S3 FAQs: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on June 19, 2020 S3 Storage

If you’re like most, data storage is a critical concern. The cost of maintaining data on-site, along with wanting to keep up with your competitors as they move ahead to new technologies, might be keeping you awake at night. If you are thinking about or have recently moved your data to an S3 (Simple Storage Service) provider, these S3 Faqs may come in handy. 

Being a leader in your industry is the goal of most businesses, and 94 percent of companies are migrating their data to the cloud in some way. Preparation is crucial, and that means having a secure cloud strategy. S3 should be the foundation of this strategy, and these helpful S3 Faqs should help get you on board.

What is S3 Storage?

There are a lot of new terms flying around, so if you’re a little unclear about the differences, let’s see if we can give you some clarity here. One of the first things to know is that the Simple Storage Service (S3) is storage for the internet. 

You can use S3 to keep and retrieve any amount of data all the time, and from anywhere. We already know that 83 percent of enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud by 2020, according to Logic Monitor predictions.

S3 storage uses an intuitive web interface called a Management Console, which makes controlling your S3 storage simple. Just as you have access controls on a local network, the same is true of S3 containers. You can set access permissions on each container and choose who can create, modify, and delete objects.

You can also create multiple buckets in your S3 storage, and these buckets are the containers where you will upload files along with their metadata. 

What Are S3 Storage Classes?

Depending on how you will use your S3 storage, you will be assigned a storage class. Data that will be accessed more often will get assigned as standard, while others will be given different designations. How does this help you?

If you are assigned a class for data that isn’t used often, it saves you money. Besides, there is support for SSL data encryption and a high level of reliability during transmission for all classes. The difference is seen in their cost. Let’s take a brief look at some of them:

S3 Standard

This class is made for frequently accessed or “hot” data. Due to its lower latency and superior throughput, S3 Standard is suitable in many use cases. Take a look at some of the situations where it is an excellent fit.

It has these features:

  • Superior throughput performance
  • Lower latency
  • Durable by design for 99.999999999% of objects
  • High resiliency against events that affect a whole Availability Zone
  • 99.99% availability by creation throughout a given year
  • Data in transit and encryption of data at rest is supported over SSL
  • S3 Life cycle management for automatic migration from one S3 storage class to another 

Standard storage is an excellent choice in these usage situations:

  • Hosting websites
  • Web-services and cloud applications 
  • Mobile apps and games
  • Big data
  • Distribution of content

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

S3 Intelligent-Tiering is both considered and not considered a storage class. Why is this the case? Well, if you put objects in the S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage class, there is monitoring, and your data will be moved on a per-object basis to a tier deemed the more appropriate. 

For example, if your object isn’t accessed for 30 days, it is likely to be moved to another tier. Then if the object is retrieved after being moved, it will be transferred back. 

Thereby, S3 Intelligent Tiering makes use of other storage classes and moves data automatically between them.

It does this by keeping the objects in two access levels: 

  • one level optimized for frequent access
  • another is lower-cost and optimized for occasional access

It has many of the same features as S3 Standard but also includes:

  • A monitoring and auto-tiering fee assessed monthly
  • transfer of objects based on alternating access patterns between two access levels

S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (IA)

This class is meant for data that needs less frequent access but will need longer storage time than used in S3 Standard. It has lower delays coupled with high capacity and reliability 99.999999999% that ensures the safety of an object for longer durations.

Some of the unique features of this class include:

  • Availability at 99.9% level within a year
  • Made to have 99.5% availability throughout the year
  • You are charged for data retrieval

Since S3 One Zone-IA stores data in a single zone, data stored in this storage class can be lost, if the zone is destroyed for any reason.

S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access (IA)

This class is a relative newcomer to S3 storage options. Compared to S3 Standard IA, it is about 20% less costly due to lower availability – 99.5% throughout the year. There isn’t a lot to say about this class as the name says it all.  

Setting Up Expectations

Deciding on S3 is a significant undertaking by any business. There are some steps you can take to ensure expectations are met and that the contract you sign is the best one for you and your company. An easy way to start is with a few of these helpful suggestions. 

Set Up an S3 Data Strategy

Many business go into the process, skipping this critical step end up paying dearly it. 

Make an Assessment of All Your Departments

In this way, you will know who will use the most data or cloud resources. It’s easy for end-users to go over contract limits without even knowing it. 

Include All Departments in the Decision

Especially have cloud and IT departments onboard and take input from everyone, from the finance department, C-Suite team up to the remote end-users. Having all the information allows you to make the best decision and accurately estimate the volume needed and cost. 

Note Unused Purchased Assets

Get rid of the ones that are lying around idle. Review if there is outdated programming and delete what you can.

Comparison Shop

Currently, there are many contenders in the S3 market; Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are not the only providers around. It’s essential to consider that not all cloud providers are expensive even though they may be offering the same services as their high priced competitors.

The smaller retailers often offer more transparency in pricing, which is excellent for their customers and ensures they aren’t shocked when they get their bill. 

What is S3 Pricing?

When considering your needs in S3 data storage, one of the considerations is cost. S3 billing is complicated when you are navigating many types of storage and operations that make up cloud storage costs.

If we’re honest, many customers of AWC, Google, and Microsoft experience a shock on receiving their first bill. At Netdepot, we try our best to make sure that doesn’t happen to our customers.

How can you make sure your expectations are met? There are a few things to consider when looking at an S3 data storage plan that makes up your cost, here are a few. 

Volume of Storage

The storage price is determined using the total size of the objects (in GB) kept in your S3 buckets. 

Data Transferred Every Month

This cost is determined by the volume of data transferred from S3 storage, besides data moved among regions within the S3 cloud. Generally, you will pay $0.09 per gigabyte to any of the big three.

Number of Monthly Requests

Requests are the lowest of all the cost factors, and come in around $0.005 per 1000 for PUT and GET type web requests. 

To find out what your costs on Netdepot S3, might be you can check out our cost calculator.   

How is Netdepot Different?

Usually, S3 can be expensive when you select any of the Big Three providers, Netdepot, in comparison, provides 3S data storage service for up to 80% less. It also offers backup and disaster recovery services besides support to keep damage from things like ransomware or other malware.  

Netdepot has been helping companies for 20 years. We offer strategic infrastructure solutions to increase business productivity and enhance security. We have positioned ourselves as one of the leading cloud storage providers with four data centers across the US (Atlanta, New York City, and San Francisco). 

At Netdepot, we make it is our mission to help businesses transition to the cloud and make the experience as pain-free as possible. We provide public and private cloud server options with trusted data centers and 24/7 support services. 

S3 FAQs Summary

If you are considering a Simple Storage Service (S3) or are already using it, the S3 FAQs should help make sense of a few things. If you are looking for information that wasn’t covered here, please check out our Tech Support page, where we have articles on many other topics. 

If you have other questions, you can always talk to one of our experts, and when you are ready to move forward, it’s simple to begin the process. Just call or send us a message. There are many ways to get in touch.

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