Introduction to Simple Storage Service

Learn about Simple Storage Service (S3), one of Amazon’s vast number of cloud-based services.

Simple Storage Service (S3) is a storage service that offers a wide number of capabilities and features over other storage services. However, before we dive into the details of S3, it’s imperative to know the different types of storage and to which type AWS S3 belongs.

Types of storage

File storage

Whenever we save data organized in the form of directories and subdirectories, we’re inherently using a hierarchical file storage system. For example, in Linux, we find binaries stored inside /bin. Similarly, everything else is also organized within different directories.

Block storage

When data is written inside a physical disk in the empty blocks with a unique identifier mapped to them, it’s using block storage.

In block storage, data is stored in pieces, and a unique identifier helps in quick retrieval when required.

Object storage

Object storage is a flat, nonhierarchical storage system in which data is spread out in the form of objects inside a single unit instead of files inside folders. Object storage can be scaled easily for large amounts of data. There is, however, one drawback. Once it’s written, the object can’t be modified, and it isn’t well suited for databases.

Storage system in AWS S3

S3 uses object-based storage and is therefore well suited to static data.

To summarize, Simple Storage Service (S3) is an object-based storage service offered by AWS where data is stored inside buckets in the form of objects.