Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is an object storage service that offers scalability, data availability, security and performance. S3 provides easy-to-use management features that allow you to keep your data organized and configure access controls to suit your business needs and requirements. 

There are six different storage classes, each one designed for different use cases. Listed below are the different storage classes, their key features and pricing. 

S3 Standard 

S3 Standard is used for general purposes and offers high durability, availability and performance object storage for any type data that is frequently accessed. It has low latency and high throughput performance, and is designed for a durability of 99.9999999999% of objects across multiple Availability Zones (AZ's). It also supports SSL for data in transit, as well as encryption of data at rest and offers S3 Lifecycle management for automatic migration of objects to other S3 Storage Classes.

Pricing:

  • First 50 TB of data is $0.023 per GB per month

  • Next 450 TB of data is $0.022 per GB per month

  • Over 500 TB of data is $0.021 per GB per month

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

S3 Intelligent-Tiering is used for when you are dealing with unknown or changing access to your data. It uses the changing access patterns of your data to automatically optimize storage costs, and stores objects within four access tiers that are optimized for frequent, infrequent, archival and deep archive access. The frequent and infrequent access tiers have the same low latency and high throughput performance that comes with S3 Standard and the archive access and deep archive access tiers have the same performance as Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive. This tier also boasts of the same percentage of durability of objects across multiple AZ's as S3 Standard, and has no operational overhead, no retrieval fees, and no additional tiering fees apply when objects are moved between access tiers within this storage class. There is, however, a small monthly monitoring and auto-tiering fee.

Pricing:

  • Frequent Access Tier, First 50 TB of data is $0.023 per GB per month

  • Frequent Access Tier, Next 450 TB of data is $0.022 per GB per month

  • Frequent Access Tier, Over 500 TB of data is $0.021 per GB per month

  • Infrequent Access Tier, All Storage is $0.0125 per GB per month

  • Archive Access Tier, All Storage is $0.004 per GB per month

  • Deep Archive Access Tier, All Storage is $0.00099 per GB per month

  • Monitoring and Automation, All Storage is $0.0025 per 1,000 objects per month

S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA)

S3 Standard-IA is used for data that is accessed less frequently, but requires quick retrieval when the data is needed. It, too, has the low latency and high throughput performance of S3 Standard, as well as the same durability of objects across multiple AZ's. This tier provides data resiliency in the even of an entire AZ being destroyed, and offers support of SSL for data in transit and encryption of data at rest. It also offers S3 Lifecycle management for automatic migration of objects to other S3 Storage Classes.

Pricing:

  • All Storage for this tier costs $0.0125 per GB per month

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

S3 One Zone-IA is used for the same purpose as S3 Standard-IA, but unlike other S3 Storage Classes that store data in multiple AZs, One Zone-IA stores data in a single AZ and costs 20% less than S3 Standard-IA. This makes it ideal for customers who desire a lower-cost option for data that is infrequently accessed but do not require the availability of S3 Standard or S3 Standard-IA, but offers the same low latency and high throughput performance of S3 Standard. Also like S3 Standard, One Zone-IA supports SSL for data in transit and encryption of data at rest and offers S3 Lifecycle management for automatic migration of objects to other S3 Storage Classes. It should be noted, however, that, unlike S3 Standard-IA, since One Zone-IA stores data in a single AZ, any data stored in this class in the event of AZ destruction will be lost.

Pricing

  • All Storage for this tier costs $0.01 per GB per month

Amazon S3 Glacier

S3 Glacier is one of the least expensive, secure and durable storage classes available to customers, but it is meant to be used for data archiving. There are three data retrieval options that range from taking a few minutes to hours. It has the same durability and resiliency as S3 Standard and supports SSL for data in transit and encryption of data at rest. Glacier also offers S3 PUT API for direct uploads to this storage class or you can use an S3 Lifecycle management policy for automatic migration of objects from one of the other storage classes to Glacier. 

Pricing:

  • All Storage for this tier costs $0.004 per GB per month

Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive

This is the lowest-cost storage class AWS has to offer and it supports long-term retention and digital preservation for data that is very rarely accessed (once or twice a year). This class is suited for industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare and Public Sectors that are required to maintain data for 7-10 years or longer to meet compliance requirements. It is also an ideal alternative to magnetic tape libraries, and offers the same S3 PUT API for direct uploads of data and S3 Lifecycle management policies for automatic migration of objects. A drawback to this class, however, is the retrieval time. It could take up to 12 hours to retrieve your data.

Pricing:

  • All Storage for this tier costs $0.00099 per GB per month