The different types of AWS’ S3 Object storage

Created by On June 23, 2023 |  Last Updated On August 8, 2023
AWS type of S3 storage

We often get asked which S3 object storage provider is the best, which we recommend, and which is the cheapest.

We haven’t seen any significant differences between the UK instances of Wasabi, Azure (blobs) and AWS’ S3. We use all three within our business and some in multiple locations. Whereas they have all suffered minor service degradation, we have never lost access to any instances and never lost any data. Based on that alone, we have to say they are pretty much the same.

**** There may be additional costs associated with data transfer (egress), requests, and retrieval for certain storage classes. It is important to consider these costs when choosing cloud storage.

All versions of the BOBcloud backup software allow you to use any S3-compatible storage destination for your backups. Glacier is not supported but it is shown here for comparison. You can have more than one backup destination on any of the thousands of cloud storage providers or your own local storage wherever it is located.

What about speed?
Again, we haven’t seen any performance issues between any of them.

What about the different flavours of AWS’ S3?
This a good question because Amazon has more than one different type. It’s true to say so does Microsoft on their Azure platform. They have hot and cool blobs, single data centre storage (LRS) as well as replicated multi-data centre storage (ZRS). However, in this tech doc we are just going to highlight AWS’s different S3.

S3 storage is one of the most widely used cloud storage services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is an object storage service that offers scalability, durability, and security. S3 from AWS provides various storage classes that offer different levels of performance and durability at different price points. Here, we compare the S3 storage versions @ AWS and their associated costs in GBP.

AWS S3 Standard
The AWS S3 Standard storage class is the default storage class for S3. It offers 99.99% durability and availability, making it suitable for storing critical data. The cost of S3 Standard storage is GBP 0.023 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.021 per GB per month.

AWS S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA)
The S3 Standard-Infrequent Access storage class is designed for data that is accessed less frequently but requires immediate access when needed. This storage class offers the same durability and availability as S3 Standard but at a lower cost. The cost of S3 Standard-IA storage is GBP 0.0125 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.0105 per GB per month.

AWS S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access (S3 One Zone-IA)
The S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access storage class is designed for data that can be recreated if lost. This storage class stores data in a single availability zone, making it less durable than S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA. The cost of S3 One Zone-IA storage is GBP 0.01 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.008 per GB per month.

AWS S3 Intelligent-Tiering
The S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage class is designed for data with unknown or changing access patterns. It automatically moves data between two access tiers based on changing access patterns. This storage class offers the same durability and availability as S3 Standard but at a lower cost for infrequently accessed data. The cost of S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage is GBP 0.023 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.021 per GB per month.

AWS S3 Glacier (not supported)
The S3 Glacier storage class is designed for long-term archival storage. It offers low cost and high durability, but data retrieval times can range from minutes to hours. The cost of S3 Glacier storage is GBP 0.0038 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.0032 per GB per month.

AWS S3 Glacier Deep Archive (not supported)
The S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class is designed for data that is rarely accessed and can be stored for a long period of time. It offers the lowest-cost storage option but data retrieval times can range from hours to days. The cost of S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage is GBP 0.0009 per GB per month for the first 50 TB of data. If you store 500 TB of data, the cost will be GBP 0.0007 per GB per month.

Comparison of S3 Storage Providers and Costs:
S3 Glacier Deep Archive is the most cost-effective option for long-term archival storage. However, the retrieval times can be significantly longer than other storage classes, which may not be suitable for certain applications.

S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and S3 Intelligent-Tiering offer similar durability and availability but differ in terms of cost and access patterns. S3 Standard is the most expensive option but offers immediate access to data. S3 Standard-IA offers lower cost storage for infrequently accessed data. S3 Intelligent-Tiering offers lower cost storage for data with changing access patterns but can have higher retrieval costs.

S3 One Zone-IA is a cheaper option than S3 Standard-IA, but it offers lower durability as it stores data in a single availability zone. This storage class may be suitable for data that can be recreated if lost.

Roll-up
AWS’ S3 offers a variety of storage classes that offer different levels of performance, durability, and cost. The right storage class for your application depends on your access patterns, data retention requirements, and budget. S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and S3 Intelligent-Tiering are suitable for data that requires immediate or infrequent access, while S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive are suitable for long-term archival storage. S3 One Zone-IA is a cheaper option but offers lower durability. It is important to consider additional costs associated with data transfer, requests, and retrieval when choosing a storage class.

Remember, you can use any type of S3 compatible storage in a BOBcloud backup. Glacier is not supported but shown here for comparison.

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