Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is the ultimate cloud storage service for users who want to build and deploy workloads seamlessly. It provides users with a fast, highly reliable, and scalable data storage platform that’s essentially inexpensive. 

Despite the high reliability and scalability, understanding S3 storage classes cost can be an uphill task. The numerous sub-services and features of the buckets can be highly confusing. Understanding how S3 classes function has always been a problem for many users, and as a result, they end up paying more than they should.

The six S3 storage classes differ in terms of availability and costs. They include:

  • S3 Standard
  • S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA)
  • AWS S3 Glacier
  • Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive
  • S3 Intelligent Tiering
  • S3 One Zone Infrequent Access Storage (S3 One Zone-IA)

The most suitable storage class depends on your usage. Also, data storage costs differ with the Availability Zone. Here is a detailed breakdown to help you understand S3 costs depending on the storage classes for the US East (Ohio) Zone. 

S3 Standard

The AWS S3 Standard is the default tier that you use for frequently accessed data. It offers high performance, availability, and durability for data you often use. It’s essential for workloads such as gaming and mobile applications, big data analytics, dynamic websites, and more.

The cost of data storage in S3 Standard is 0.023/GB for the first 50 TB in a month. The cost of data exceeding 50 TB but less than 500 TB is $0.022/GB. Additional storage costs $0.021/GB.

S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA)

The S3 Standard IA stores data that you don’t need all the time, but that might require rapid access. It is ideal for storing disaster and backup recovery files, and has high throughput performance and low latency, just like the S3 standard.

The S3 Standard-IA does not have tiers, and storage costs $0.0125/GB per month. 

AWS S3 Glacier

The Amazon S3 Glacier provides high durability, security, and low-cost data storage. This class stores archived data used infrequently, but that you must archive for regulatory or compliance purposes. It is relatively cheaper, although data retrieval may take more time.

The cost of S3 Glacier storage is 0.004/GB per month. 

Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive

The S3 Glacier Deep Archive stores archived data that you access rarely. As a result, it is the cheapest S3 data storage class. It costs $0.00099/GB per month, or about $1/TB. The S3 Glacier Deep Archive holds long-term data, especially for users who want to keep data for over ten years for regulatory and compliance purposes.

S3 Intelligent Tiering

The S3 Intelligent Tiering provides automatic cost optimization by moving data between frequent- and infrequent-access tiers. This storage class is ideal for data that keeps changing, unknown data, and instances of unpredictable access patterns. If you are working on new applications, analytics, or data lakes, S3 Intelligent Tiering could be the best storage class. 

Data stored in both the infrequent and frequent access tiers is charged the same rate as and S3 Standard Infrequent Access and S3 Standard storage respectively.

S3 One Zone Infrequent Access Storage (S3 One Zone-IA)

The S3 One Zone-IA stores data in the same Availability zone, unlike other storage classes that store in at least three Availability zones. With storage in a single Availability Zone, there is no data duplication. However, this is a lower-cost storage tier and costs $0.01 per GB, which makes it ideal for re-creatable data and secondary backup copies. 

The Bottom Line

Knowing which class to store your data in can eventually lead to cost savings. All the above storage classes have different prices, and choosing the best platform can still be challenging. Therefore, it’s best to adopt a cloud platform that gives you maximum visibility into your Amazon S3. 

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The nOps cost optimization feature helps optimize AWS S3 storage costs by giving you complete visibility and control of your expenses. 

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