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The AWS S3 Tutorial shall discuss Amazon simple storage service with examples to give you a depth idea of the concept. As you know, voluminous data is produced every day that results in increasing storage requirements. It demands to maintain and build your own repositories; therefore, it becomes a tedious and boring job as the amount of overall storage capacity you exactly need in the future is tough to predict.
When space is over-utilized, it may result in application failure because of insufficient space, and you may end up buying stacks of storage that will then be under-utilized and costs you much higher than your expectations. Keeping all these hurdles in mind, Amazon came up with a powerful internet storage service Amazon S3. We will take you on tour in this blog where you shall learn everything about the service in detail and it’s benefits for a business.
Table of Content for AWS S3 Tutorial
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Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is designed for the internet to enable large-capacity, low-cost storage provision across different geographical areas. It provides IT team and developers with durable, flexible, and durable, object storage.
Topics to be covered in the introductory section:
Let us discuss each of the sub-sections one by one below:
After this discussion, the next question that hits your mind directly is what kind of data can be stored in AWS S3?
Virtually, almost any type of data can be stored with S3 in different formats. If we are discussing the capacity, the number of objects and volume that we can store with S3 are unlimited. An object is considered the basic storage entity in S3 that consists of a key, data, and metadata. So, Data can be divided into two categories further:
You can decide where your data should be stored geographically. Although making a wise decision for the region is necessary, yet it needs to be planned well. Four parameters could help you in deciding the optimal region for the storage. These are – Price, customer location, Latency, and service availability, etc.
Therefore, Amazon comes up with three storage classes to deliver the best experience to its customers at very affordable rates.
Data in Amazon S3 is organized into buckets. A bucket is a logical storage unit in S3. It contains objects that contain the metadata. Before adding any data to Amazon S3, the user should create a bucket first that can be used to store objects ahead.
Moving ahead, let us try to understand the Amazon Simple Storage Service with the help of an example below.
Take an example of the Company that has to launch its storage instances to host a website for its customers in Indian and USA. To deliver the best customer experiences, the Company has to choose one region that suits the best its requirements.
|Instance Type (Reserved Instance)||e.g amazon ec2-m4.4xlarge 16(vCPU), 64 GM RAM|
|Pricing ( 1 Year)||Mumbai -$691/monthly - $0.9 Hourly N Virginia - $480/Monthly - $0.6 Hourly|
|Latency||Form USA to India –Low From India to USA -High|
Based on the above parameters, it is pretty clear that N Virginia is just a suitable region for the Company to host its website because of the low latency and the low price. Irrespective of your location, you may bid on other regions too that suits your requirements the best because there is always flexibility to access S3 buckets from anywhere.
Other than this, there are chances when the website is launched in another region, and backup is taken in another availability region. This feature is added recently to the Amazon S3 system and pretty much easy to use. To evaluate your skills, how much you know about the AWS platform and its technologies, take a quick quiz first.
Amazon S3 has a set of benefits, and a few popular ones are stated below:
Let us start with a brief introduction to each of the features one by one:
Amazon S3 supports three types of encryption. When it comes to auditing, S3 provides a secure integration with AWS Cloud trail to retain or monitor storage API call activities. Amazon Macie is an AWS platform that uses machine learning to arrange, secure, and discover the Aws data automatically. It also supports robust security standards and compliance certifications too. It helps the customer in satisfying compliance requirements for every regulatory agency virtually worldwide.
AWS S3 allows users to run big data analytics on a particular system without moving it to any other system. It allows users to retrieve the data back that was needed by S3 objects earlier. It allows users to convert a vast amount of unstructured data to a structured format with the help of SQL database programming language.
With the help of storage administrators, data can be arranged or visualized quickly. It helps in monitoring data sources and reduces the overall costs while improving the services. When Amazon S3 is used along AWS Lambda, it helps customers to log activities and many more functions without focusing on the infrastructure.
Amazon S3 is considered as one of the most durable storage services as it works on the global cloud infrastructure. Data has to pass through three physically available zones that are far away from the AWS region. It is available at most of the places and offers an effective way to design and operate databases or apps.
Amazon S3 uses plenty of ways for data transfer within the Amazon S3. It is possible with the help of an API that transfers data through the internet. There is one direct connection to transfer data within S3 that helps in data transfer to public or private networks. Aws snowball offers a data transfer system at the petabyte-level. There is one AWS Storage gateway that offers on-premises storage and helps in transferring data directly to the cloud through the premises of the user.
Amazon S3 offers the facility to customers where data can be accessed quickly based on the need for compliance archives. To meet the system retention, Amazon Glacier provides “Write Once Read Much” Storage. There are lifecycle policies that make data transitioning between Amazon Glacier and Amazon S3 simpler and faster.
The Company uses a large amount of data that can be stored in different formats in S3 buckets, and it can be used as a big data lake too for big data analytics. Amazon S3 provides us with many services that help us to manage voluminous data by reducing its costs and optimizing the overall speed of innovation.
As we have discussed already, S3 is highly durable and secure for data backup and data archiving. Also, it provides different S3 storage classes too that helps in optimizing data access and its performance while recovery time objectives.
Cross-region replication helps users either replicate or transfer the data to some other location without any hurdles. Obviously, it demands certain costs for its services that we will discuss in later sections. When compared to traditional data transfer schemes available over the web, AWS supports two popular mechanisms for data transfer.
These are Snowball and Transfer Acceleration. Transfer Acceleration helps in easy, fast, and secure data transfers over long distances by exploiting CloudFront technologies. CloudFront is a cache service by AWS where the data from client-side is transferred to the nearest edge location and further data is routed to the S3 bucket over an optimized network path.
Next popular data transfer scheme is Snowball that suggests the interesting idea of transferring data physically. Here, Amazon sends equipment to premises where you are free to load the data. It has a kindle attached to it with client’s address including when it was shipped from Amazon. When the data transfer process is complete on Snowball, Kindle will change the shipping address back to AWS headquarters where the Snowball has to be sent.
If you have large batches of data to move, then Snowball is just the perfect choice to consider. The average turnaround for snowball is five to seven days. In the same way, Transfer Acceleration can move up to 75 TB of data on a dedicated 1 Gbps line. It completely depends on the use case and you could take the decision accordingly. Moving ahead. Let us discuss the overall S3 pricing and how much it can cost you?
“Isn’t anything free on AWS?
If you are a beginner, then you can start with AWS S3 for free. Once signed up, new users get 5GB of S# standard storage, 20K Get-Requests, and 2K Put-Requests, 15GB of total data transfer each month for approximately one year. If you want to exceed this limit, then there is a certain amount that Amazon charges you. For this purpose, continue reading this blog ahead.
S3 has plenty of features; still, it is affordable and flexible when it comes to the payment. It allows you to pay for services that you are actually using. The below table will give you a better idea of S3 pricing for a specific region.
If you replicate 1K objects, then you have to put requests to store 1000 objects and inter-region data transfer. Once data replication is complete, the 1000 GB will incur charges based on the destination region.
There are two variants of Snowball
These are the fixed service charges that you have to pay. Apart from this, you can check the website, and mostly charges are given exclusive of shipping days, shipping days are free. Transfer Acceleration pricing is shown in the following table:
Here, AWS S3 charges are quite manageable and affordable when compared to its benefits. You just have to understand which package suits you the most as per your requirements.
Case 1 – Industry Type – Media
Let us understand the concept with the help of a real-time example to assimilate what we have learned so far. IMDB is a popular internet Movie database to store details about movies, TV programs, video games, etc. Let us see how did they exploit the AWS Services to implement this movie database. To get the lowest possible latency, all possible outputs are calculated in advance with a document for every combination of letters in search. Each document is further pushed to the Amazon S3 and thereby to Amazon Cloud Front, and putting documents physically closer to users. The theoretical number of possible searches that can be calculated in mind-boggling. For example, a 20-character search has 23 x 1030 combinations.
In practices, by using the IMDB authority on movie and celebrity data, the search space can be reduced up to 150,000 docs and can be distributed in just a few hours.
Case 2 – Learn to host a static website on Amazon S3
Let us first learn, what is a static website? Have you any idea about it?
<!doctype html> <html> <head> <title> Hello, S3! </title> <meta name="description" content="My first S3 website"> <meta charset="utf-8"> </head> <body> <h2>My first S3 website</h2> <p>I can't believe it was that easy!</p> </body> </html>
Congratulations, you have just hosted a website in AWS S3 with a few simple steps. Once a bucket is created, you can delete it; you can empty a bucket or move S3 objects from one bucket to another as required.
Amazon allows certain actions that can be automatically applied to objects stored within a particular bucket. These actions are attached as lifecycle sub-resources to the bucket and consist of the following actions:
It is clear that transition actions are used to manage storage classes for objects within a bucket while expiration actions are used to delete an object automatically as soon as it expires. In this way, it is good if you want to store log files in your application for a certain time period only. When the defined timeframe will expire, log files will be removed as per the requirement.
Further, lifecycle management helps in moving objects from one of the real-time storage classes to the GLACIER class. Here are a few interesting facts you should know before you complete the data transfer process from one storage class to another.
Encryption means encoding an object in such a way that only authorized users can decode that particular object. Basically, it is possible protecting the data when it is passed to Amazon servers and while the data is stored to the Amazon. Also, to protect the data during transmission, you can use SSL (Security Socket Layer) to transfer HTTP requests. With the help of Amazon’s Java SDK, it is possible to set up the protocol using “ClientConfiguration.” Here is an example for your reference:
ClientConfiguration clientConf = new ClientConfiguration(); clientConf.setProtocol(Protocol.HTTPS); AWSCredentialsProvider credentialsProvider = getAwsCredentialsProvider(); AwsEnvVarOverrideRegionProvider regionProvider = createRegionProvider(); return AmazonS3ClientBuilder.standard() .withClientConfiguration(clientConf) .withCredentials(credentialsProvider) .withRegion(regionProvider.getRegion()) .build();
Data encryption for the stored data can happen in two ways: Client-side Encryption, and Server-side Encryption. Multiple copies of data are maintained to enable the regeneration of data in case of data corruption. Also, versioning is performed wherein each edit is archived for potential retrieval. In the case of server-side encryption, data is encoded before it is saved to the disc. Your client application managed the encryption process and sends the data that is already encrypted to Amazon. The best thing about server-side encryption is that Amazon has already encrypted the data and performed the key management for you.
Data will be in its original form for the moment while it is stored on Amazon machines. With the client-side encryption, you can encrypt your own application and learn to manage keys. This is the way how data is protected in the memory of your client’s machine and Amazon never sees the original content. Here, you have to focus on key algorithms and key management yourself.
Amazon offers three different types of Server-Side and client-side Encryption:
Amazon S3 Managed Keys (SSE – S3):
Here, each object is encrypted using a unique key with the help of multi-factor encryption.
Further, a unique key is also encrypted with a master key that rotates regularly. This service uses Advanced Encryption standard for encrypting the data. Make sure that this encryption technique encodes only the object data, not the metadata.
AWS KMS-Managed Keys (SSE-KMS):
This type of encryption offers key management services that are designed to scale for large distributed apps. Here, the master key is created differently when compared to the SSE-S3 encryption process. However, both processes allow creating keys, define policies for them, and audit logs for the usage of each key. This is the default server-side encryption scheme used by the Amazon. The key can be used in subsequent calls unless you don’t specify another key.
Customer Provide Keys (SSE-C):
If you don’t like the idea that Amazon provides the key for data encryption, you have the flexibility to define your own key that is customer-centric key as the part of your requests. Further, Amazon implements the same key to encrypt or decrypt the data on the server-side. Amazon stores the HMAC value of the user-created key to validate future requests. In case, you lost the key created by your then HMAC value can help you to retrieve the same key and helps in robust key management.
Client-side Encryption - KMS
The server-side encryption techniques cannot be enough sometimes because Amazon knows the key value you are using, and there are certain points when raw data is in hand. To handle this situation, you can use KMS key and encrypt the data at the client-side. Here, the client first sends the request to KMS service to retrieve the data for encryption.
The KMS will suggest two random keys and returns the data in two different versions. The first version is used by the client, and the second version is the ciphered version of the data key. The ciphered version is sent as the metadata along with the encrypted data version to Amazon S3. When data is accessed, the client will load the encrypted and ciphered versions together. It then sends the ciphered version to the KMS service and receives the plain text as the decoded data object.
Client-side Master Key Encryption
Here, the client generates a random key to encrypt the data before the final upload. It then encrypts the data with a master key suggested by the client application and sends the encrypted data with a master key to Amazon. In this way, Amazon does have any idea about the raw data and the key used by the client for data encryption.
To protect your data, from unwanted deletions or overwrites, you could enable versioning for a bucket. It will help in creating a new version of the object and upload the same version instead of overwriting the old data. Versioning is enabled on a complete bucket instead of any single objects. Once versioning is enabled, you cannot disable, but you can suspend it.
In this way, encryption is applied in different ways on client-side and server-side before data is sent to the Amazon S3. You can pick any of them as per your requirements and convenience.
In this blog for AWS S3 Tutorial, we learned everything about the storage service from the basics and how to set up a static website using Amazon S3. This guide discussed the features, benefits, and usage of the service. We also learned different encryption mechanisms that can be implemented on the raw data as per the requirement.
At the final leg of AWS S3 Tutorial, we will recommend you joining the AWS certification program online at JanBask Training and know everything in depth from the beginning. We wish you luck for a successful career in the AWS space. All the Best!
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