Amazon S3

What is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3 is short for Amazon Simple Storage Service, and it is the storage in the cloud. While it can be used to store anything, it's best to think of as optimized for files (documents, images, etc) that you may need quick, easy access to from the cloud.

What is Amazon S3 used for?

Amazon S3 is a good choice for the following:

  • Images
  • Documents
  • Videos
  • Audio

What's great about Amazon S3?

  • It's super durable
  • It's fast
  • It's cheap

It's super durable

Storage durability is measured as a percentage and Amazon S3 weighs in at an incredible 99.999999999% (that's eleven 9s) of data durability. That kind of reliability is kind of mind blowing for folks who have been in the industry for a while, but I would say it has been born out in our experience over the past 8 years working with AWS.

It's fast

Traffic between Amazon S3 and other Amazon services (like EC2) can leverage up to 100 Gbps of bandwidth when they are in the same Region.

It's cheap

How much does Amazon S3 cost? It's is priced at $0.023 (2.3 USA cents) per gigabyte per month. Even better you can get started with 5GB of standard S3 storage for 12 months. After 12 months that storage would cost you $1.38 per year.

What Amazon S3 should NOT be used for

While it's possible to store pretty much anything on S3, there are a few use cases it shouldn't be used for:

  • Databases - Amazon S3 is not optimized for databases and there are other Amazon products (Amazon RDS, Aurora, DynamoDB, etc.) which are plug-and-play database products.
  • Long term storage - while S3 is cheap enough that it can be used for long term storage, Amazon gets even cheaper with Amazon S3 Glacier.


Date posted: May 20, 2022

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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