Other Considerations and Limitations


SAA-C03 Introduction
AWS Storage
Introduction to Amazon EFS
Amazon EC2
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
Optimizing Storage
AWS Backup
Running Operations with the Snow Family
Data Transfers with AWS DataSync
SAA-C03 Review
Storage Summary
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3h 30m

This section of the Solution Architect Associate learning path introduces you to the core storage concepts and services relevant to the SAA-C03 exam. We start with an introduction to the AWS storage services, understand the options available and learn how to select and apply AWS storage services to meet specific requirements. 

Want more? Try a lab playground or do a Lab Challenge

Learning Objectives

  • Obtain an in-depth understanding of Amazon S3 - Simple Storage Service
  • Get both a theoretical and practical understanding of EFS
  • Learn how to create an EFS file system, manage EFS security, and import data in EFS
  • Learn about EC2 storage and Elastic Block Store
  • Learn about the services available in AWS to optimize your storage
  • Learn how to use AWS DataSync to move data between storage systems and AWS storage services

For this video, I want you to think about the S3 storage classes as a staircase. S3 Standard storage is at the top of the staircase, while S3 Glacier Deep Archive is at the bottom of the staircase. And all of the other storage classes are in between. 

With lifecycle configurations, this staircase only goes one way: down. Once you transition data down the staircase to a lower-cost storage class, you can't move objects back up. For example, let's say I move my data to S3 Standard-Infrequent Access. Once my data transitions to that storage class, I can't use a lifecycle configuration to move my data back to S3 Standard. This is also true if I move my data to S3 One Zone - IA, I can’t move it back to S3 Intelligent-Tiering, S3 Standard-IA, or S3 Standard. 

This becomes important if I'm using archival storage. If I reach the bottom of the staircase, by moving my data to the lowest cost storage class, S3 Glacier Deep Archive, I can't transition my data back to any other storage tier. 

Lifecycle Configuration costs follow a similar staircase model. I categorize these costs in two ways: minimum storage duration fees, and storage transition costs. Both of which increase as you move down the staircase. 

For example, let's take storage transition costs. You get charged when you move data to other storage classes and this fee increases as you move down the staircase. For example, at the top of the staircase, you’re charged $0.01 for every 1,000 lifecycle transition requests when objects are moved from S3 Standard to the S3 Standard-IA storage class. 

As you go down the staircase, all the way to S3 Glacier Deep Archive, this cost increases, and can be up to $0.05 for every 1000 transition requests. 

While it might not seem like a huge cost, it can stack up over time, especially if you're consistently moving data to archival storage. For example, if you need to transition millions of small objects to archival storage, that transition cost can be very high. To minimize this cost, you should consider transitioning mostly large objects that need to be retained over long periods of time. You can also consider aggregating several small objects into one large object to save on this fee as well. 

The second cost factor related to lifecycle configurations is minimum storage duration fees. Most storage classes have a minimum storage duration that requires you to keep data in a storage class for a certain period of time before you delete, overwrite, or transition those objects.  

These minimum storage duration periods increase as you go down the staircase as well. For example, S3 Standard and S3 Intelligent-Tiering have no minimum storage duration. Infrequent access tiers like S3 Standard-IA and S3 One Zone - IA have a minimum storage duration of 30 days. Archival storage tiers like S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval and S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval have a minimum storage duration of 90 days, while S3 Glacier Deep Archive has a minimum storage duration of 180 days.

So what happens if you delete or overwrite these objects before the minimum storage duration is reached? You get charged. For example, say you transition an object into S3 Glacier Deep Archive for 30 days, and then delete it. In this case, you will still be charged for the full 180 days of storage. 

So when you’re setting up your lifecycle configurations, ensure that you’re keeping the limitations and costs in mind. That’s all for this one! See you next time!

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.