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What is AWS S3 and Why Should You Use it?

by Jack Philip
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Amazon might just seem like the place to buy everything you need. But there is so much more to it. One part of Amazon’s services includes AWS S3. AWS Backup is essentially an object-based serverless storage service made by Amazon web services. It is far faster than hard drive file systems and blocks storage approaches to save data.

Since it is serverless, it means that the storage is actually hosted on a cloud. Further, this means that you do not have to configure the server with storage space restrictions. It dynamically expands with usage.

In today’s article, we will take you through the seven main reasons that you should be using AWS S3.


There are three broad parts to this point: Security on the server side, Security in transit, and Security on the client side.

  1. Security on the server side:
    There are three main options for server-side encryption.


In this feature, S3 puts the AES-256 encryption algorithm to use in order to secure the data. It handles the keys by itself.


In this feature, S3 puts the AES-256 encryption algorithm to use in order to secure the data. It uses an envelope key management service to encrypt the keys, which will allow you to manage keys by yourself.


In this feature, S3 puts the AES-256 encryption algorithm to use in order to secure the data. The customer provides the keys (which you manage).

  1. Security in transit:

By default, SSL encryption is what is used for in-transit data and for all HTTP requests.

  1. Security on the client side:

On this front, the data is first encrypted on the client side and then uploaded to AWS S3.

Lifecycle Management

In lifecycle management, data objects are automatically managed after living up to the point of a predetermined life cycle. The rules that are written in lifecycle management cause automatic deletion or movement of the object to a different storage class once it meets the determined time period, as stipulated.


Versioning in S3 is a way of keeping multiple versions of an object in the same bucket. It is used to maintain versions of data and record the actions performed by users over it. It is a feature that can be used to preserve, retrieve and restore every version of every object stored in your buckets. Once you enable a versioning feature, it is only possible to suspend it.

Snowball Edge

AWS Snowball Edge is a type of Snowball device that has onboard storage and that also computes power for select AWS capabilities. Snowball Edge can perform local processing and edge-computing workloads alongside transferring data between your local environment and the AWS Cloud.

Every Snowball Edge device has the potential to transport data at speeds that are more rapid than the internet. This transport is done by shipping the data in the appliances through a regional carrier.

Cross-Region Replication

Cross-region replication involves replicating the data that is present in one data center to another data center that is situated at a different geographical location. The replication of data can be performed across accounts as well as S3 buckets.

  • Disaster recovery

In case a natural calamity or a force majeure takes place, the software solution will not shut down. Instead, it will start fetching data from the data center located in another region.

  • Meet compliance requirements

Although AWS S3 stores your data across multiple geographically distant Availability Zones, some default compliance requirements might make rules on the fact that you must store data at even larger distances. Cross-region replication gives you the freedom to replicate data between distant AWS regions so that you might meet compliance requirements.

  • Minimize latencyIn the case that your customers are in two separate geographical locations, you can reduce and minimize latency in accessing objects by maintaining object copies in AWS regions that are geographically closer to where your users are.
  • Increase operational efficiencyIf you have computed clusters in two different AWS regions that analyze the same set of objects, you could opt to maintain object copies in those regions.

Transfer Acceleration

Through AWS S3’s Transfer Acceleration, there are quick, secure, and easy transfers of files over long distances between your client’s machine and an S3 bucket. Transfer Acceleration makes use of AWS CloudFront’s globally distributed edge locations. As the data arrives at an edge location, data is routed to Amazon S3 over a network path that is optimized. Using Transfer Acceleration, additional data transfer charges may apply. Only the S3 bucket owners can enable transfer acceleration to maximize the bandwidth capabilities of their internet connection.

Storage Classes

AWS S3 has six storage classes. The cheaper it is, the less available it is.

  • StandardThe standard storage class is the fastest and the most expensive. This is due to the fact that the data in it is replicated across three availability zones minimum. This storage class is ideal for storing data that has to be accessed almost always since the latency is in a couple of microseconds.
  • Standard IAThis is the same as the standard storage class when it comes to performance, but the bundled services are less, making it cheaper.
  • One Zone IAHere, the objects are stored in one availability zone in order to reduce the price. That is why the latency is a little more than that of the standard storage class. This is preferred for data objects that are used a little less frequently.
  • GlacierGlacier storage is perfect for data that is older than one month, and that is barely used.
  • Glacier ArchiveThis is used to store data that is needed to be kept for a year or more. It is the cheapest storage class, and it takes hours to retrieve data from here.
  • Intelligent TieringThis uses machine learning to figure out the objects, placing them in the storage class that is most cost-effective.

If you have a project that has a vast amount of data that seems to be unpredictably increasing, then AWS S3 is for you. It is great for projects with large amounts of sensitive data.

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