Amazon S3

Object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere

Companies today need the ability to simply and securely collect, store, and analyze their data at a massive scale. Amazon S3 is object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere – web sites and mobile apps, corporate applications, and data from IoT sensors or devices. It is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability, and stores data for millions of applications used by market leaders in every industry. S3 provides comprehensive security and compliance capabilities that meet even the most stringent regulatory requirements. It gives customers flexibility in the way they manage data for cost optimization, access control, and compliance. S3 provides query-in-place functionality, allowing you to run powerful analytics directly on your data at rest in S3. And Amazon S3 is the most supported cloud storage service available, with integration from the largest community of third-party solutions, systems integrator partners, and other AWS services.

Introduction to Amazon S3 (4:32)



Amazon S3 runs on the world’s largest global cloud infrastructure, and is designed from the ground up to deliver 99.999999999% of durability. Data in Amazon S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and Amazon Glacier storage classes is automatically distributed across a minimum of three physical Availability Zones (AZs) that are typically miles apart within an AWS Region. The Amazon S3 One Zone-IA storage class stores data in a single AZ, and is ideal for customers who want a lower cost option for infrequently accessed data and do not require the availability and resilience of S3 Standard storage. Amazon S3 can also automatically replicate data to any other AWS Region.

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Amazon S3 supports three different forms of encryption. S3 offers sophisticated integration with AWS CloudTrail to log, monitor, and retain storage API call activities for auditing. Amazon S3 is the only cloud storage platform with Amazon Macie, which uses machine learning to automatically discover, classify, and protect sensitive data in AWS. S3 supports security standards and compliance certifications, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, EU Data Protection Directive, and FISMA, which can help customers satisfy compliance requirements for virtually every regulatory agency around the globe.

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Amazon S3 allows you to run sophisticated Big Data analytics on your data without moving the data into a separate analytics system. Amazon Athena gives anyone who knows SQL on-demand query access to vast amounts of unstructured data. Amazon Redshift Spectrum lets you run queries spanning both your data warehouse and S3. And only AWS offers Amazon S3 Select, a way to retrieve only the subset of data you need from an S3 object, which can improve the performance of most applications that frequently access data from S3 by up to 400%.

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Amazon S3 offers the most flexible set of storage management and administration capabilities. Storage administrators can classify, report, and visualize data usage trends to reduce costs and improve service levels. Objects can be tagged with unique, customizable metadata so customers can see and control storage consumption, cost, and security separately for each workload. The S3 Inventory feature delivers scheduled reports about objects and their metadata for maintenance, compliance, or analytics operations. S3 can also analyze object access patterns to build lifecycle policies that automate tiering, deletion, and retention. Since Amazon S3 works with AWS Lambda, customers can log activities, define alerts, and invoke workflows, all without managing any additional infrastructure.

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In addition to integration with most AWS services, Amazon S3 is supported by tens of thousands of consulting, systems integrator, and independent software vendor partners, with more joining every month. And the AWS Marketplace offers 35 categories and more than 3,500 software listings from over 1,100 ISVs that are pre-configured to deploy on the AWS Cloud. AWS Partner Network partners have adapted their services and software to work with S3 for solutions like Backup & Recovery, Archiving, and Disaster Recovery. No other cloud provider has more partners with solutions that are pre-integrated to work with their service.

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You can choose from the widest range of options to transfer your data into (or out of) Amazon S3. S3’s simple and reliable APIs make it easy to transfer data over the Internet. Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration is ideal for data uploads across large geographical distances. AWS Direct Connect provides consistently high bandwidth and low latency data transfer for moving large amounts of data to AWS using a dedicated network connection. You can use AWS Snowball and AWS Snowball Edge appliances for petabyte-scale data transfer, or AWS Snowmobile for even larger datasets. AWS Storage Gateway provides you a physical or virtual data transfer appliance to use on-premises to easily move volumes or files into the AWS Cloud.

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Use cases


Amazon S3 offers a highly durable, scalable, and secure destination for backing up and archiving your critical data. You can use S3’s versioning capability to provide even further protection for your stored data. Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier provide four different storage classes to help you optimize cost and performance while also meeting your Recovery Point Objective (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs). 

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Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier provide a range of storage classes to help customers meet the needs of compliance archives for regulated industries or active archives for organizations who need fast, infrequent access to archive data. Amazon Glacier Vault Lock provides write-once-read-many (WORM) storage to meet compliance requirements for records retention. Lifecycle policies make transitioning data between Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier storage classes simple, automating the transition based on customer-defined policies.

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Whether you’re storing pharmaceutical or financial data, or multimedia files such as photos and videos, Amazon S3 can be used as your data lake for Big Data analytics. Amazon Web Services offers a comprehensive portfolio of services to help you manage Big Data by reducing costs, scaling to meet demand, and increasing the speed of innovation. 

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The AWS Storage Gateway helps you build hybrid cloud storage, augmenting your existing local storage environment with the durability and scale of Amazon S3. Use it to burst a workload from your site into the cloud for processing and then bring the results back. Tier colder or less valuable data off of your on-premises storage into the cloud to reduce costs and extend your storage investment. Or simply use it to incrementally move data into S3 as a part of backup or migration projects.

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Amazon S3 provides high performance, highly available storage that makes it easy to scale and maintain cost-effective mobile and Internet-based apps that run fast. With S3, you can add any amount of content and access it from anywhere, so you can deploy applications faster and reach more customers.


Amazon S3’s highly durable, secure, global infrastructure offers a robust disaster recovery solution designed to provide superior data protection. Cross-Region Replication (CRR) automatically replicates every S3 object to a destination bucket located in a different AWS

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Case studies

Netflix Case Study
Netflix delivers billions of hours of content to customers around the world from Amazon S3. S3 also serves as the data lake for their Big Data analytics solution.
Airbnb Case Study
Airbnb houses backup data and static files on Amazon S3, including over 10 petabytes of user pictures. As a born-in-the-cloud solution, they continually innovate new ways to analyze data stored on S3.
Thomson Reuters Case Study
Thomson Reuters uses Amazon S3 as a data lake for its Big Data analytics solution, and uses Amazon S3 Cross-Region Replication to enhance data availability.
Zillow Case Study
Zillow increases machine-learning calculation performance and scalability, and delivers near-real-time home-valuation data to customers using Amazon S3 and Amazon EMR.
Alert Logic Case Study
Alert Logic gains data protection and geographic redundancy using Amazon S3 and other AWS services, while reducing infrastructure costs by more than 50 percent compared to an on-premises data center.

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