Amazon S3

Amazon S3 – Simple Storage Service provided by amazon. As term defines, its a storage server which functions just like a ftp server with extra features like accessing the files via web browser and for distribution via amazon cloudfront.

Basically we can use S3 for the following purposes.

  1. As a backup server

  2. For accessing files publicly

  3. Storing files for supporting scaling and load balancing.

  4. For distributing files via cloudfront

First of all you have to register for a S3 account. Register

Once you have completed the registration, you have to create a “bucket” in S3 for storing your files. Don't get worried about the term “bucket”. Its a term used by amazon for indicating the root folders of your account. It also represents the subdomain names of For example, if you create a bucket named “server1”, you will get a subdomain You won't be able to create a bucket, if the name is already used by someone else.

How would you access a FTP server ? How would you transfer the files to and from FTP ? Using any FTP client software, you can access and transfer files. Similarly, you would require any S3 client or tools for accessing the S3. Other than amazon S3 interface, there are plenty of tools available now. I mainly use

S3Fox – Firefox plugin, much easier to use for transferring files from personal computer.

S3cmd – Command Line tool used for uploading backups from servers.

(We will discuss about S3Fox and S3cmd in later posts)

S3 Pricing:

  • Pay for only for what you use.
  • There is no minimum fee.
  • All data transfered in and out is charged
  • All requests (PUT, GET, POST, LIST) is charged

Warning: If your bandwidth consumption and data storage in S3 is huge, pricing might be higher compared to other datacenters which provides unlimited bandwidth.

Next -> S3 as a backup server