InfoQ Homepage News AWS Announces New S3 Intelligent-Tiering Archive Access Tiers

AWS Announces New S3 Intelligent-Tiering Archive Access Tiers

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S3 Intelligent-Tiering is a storage class that AWS has added to Amazon S3 for optimization of storage costs for its users. The company recently announced it would add two new archive access tiers designed for asynchronous access optimized for rare access at a very low cost: Archive Access tier and Deep Archive Access tier.

AWS launched S3 Intelligent-Tiering two years ago as a capability for customers to automatically select the most cost-effective storage tier based on usage patterns. Moreover, Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering is an Amazon S3 storage class that automatically optimizes customers' storage costs for data with unknown or changing access patterns. The company now adds two new optimizations (Archive Access tier and Deep Archive Access tier) for S3 Intelligent-Tiering that will automatically archive objects that are rarely accessed, further reducing storage costs by up to 95% when objects become rarely accessed over long periods.


The available access tiers for S3 Intelligent-Tiering now include:

  • Frequent Access tier, which is optimized for frequent access and priced as S3 Standard
  • Infrequent Access tier, which is a lower-cost tier that is optimized for infrequent access and priced as S3 Standard – Infrequent Access
  • Archive Access tier, which has the same performance and pricing as S3 Glacier storage class
  • Deep Archive Access tier, which has the same performance and pricing as S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class

Customers can easily activate one or both of the S3 Intelligent-Tiering archive access tiers using the Amazon S3 API, CLI, or with a few simple clicks in the S3 management console. 

Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at the Duckbill Group, stated in a tweet:

S3 Intelligent Tiering objects to Glacier / Glacier Deep Archive is awesome, but be aware that objects thus transitioned will take hours to restore. Maybe don't enable this for your website assets.

Marcia Villalba, a senior developer advocate for Amazon Web Service, explained in a blog post how the new tiers work:

Once you have activated one or both of the archive access tiers, S3 Intelligent-Tiering will automatically move objects that haven't been accessed for 90 days to the Archive Access tier, and after 180 days without being accessed to the Deep Archive Access tier. At any time that an object that is in one of the archive access tiers is restored, the object will move to the Frequent Access tier within a few hours and then it will be ready to be retrieved.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research Inc., told InfoQ:

We can see how AWS is maturing with the creation of uber services like intelligent tiering for S3. The popular storage service required customers to move data to cheaper storage options like Glacier manually. Now AWS has created a service that spans across the AWS atomic services, a good development for customers as it makes it easier for them to use AWS.

Currently, the new archiving tiers for S3 Intelligent tiering are available in all AWS Regions. Furthermore, details of S3 Intelligent tiering are available in the documentation.

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