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  • Marcus Yeo

What is AWS Object Storage (S3) and CloudFront (CDN)

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

I started playing around with AWS probably 5 years ago. As I wasn't properly trained, I didn't fully utilize the functionalities within AWS at that point in time. At work, I manage projects base purely on VMware technology. However, being in the cloud industry, Amazon AWS is one platform you will not be able to avoid. This is especially the case for me as VMware has released 'VMware Cloud on AWS' product from 2018. I have been interested in the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate course recently and started my learning path to get myself certified. One of the first topics I learned is their S3 interesting storages, and I find it interesting to blog on.


1. S3

i. The Basic

  • SI is Object based (allows you to upload files, unlike binaries which allows you to install OS/applications)

  • Files can be from 0 bytes to 5 TB

  • There is unlimited storage

  • Files are stored in Buckets ('Folders')

  • S3 is a universal namespace (must be unique globally)

  • Built for 99.9% availability

  • Guarantees 99.999999999% (11x 9s) durability (data loss)

  • Tiered Storage Available

  • Lifecycle Management (Eg. achieving data more than 1 years old to lower tier storages)

  • Versioning

  • Encryption

  • Secure you data using Access Control List and Bucket Policies


ii. Data Consistency Model for S3

  • 'Read after Write' consistency for uploads of new Objects

  • Eventual Consistency for overwrite PUTS and DELETES (can take some time to propagate) - This is due to time require to propagate to different availability zones


iii. S3 is Object based, consisting of:

  • Key (Name of the object)

  • Value (data)

  • Version ID (Important if you enable versioning)

  • Metadata (Details about data you are storing)

  • Access Control List


iv. S3 - Storage Tiers/Classess


a. S3 Standard:

  • 99.99% availability

  • 99.999999999% durability

  • Stored redundantly across multiple devices in multiple facilities

  • Designed to sustain loss of 2 facilities concurrently


b. S3 - IA (Infrequently Accessed):

  • For data less frequently accessed but requires rapid access when needed

  • Lower fee than S3 Standard

  • Charged a retrieval fee

  • 99.99% availability

  • 99.999999999% durability

  • Stored redundantly across multiple devices in multiple facilities

  • Designed to sustain loss of 2 facilities concurrently


c. S3 One Zone - IA:

  • Lower cost option for infrequently accessed data

  • One stored in one availability zone


d. Glacier:

  • Very cheap, but used for archival only.

  • Comes in 3 versions: Expedited, Standard or Bulk.

  • A expedited retrieval time: 1 - 5 mins

  • A Standard retrieval time: 3 - 5 hours

  • A Bulk retrieval time: 5 - 12 hours


v. Charged for:

  • Storage

  • Requests

  • Storage Management Pricing (Meta data tagging)

  • Data Transfer Pricing

  • Transfer Acceleration (Fast, easy and secure transfers of files over long distances between your end users using Amazon CloudFront's globally distributed edge locations)


Above Image credited to Ryan Kroonenburg

2. CloudFront (CDN)


"What do you think?" Let me know if you think there is any important/useful details I have missed in the above write up.



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