Lesson One

  • Video 1 What Is AWS & S3

    The best place to start is at the beginning.

  • Video 01 details what Amazon Web Services (AWS) & S3 is and why you need to be using them NOW! 

    Running time is 4:50


Read Lesson One Transcript
Lesson One

Amazon S3 is one of the products offered by Amazon’s Web Services, also known as AWS. AWS is like a toolbox and S3 is like one of the many tools in that toolbox that Amazon.com offers. S3 is short of simple storage service and is kind of like your computer’s hard drive, only with unlimited storage space. S3 sprang to life here in the US in March of 2006 and I think sometime in 2007 for Europe because Amazon, the online store that will soon be delivering your packages with drones, had to figure out a more efficient way to scale up their data services. Thankfully the geniuses at Amazon figured it out and Amazon S3 is now used by thousands of companies to store their virtual data. Even Dropbox, a popular cloud-based storage service uses Amazon S3.

A few reasons why S3 is so popular – virtually unlimited storage space, low cost, pay-as-you-go pricing and it offers high security at 0 extra cost. For you to host your files and even your website in the same place as Amazon.com, Dropbox, Netflix and thousands of other big name companies is a pretty big deal and should make you feel confident in knowing that your files are in excellent company.

In addition to the confidence factor, getting an Amazon S3 account is just plain smart. Since there is 0 bogging down or buffering issues when it comes to file delivery, you can have like a zillion people show up at your site at the same time to check out your latest cat video that you have hosted on S3 and each of those zillion people will be able to watch the video in its entirety without it slowing down or crashing. Now if you have that same video hosted on your HostGator or GoDaddy or other similar hosting service, not only will it slow down to a crawl and then crash after say 100 or so people try to watch it at the same time, but your hosting company will likely send you a nasty email telling you that you cannot host large files or stream videos from this account. Yeah, that is a thing. And they might even cancel your account with them. So much for unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth huh.

With S3, you can keep your hosting services happy and more importantly your visitors and customers happy by hosting your large files and streaming your videos from your Amazon S3 account. As far as the cost, I’ll get more into that in detail in an upcoming video but unlike the hosting services, with S3 you only pay for what you use and that is very inexpensive, plus Amazon keeps lowering the cost. When I made my first series of videos on Amazon S3 back in 2009, the cost for storing 1 gig of files was a whopping 15cents per month. Now that same 1 gig file costs you 3cents a month.

Here’s a rundown of how Amazon S3 works – your Amazon S3 account will contain things called buckets that you create and I’ll cover that in an upcoming video as well. Now these buckets which you can have up to 100 of them in your S3 account will contain the folders and files that you upload into them. These folders and files are called objects. Now by the way, these files that you upload have 1 terabyte limit for each file, if you want to call that a limit, because 1 terabyte is equal to 1000 gigabytes and just a whole lot of megabytes, but anyway it’s a big file. I mean many people do not even have a hard drive on their computer that will hold a terabyte size file. Okay, so now we have objects and buckets; so far so good. Your buckets are stored in what are called regions. There are currently, I don’t know, 8 or 9 different regions throughout the world that you can choose from to store your bucket in but unless you’re told otherwise, the default location your bucket is in when you create it will work perfectly. Now these various regions are in place to help speed up file delivery and lower cost but like I said, the default locations will do just fine for most all of us.