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AWS S3 Storage Tiers and Lifecycle

AWS S3 is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance, it is one of the most used service and it took the world by storm. It is designed for 99.999999999% (11 9's) of durability. In this article, we'll be going through different storage tiers of s3 and we will be looking at how we can define LifeCycle Configurations to automatically transition objects from one storage tier to another automatically as per our needs in order to optimize cost while maintaining the same level of compliance.

Storage Tiers:

  • S3 Standard ( The most commonly used ) : S3 Standard offers high durability, availability, and performance object storage for frequently accessed data. Because it delivers low latency and high throughput, S3 Standard is appropriate for a wide variety of use cases, including cloud applications, dynamic websites, content distribution, mobile and gaming applications, and big data analytics. This storage tier is most expensive tier in terms of storage.

  • S3 Intelligent Tiering: It is recently introduced feature which lets us to automatically transition objects between standard tier and IA tier. One major thing to note when setting the storage to Intelligent tier is make sure the object you're storing should at-least will be kept for 30 or more days since it charges minimum for 30 days. It is priced same as the standard tier.

  • S3 IA: S3 Standard-IA is for data that is accessed less frequently, but requires rapid access when needed. S3 Standard-IA offers the high durability, high throughput, and low latency of S3 Standard, with a low per GB storage price and per GB retrieval fee. This combination of low cost and high performance make S3 Standard-IA ideal for long-term storage, backups, and as a data store for disaster recovery files.

  • S3 1Z IA: This is very similar to S3 IA with one major difference that the stored object will only be kept in One Availability Zone and hence will only have 99.5% overall availability. This is 25% cheaper than S3 IA tier storage.

  • S3 Glacier and Glacier Deep Archieve: These are the lowest cost tier storage with same durability but a longer retrieval time resulting from 2 days to 12 days.

To know the complete pricing and features of those storage tiers, visit official documentation


    Type: AWS::S3::Bucket
      BucketName: test-bucket
        Status: Suspended
          - Status: Enabled
              - TransitionInDays: 100
                StorageClass: STANDARD_IA
              - TransitionInDays: 120
                StorageClass: GLACIER
            Id: TransitionRules

The above code snippet creates a rule which will transition all the objects as follows:

  • From Standard Tier to Standard IA after 30 days
  • From Standard IA tier to Glacier after 120 days