In this episode, we take a look at the AWS storage services group.  This includes some of the older services like S3 and elastic block storage.  If you have not had a look at these offerings recently, then it is worth your time to get reacquainted with them.

Fast to Slow Access

One of the primary differences in storage types is how fast (or slow) the data can be accessed.  The Simple Storage Service (S3) has become an almost ubiquitous service for websites and document storage platforms.  This is easy to use, and many tools (including WordPress) have plugins that make it easy to offload static files (images and even CSS or JavaScript) to S3 as a form of CDN.  The access is reliable, quick, and has backups and failover built in.  The amount of time this service has been around makes it easy to find examples and tutorials for working with this service in your platform of choice.

Brrr – Glacier

The name of Glacier implies slow moving, so it makes sense that this service is not the most responsive.  Your files can take minutes or days to retrieve.  However, the price per GB is incredibly low, and that makes this a perfect way to store off-site backups or other files you may never need to access.  The interface is not as pervasive and straightforward as S3, but you probably do not need an easy to use solution.  This is a service you may only upload files to once a quarter or annually.  When you think of this as a replacement for tape storage, then it will make a lot more sense to you.

Truckloads of Data

The snowball services embrace the reality of moving vast amounts of data.  Sometimes it is easier to ship a hardware device to load data and then mail that rather than flood a network pipe with a data transfer that takes days or weeks.  The snowmobile service is a literal truckload of data with devices that you can quickly transfer your exabytes of data onto.  This is an enterprise-class service, but an excellent example of how much data we may deal with on a regular basis.


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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