Amazon S3 Storage Classes

Amerie
3 min readJan 23, 2023

Understand the key differences between the various classes of AWS S3 with ease. This article summarizes all you need to know about Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

What is S3 ?

The full name of S3 is Amazon Simple Storage Service.

S3, which stands for Amazon Simple Storage Service, is a highly reliable and scalable object storage solution. It offers unparalleled security and performance for customers of all sizes and industries, making it the perfect choice for a variety of use cases such as data lakes, websites, mobile apps, backups, archives, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

To meet the diverse needs of its users, S3 offers a total of 7 classes and one physical storage option. Choosing the right storage class will depend on factors such as data retention time, access patterns, and the desired level of resiliency. Consider all these factors when selecting the most suitable S3 storage class for your needs.

FOR REFERENCE ONLY

S3 Standard
The S3 Standard class is suitable for frequently accessed data, it offers high durability, availability, and performance object storage.
$0.023/GB (US Region)

S3 Intelligent-Tiering
S3 Intelligent Tiering should be used when access patterns are constantly changing or unpredictable. This is a class that automatically reduces storage costs by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective access tier based on access frequency. This tier is suitable for cases when you are not sure of the access frequency. $0.023~0.004/GB (US Region)

S3 Standard-IA
S3 Standard-IA is a class that is suitable for data accessed once a month, also allowing quick access when needed. $0.0125/GB (US Region)

S3 One Zone-IA
The S3 One Zone-IA class is a class that allows customers to store objects in a single Availability Zone, and since data is stored redundantly in one Availability Zone, data recovery is not possible in the event of a disaster in that Availability Zone. $0.01/GB (US Region)

S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval
S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is used for infrequent and immediate access. This class delivers the fastest access to archive storage, with the same throughput and milliseconds access as the S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA storage classes. $0.004/GB (US Region)

S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval
S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval is the same as the old S3 Glacier class. It is suitable for archival data accessed once or twice a year and takes minutes to hours to retrieve. $0.0036/GB (US Region)

S3 Glacier Deep Archive
The S3 Glacier Deep Archive class is suitable for the long-term retention of data accessed once or twice a year and requires a standard retrieval time of 12 hours. $0.00099/GB (US Region)

S3 Outposts
S3 Outposts is a service that can be used in a hybrid cloud or on-premises environment. AWS delivers physical storage in the actual customer environment.

FOR REFERENCE ONLY

Note: data storage cost is increasingly cheaper, but data retrieval is increasingly expensive.

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Amerie

Partner Engineer at Google | Solutions Architect | Cloud Engineer | AWS & GCP Certified