Definition

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

Contributor(s): Trevor Jones

S3 Intelligent-Tiering is an Amazon S3 storage class that analyzes an AWS user's stored data and automatically moves it between storage tiers based on usage frequency. It is designed to optimize storage costs for data with irregular or unknown access patterns.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering benefits

S3 Intelligent-Tiering includes two tiers -- frequent access and infrequent access. It automatically puts data that hasn't been accessed for 30 consecutive days in the lower-cost, infrequent-access tier. Then, if a user does access an object in that tier, S3 Intelligent-Tiering automatically moves the data to the frequent-access tier, and the user will not see any difference in performance. Both access tiers provide the same latency as S3 Standard storage, which is designed for frequently accessed data.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering features

A user can access S3 Intelligent-Tiering through the AWS Management Console, command line interface or S3 API. He or she can select this storage class when data is uploaded to S3, or move existing data into this class from another class. Lifecycle rules can also be established to transition data to another storage class, such as Amazon S3 Glacier, after a designated period.

The service monitors and predicts user behavior to determine the tier in which it will store data. Those predictions are the output of machine learning algorithms AWS built to analyze data traffic patterns across the trillions of objects stored in S3.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering is one of several S3 storage options designed around accessibility demands. S3 Intelligent-Tiering is not recommended for a user who knows data access patterns well.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering pricing

Data stored in the frequent-access tier of S3 Intelligent-Tiering is charged at the same rate as S3 Standard storage. Data stored in the infrequent-access tier is charged at the same rate as S3 Standard-Infrequent Access.

There are no retrieval charges for data that AWS automatically moves between the infrequent- and frequent-access tiers, but there is a monthly monitoring and automation charge of $0.0025 per 1,000 objects. There also are additional fees for data requests that vary based on AWS Region.

Objects in S3 Intelligent-Tiering are billed for at least 30 days of storage, so the tier should not be used for data that will exist for less than that. There's also a minimum object size of 128 KB for auto-tiering. Smaller objects can be stored in the S3 Intelligent-Tiering class, but will always be charged at the frequent-access tier rates.

This was last updated in December 2018

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