Introduction to Amazon S3


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AWS S3, or Simple Storage Service, is a storage solution provided by AWS that allows you to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web. You can think of it as an online storage space you can access from any device with an internet connection. S3 is a reliable and flexible service that can be used for a wide range of storage needs, including storing text, images, audio files, and videos.

It works by storing data as objects within buckets. A bucket is a logical container for your data, similar to a folder in a traditional file system. An object is a file, and it is identified by a unique key.

How do you use AWS S3?

To use S3, you first need to create a bucket and specify a bucket name and an AWS Region. Then, you can upload your data to the bucket as objects. You can store any type of data in an object, such as text, images, audio files, videos, and more.

S3 provides features that you can use to customize the service for your specific needs. For example, you can use Versioning to keep multiple versions of an object in the same bucket, which allows you to restore objects that are accidentally deleted or overwritten.

There are a TON of other ways to customize S3 for unique use cases (seriously). One advanced example is shown below from the AWS S3 user guide:

S3 Object Lambda – Add your own code to S3 GET, HEAD, and LIST requests to modify and process data as it is returned to an application. Filter rows, dynamically resize images, redact confidential data, and much more.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) - User Guide

By default, buckets and the objects in them are private and can only be accessed if you explicitly grant access permissions. You can use bucket policies, Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, access control lists (ACLs), and S3 Access Points to manage access to your data.

Common use cases for AWS S3:

Here are some examples of everyday use cases for AWS S3:

  1. Backup and disaster recovery: S3 can be used as a secure, durable, and scalable solution for backing up data. You can store your data in S3 and set up automatic or scheduled backups to ensure that your data is protected and can be recovered in case of a disaster.
  2. Static website hosting: S3 can be used to host static websites, which are websites that consist of only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. S3 is a cost-effective and scalable solution for hosting static websites, and it offers low latency and high availability.
  3. Content delivery: S3 can be used in conjunction with Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network (CDN), to deliver content to users with low latency and high transfer speeds. CloudFront integrates with S3 to store and serve your static and dynamic content, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images.
  4. Data lake: S3 can be used as a data lake, which is a centralized repository that allows you to store all your structured and unstructured data at any scale. A data lake enables you to analyze and process data from various sources using tools such as Amazon EMR, Amazon Athena, and Amazon Redshift.
  5. Cloud storage: S3 can be used as a cloud storage solution for storing and accessing data from multiple devices and locations. You can use it to store data that you need to access from different devices, such as photos, music, and documents.

AWS S3 is a core AWS service that you will need to understand in order to become a proficient AWS administrator. Continue on to the next lessons to learn more!

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