Tuesday, May 19, 2015

AWS Storage Services

Today, I was invited to participate AWS Storage - Lunch & Learn Session at Amazon Web Service office.  Recently, I read AWS launched new storage service - Elastic File System (EFS) at CTO-Werner's blog http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/2015/04/amazon-elastic-filesystem-machine-learning.html and so I was curios to learn their storage eco system as shown in the attached diagram

Now, AWS offers 4 major storage solutions namely objects, archive, block storage, file system.  Letz have a snapshot of each model.

1. Object Storage
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for object storage, presented as buckets of objects and accessible over the Internet using URLs or APIs.  Each storage items like image, video, html, dbfile, feed file, etc. is considered as Object or Resource.  It is accessible via URL.  So, AWS object storage is not file system or database system.  Each object can be range from 1 byte to 5 TB; virtually unlimited object storage with auto scaling.

2. Archive Storage
Amazon Glacier for archival storage, in the form of vaults of objects, available for infrequent access via APIs over the Internet.  Amazon Glacier is a secure, durable, and extremely low-cost storage service for data archiving and online backup. Customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions. To keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for infrequently accessed data where a retrieval time of several (roughly 3 to 5) hours is suitable. Glacier is technically accessible via S3; not directly.  User can set the purge rule to archive from running S3 data to archival Glacier and cleaning Glacier after specific interval.

3. Block Storage
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for SAN-style block storage, presented as disk volumes that can be attached to one Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance at a time. I am seeing itz more of cloud mount to attach/detach with any type of system i.e. Windows, Linux, etc.  Multiple EBS can lead to build RAID storage.

In simple term, block storage - EBS is used as database for the application development.  DB content can be backed up with the combination of EBS, S3 & Glacier. Let me explain the business use case.  DB storage in EBS, can be snapshot/version with the flat storage at S3 for running instance.  On arrival of the next snapshot, older version can be pushed to Glacier as the archival.  It is completely automated via rules provided by AWS storage services.

4. File System
Amazon EFS is a fully-managed service that makes it easy to set up and scale shared file storage in the AWS Cloud. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can use Amazon EFS to create file systems that are accessible to EC2 instances and that support standard operating system APIs and file system semantics. Amazon EFS file systems can automatically scale from small file systems to petabyte-scale without needing to provision storage or throughput. Amazon EFS can support thousands of concurrent client connections with consistent performance, making it ideal for a wide range of uses that require on-demand scaling of file system capacity and performance.

Apart from the above 4 storage services, AWS Storage Gateway is making the power of secure and reliable cloud storage accessible from customers on-premises applications

My observation is that Amazon is doing wonderful achievements in Cloud platform.  Itz tip of ice berg; but enormous brilliant minds & efforts are underneath. Most of the companies are talking about API or Service model; but Amazon did it in reality with robustness after dog food on their own global on-line store App.

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