backed virtual tape storage for GLACIER archive or deep archive.
Below diagram shows how a Storage gateway helps in trasfering data from On-premise to AWS cloud.
Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
EBS (Elastic block storage) are volumes similar to external hard drives for instances.
You can mount multiple EBS volumes to an Instance but one EBS volume cannot be attached to more than one instance at a time.
EBS volumes are persistent and are available even if the instance is killed.
You can back up EBS volumes by taking point-in-time snap shots.
Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)
EFS (Elastic File System) is similar to NFS (Network File System) of shared folder for file storage on the cloud.
EFS is simple, scalable and elastic.
Multiple instances can access EFS at the same time.
No minimum charge. Pay as per the storage used.
Two Types of storage
Standard – for frequently accessed files
IA – for infrequently accessed files.
Fully managed 3rd party file system.
Primarily used for Windows based storage, high performance computing, ML and design automation.
Supports two file systems
Windows file server