Managing AWS S3 pricing and costs with IBM Turbonomic

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that provides organizations with scalability, security, availability and performance while keeping their IT infrastructure management needs at bay. It was launched in 2006 as the first AWS service and manages data as objects instead of a file hierarchy or blocks within sectors and tracks.

Amazon S3 provides management features to configure access controls that meet specific business, organizational and compliance requirements, making it customizable. However, AWS S3 does come with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to S3 pricing. As AWS S3 usage grows, so does the cost; managing AWS S3 pricing can be complex and frustrating, especially when you’re trying to optimize your business.

AWS S3 storage classes

There are a number of S3 storage classes available in AWS S3, including the following:

  • S3 Standard
  • S3 Intelligent-Tiering
  • S3 Standard-IA
  • S3 One Zone-IA
  • S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval
  • S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval
  • 3 Glacier Deep Archive

S3 storage classes are designed to cater to different storage use cases depending on how often the storage needs to be accessed and the level of redundancy required. These storage classes are not static and can be updated either manually or via a lifecycle policy. The S3 lifecycle policy allows data to automatically transfer to a different storage class without any changes to the application. However, with so many storage classes available (and each designed for a specific storage use case), it can become challenging to choose the right one and manage them cost-effectively.

  • S3 Standard: The S3 Standard is the AWS default and the most commonly used storage class, so it is designed for frequently accessed data. It has low latency, high throughput and is highly versatile, making it suitable for many applications. However, it is also the most expensive storage class per GB stored.
  • S3 Intelligent-Tiering: Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering automatically moves data between frequent-access (FA) and infrequent-access (IA) tiers for cost optimization, making it ideal for data with unknown or changing access patterns. It can seamlessly transfer data to the most cost-effective access tier on a per-object basis, without performance degradation, retrieval fees or operational complexity.
  • S3 Standard-I-A: Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access is a storage class suitable for long-term storage or backups of data that is accessed less frequently than data stored in S3 Standard (but still requires rapid access when needed). It is best for storing data that needs to be available quickly in case of disaster recovery.
  • S3 One Zone-I-A: Amazon S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access stores data in a single AWS Availability Zone, making it 20% cheaper than S3 Standard-IA. It’s ideal for users who don’t require the additional protection provided by geographic redundancy. However, it is important to note that it’s not designed to be resilient to the physical loss of an AZ due to a catastrophic event.
  • S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval: Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is the most cost-effective archive storage class for long-term data that is rarely accessed but requires quick retrieval. With cost savings of up to 68% compared to S3 Standard-IA when accessed once per quarter, S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval offers the same high throughput and quick access as the S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA storage classes. S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval is ideal for users seeking to save on storage costs without compromising fast retrieval times.
  • S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval: Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval is a low-cost storage option for archive data that is accessed one to two times per year and is retrieved independently. It is similar in capabilities to S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval but is up to 10% cheaper. This storage class is ideal for archive data that does not require immediate access but needs the flexibility to retrieve large sets of data at no cost, such as in backup or disaster recovery use cases.
  • S3 Glacier Deep Archive: Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive was designed for long-term retention and preservation of data that is infrequently accessed. It is commonly used for backup, disaster recovery, and regulatory compliance in highly regulated industries. This storage class is ideal for organizations that need to retain data sets for long periods of time without the need for regular access.
  S3 Standard S3 Intelligent-Tiering S3 Standard-IA S3 One Zone-IA S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval S3 Glacier Deep Archive
Designed for durability 99.999999999% (11 9’s) 99.999999999% (11 9’s)   99.999999999% (11 9’s)   99.999999999% (11 9’s)   99.999999999% (11 9’s)   99.999999999% (11 9’s)   99.999999999% (11 9’s)  
Designed for availability 99.99% 99.9% 99.9% 99.5% 99.9% 99.99% 99.99%
Availability SLA 99.9% 99% 99% 99% 99% 99.9% 99.9%
Availability zones ≥3 ≥3 ≥3 1 ≥3 ≥3 ≥3
Minimum capacity charge per account N/A N/A 128 KB 128 KB 128 KB N/A N/A
Minimum storage duration charge N/A N/A 30 days 30 days 90 days 90 days 180 days
Retrieval charge N/A N/A Per GB retrieved Per GB retrieved Per GB retrieved Per GB retrieved Per GB retrieved
First-byte latency milliseconds milliseconds milliseconds milliseconds milliseconds minutes or hours hours
Storage type object object object object object object object
Lifecycle transitions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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Check out the Amazon S3 Storage Classes webpage for more information on each storage class. 

IBM Turbonomic and AWS S3

IBM Turbonomic can help organizations navigate the complexity of AWS storage options by providing guidance on how to select the right storage class. Our software can recommend which storage class is best for you based on the expected usage pattern and provide insights into the pricing structure of each class. By doing so, Turbonomic helps organizations avoid overprovisioning resources and overpaying on AWS S3 services, which ultimately leads to cost savings and improved efficiency.

Optimizing AWS S3 Pricing with Turbonomic

While AWS S3 storage seems to be remarkably inexpensive at the unit rate level, it’s not—like all cloud solutions it operates in a pay-as-you-go model. If you fail to consider the fully burdened cost of AWS S3 pricing, you could be left with a substantial bill. It’s crucial to understand how each AWS S3 storage class operates before committing to it.

The AWS S3 pricing structure is one of its biggest challenges because it’s complex and difficult to manage. The cost of storing data on Amazon S3 can vary and depends on factors like the amount of data stored, the number of requests made and the geographic region where the data is stored. It’s challenging for many organizations to accurately estimate AWS S3 costs and optimize their spending.

IBM Turbonomic can help manage AWS S3 pricing efficiently and effectively, allowing organizations to focus on innovation and growth. With IBM Turbonomic, organizations gain real-time insights into their AWS S3 usage and spending, allowing them to identify inefficiencies and make data-driven decisions to optimize their usage and costs.

AWS S3 pricing can be particularly challenging to manage when it comes to choosing the right storage class to fit your storage needs while simultaneously minimizing costs. Through intelligent cost optimization, IBM Turbonomic analyzes your current usage patterns, performance requirements and cost data to determine the most cost-effective storage class for each workload.

Additionally, our software generates automatable actions that allow organizations to optimize resource allocation and utilization. IBM Turbonomic identifies any idle or underutilized storage and reclaims it for other workloads, ensuring you only pay for what you need. This allows you to avoid unnecessary spending.

While Amazon S3 is a powerful cloud storage service, its pricing can be complex and challenging to manage. By leveraging the powerful capabilities of Turbonomic, organizations can gain better visibility into their Amazon S3 usage and spending and optimize resource allocation and utilization to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Get started

IBM Turbonomic can help you manage AWS S3 pricing and usage while assuring your application’s performance. Check out the following links to learn more.

Get started by trying out the IBM Turbonomic Sandbox. Request your IBM Turbonomic demo today.

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