Introduction to Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web-services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.

Content Storage and Distribution – Amazon S3 provides a highly durable and available store for a variety of content, ranging from web applications to media files. It allows you to offload your entire storage infrastructure onto the cloud, where you can take advantage of Amazon S3’s scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing to handle your growing storage needs. You can distribute your content directly from Amazon S3 or use Amazon S3 as an origin store for pushing content to your Amazon CloudFront edge locations.

For sharing content that is either easily reproduced or where you’re storing an original copy elsewhere, Amazon S3’s Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) feature provides a compelling solution. For example, if you’re storing media content in-house but you need to provide accessibility to your customers, channel partners, or employees, RRS is a low-cost solution for storing and sharing this content.

Storage for Data Analysis – Whether you’re storing pharmaceutical data for analysis, financial data for computation and pricing, or photo images for resizing, Amazon S3 is an ideal location to store your original content. You can then send this content to Amazon EC2 for computation, resizing, or other large scale analytics – without incurring any data transfer charges for moving the data between the services. You can then choose to store the resulting, reproducible content using Amazon S3’s Reduced Redundancy Storage feature (or, of course, you can store it using Amazon S3’s standard storage as well).

Backup, Archiving and Disaster Recovery – Amazon S3 offers a highly durable, scalable, and secure solution for backing up and archiving your critical data. You can use Amazon S3’s Versioning capability to provide even further protection for your stored data. If you have data sets of significant size, you can use AWS Import/Export to move large amounts of data into and out of AWS with physical storage devices. This is ideal for moving large quantities of data for periodic backups, or quickly retrieving data for disaster recovery scenarios. You can also define rules to archive sets of Amazon S3 objects to Amazon Glacier’s extremely low-cost storage service based on object lifetimes. As your data ages, these rules enable you to ensure that it’s automatically stored on the storage option that is most cost-effective for your needs.

Static Website Hosting – You can host your entire static website on Amazon S3 for an inexpensive, highly available hosting solution that scales automatically to meet traffic demands. Self-hosting a highly available website that can handle peak traffic loads can be challenging and costly. With Amazon S3, you can reliably serve your traffic and handle unexpected peaks without worrying about scaling your infrastructure. Amazon S3 is designed for 99.99% availability and 99.999999999% durability, and it gives you access to the same highly scalable, reliable, and fast infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. You also benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing. You pay only for the capacity you use. Amazon S3’s website hosting solution is ideal for websites with static content, including html files, images, videos, and client-side scripts such as JavaScript.

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