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The Ultimate Guide to S3 Costs

Posted on October 27, 2022 by

Categories: AWS


In a recent post, we presented Amazon S3, a cost-effective, cloud-based, enterprise-class storage option. However, storing, uploading, accessing, and transferring massive amounts of data to S3 every month can cost businesses tens of thousands of dollars.

Understanding the different charges associated with S3 will help you reduce its expenditures. This is the topic we’ll be discussing today.

Different S3 Costs

Utilizing S3 might run you the following expenses:

  • The actual cost of storage
  • Reading, creating, listing, querying, and downloading data all incur fees for data access.
  • Costs associated with data transport, replication, and S3 management
  • Before discussing the various S3 storage classes, let’s first speak about them.

What Storage Classes Does S3 Offer?

You can select a storage class for the files when you upload one or more files to S3. The storage class instructs S3 on various topics, including how and where to store the file and how much it should cost to keep and access it. These are the various S3 storage classes:

  • S3 Intelligent Tiering Standard S3
  • S3 Standard, Rare Access (S3 Standard-IA)
  • S3 One Zone Seldom accessed (S3 One Zone-IA)
  • S3 Glacier Deep Archive S3 Glacier

Different storage types of things can coexist in the same bucket. To automatically move things from one storage class to another, you can also construct S3 lifecycle rules.

Standard S3

The default storage class for S3 is S3 Standard, which provides high throughput, low latency, high durability, and high availability. Applications that often access data should use this. Examples of these applications are online games, large data workloads, and SaaS solutions.

Tiering S3 Intelligent

The S3 Intelligent Tiering is intended to reduce the cost of S3 storage without compromising the S3 Standard’s robustness, availability, low latency, and throughput. Objects are kept in two access levels using Intelligent Tiering: one for frequent access and the other for rare access. Less money is spent on the rarely access tier than on the frequent access tier.

When an item hasn’t been accessed for 30 days in a row, S3 dynamically shifts it to the tier for infrequent usage. S3 automatically tracks object access patterns. An item is returned to the frequent access timer if it is accessed once more. Users only pay for the monitoring and automation of the items under this approach. The transfer of data between the two layers is free.

S3 Standard, Rare Access (S3 Standard-IA)

For data that are not used frequently but require the same level of low latency when accessed, the S3 Standard-IA storage class is the ideal option. S3 Standard-IA provides cheaper storage and retrieval costs while still providing the same high durability, availability, high throughput, and low latency as Standard S3.

S3 One Zone Seldom accessed (S3 One Zone-IA)

S3 One Zone-IA has a lower availability rate (99.5%), but it shares S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA storage classes’ strong durability, fast throughput, and low latency. Only one Availability Zone (AZ) can store S3 One Zone-IA files. Due to its lesser resilience, S3 One Zone-IA is 20% more affordable than S3 Standard-IA.

Glacier S3

The primary purpose of S3 Glacier is to handle data archiving demands. For regulatory compliance, many firms must store data for a long time. Even though this data might not be operationally helpful, it has to be archived and stored at a reasonable price. The solution to it is S3 Glacier.

Customers of AWS have two options for transferring old data to S3 Glacier: directly upload it or use S3 lifecycle policies. Depending on the chosen tier, the time required to retrieve data from Glacier might be between a few minutes and twelve hours.

S3 Deep Glacier Archive

S3 Glacier Deep Archive is the S3 storage class with the lowest price. It is similarly intended for archival data scenarios; however, unlike S3 Glacier, it has a retrieval period of twelve hours as opposed to S3 Glacier’s ability to expeditiously recover data in a matter of minutes. For businesses that only need to retrieve archived data occasionally (once or twice a year), S3 Glacier Deep Archive may be the perfect data preservation option.

S3 Lifecycle Policy: What Is It?

S3 object management and storage expenses may be optimized using S3 lifecycle policies. This is accomplished using lifecycle rules, which specify what should happen to a bucket’s contents when a specified amount of time has passed. For instance, six months after uploading, a lifetime policy might change all the objects in a bucket from the S3 Standard class to S3 Standard-IA. After another six months, a different policy may switch Standard S3-IA class files to S3 Glacier.

Now that you know the S3 storage classes, let’s discuss all the S3 expenses. S3 pricing varies per AWS region; for the purpose of simplicity, we will solely use us-east-1 (North Virginia) as the basis for our samples. However, no matter the area, the S3 cost calculation process is the same. To view the cost for additional areas, go to the S3 pricing page.