Amazon Simple Storage Service

AWS S3 is a highly scalable and durable object storage service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to store and retrieve data from anywhere on the web.

AWS S3 is widely used by organizations for data storage, backup, content distribution, data archiving, and as a foundation for building cloud-native applications. Its simplicity, scalability, and durability make it a fundamental component of many AWS cloud solutions.

Object Storage

S3 allows object storage and retrieval, which can include virtually any type of data, such as documents, images, videos, backups, and application data. S3 is not appropriate for files that change frequently like databases.


S3 is designed to scale automatically as the storage needs grow (unlimited amounts of data with no need to do capacity planning).


S3 offers multiple security features, including access control lists (ACLs), bucket policies, and encryption options to protect your data at rest and in transit.


S3 is designed for high availability, providing a reliable platform for hosting data that needs to be accessible 24/7.


Data stored in S3 is highly durable and is redundantly stored across multiple data centers and devices within an AWS region, ensuring data resilience.

  • 11 Nines Durability: S3 guarantees 99.999999999% data durability.
  • Multi-AZ Redundancy: By default, S3 data is stored across multiple Availability Zones (AZs) within a region. This means even if one AZ suffers a catastrophic event, data remains safe and accessible in other zones.
  • Object Replication: S3 further strengthens its protection by replicating objects within an AZ. This ensures even if individual storage devices fail, data remains readily available.
  • Advanced Data Integrity Checks: S3 employs checksums and other techniques to constantly verify data integrity. Any corrupted data is automatically detected and repaired, ensuring reliable access.

Data Lifecycle Management

S3 Lifecycle policies to transition objects to other storage classes (such as S3 Glacier) based on specific criteria, helping to optimize costs over time.


S3 allows versioning for objects, which helps recover previous versions of data in case of accidental deletions or modifications.

Data Transfer Acceleration

AWS provides a feature called Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration, which speeds up the uploading and downloading of objects using Amazon CloudFront's globally distributed edge locations.


S3 integrates seamlessly with other AWS services, making it a key component for building scalable and resilient cloud-based applications.

Data Analytics

You can use S3 as a data lake to store and analyze large datasets, integrating with AWS Athena and Amazon Redshift services.

Storage Classes

S3 offers several types of storage classes based on data access frequency and durability requirements:

S3 Standard

This is the default storage class offering high durability, availability, and performance. It's suitable for frequently accessed data.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

It automatically moves objects between two access tiers: frequent access and infrequent access. It optimizes costs by charging lower fees for infrequently accessed data while ensuring it's readily available when needed.

S3 Standard-IA (Infrequent Access)

Designed for data that is accessed less frequently but requires rapid access when needed. It offers lower storage fees but slightly higher retrieval fees compared to S3 Standard.

S3 One Zone-IA

Similar to S3 Standard-IA but stores data in a single availability zone, reducing costs. However, it provides less durability compared to the standard IA.

S3 Glacier

Amazon Glacier is a low-cost cloud storage service on top of S3. It is designed for long-term data archiving and backup, where data retrieval speed is less critical. Glacier offers a very cost-effective solution for storing large amounts of data that may not be accessed frequently.

Data stored in Amazon Glacier is referred to as "archives," and you can store a wide range of data types, including backups, historical archives, and digital media. Retrieval times in Glacier can take several hours, so it's suitable for data that is rarely accessed.

Amazon Glacier provides features like data durability, security, and the ability to create and manage vaults to organize and control access to archives. It's commonly used for compliance, data archival, and backup purposes due to its cost-effectiveness for storing large volumes of data over extended periods.

S3 Glacier Deep Archive

This is the most economical option for archiving data. It offers the lowest storage costs but has the longest data retrieval times (hours).

Using S3


For Cloud native applications, the S3 API allows developers to programmatically manage and access objects (files) stored in Amazon S3 buckets. Developers can interact with the S3 API using various SDKs (Software Development Kits) provided by AWS in different programming languages such as Python, Java, JavaScript, and more. AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) also uses the S3 API to perform operations on S3 buckets and objects.

Mountpoint for Amazon S3

An open-source file client that makes it easy for your file-aware Linux applications to connect directly to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

AWS Output to S3

Many AWS services can be configured to output files (objects) to S3. Examples are Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, AWS Backup, CloudTrail Logs, and Amazon EMR (Elastic MapReduce).

S3 as a Static Website Hosting

An S3 bucket can be configured to host static files for a website and accessed with a fully qualified domain name using DNS.

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Javier Ruiz Cloud and SaaS Expert

Javier Ruiz

IT Wonder Lab tutorials are based on the diverse experience of Javier Ruiz, who founded and bootstrapped a SaaS company in the energy sector. His company, later acquired by a NASDAQ traded company, managed over €2 billion per year of electricity for prominent energy producers across Europe and America. Javier has over 25 years of experience in building and managing IT companies, developing cloud infrastructure, leading cross-functional teams, and transitioning his own company from on-premises, consulting, and custom software development to a successful SaaS model that scaled globally.

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