Which Amazon S3 Storage Class Is The Right One to Use?

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Question: My company is switching cloud providers and is moving block storage to Amazon S3. Can you help explain the different S3 storage classes?

Response: First, note that all classes aside from S3 One Zone-IA stores data in at least 3 AZs.

Amazon S3 Standard is the default object storage class when creating a bucket and this class is designed for durability of 99.999999999% and 99.99% availability.

Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access or S3 Standard-IA is designed for data that is accessed infrequently, but can be accessed immediately when needed. S3 Standard-IA gives you durability of 99.999999999% and 99.9% availability. 

Amazon S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access or S3 One Zone-IA, like S3 Standard-IA, is designed for data that is accessed infrequently, but can be accessed when it is needed.  The difference here is that S3 One Zone-IA has data that is stored in only one availability zone and gives you durability of 99.999999999% and 99.5% availability.

Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is considered an archival storage class which delivers low-cost storage for long-lived data that rarely needs access.  However, when the archival data needs to be accessed, it can be done so immediately. Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is designed for durability of 99.999999999% and 99.99% availability.

Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval is another archival storage class which delivers low-cost storage for long-lived data that rarely needs access.  This storage class differs with Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval in that data can be accessed within minutes to hours and this access time can be configured. Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval is designed for durability of 99.999999999% and 99.99% availability.

Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive is yet another archival storage class which delivers low-cost storage for long-lived data that rarely needs access.  Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive’s retrieval time is within 12 hours and is designed for durability of 99.999999999% and 99.99% availability.

Check out the AWS provided S3 Storage Infographic for more information.

Check out our articles on S3 and AWS Storage.

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