A Comparison of Amazon S3 Storage Classes and Glacier

2 min readMay 1, 2020


Hello, Medium.

How’s your exam preparation going in these days?.

I will share my learning today.

This’s theme is about Amazon S3 Storage Classes and Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Classes.

Let’s get started!

All Amazon S3 Storage Classes and Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Classes

# S3 Standard
# S3 Reduced Redundancy(RRS)
# S3 Standard-IA
# S3 One Zone-IA
# S3 Intelligent-Tiering
# S3 Glacier
# S3 Glacier Deep Archive

What is the difference between S3 and Glacier?

My opinion is, access within milliseconds is required or not.

If you need to retrieve data within milliseconds, you should choose S3.

If not, to make a use of Glacier or Glacier Deep Archive is better.

There are two diagrams: Amazon S3 Storage Classes Diagram, and Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Classes Diagram.

The reason is there are too many selection criteria to fit on one diagram, as AWS provides us a number of storage classes.

Amazon S3 Storage Classes Diagram

FIGURE1: “Amazon S3 Storage Classes Diagram”, created by myself


In the figure as above, I didn’t write S3 Intelligent-Tiering.

This class has different characteristics from the others.

AWS says.

The S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage class is designed to optimize costs by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective access tier, without performance impact or operational overhead.

sources: Amazon S3 Storage Classes

According to AWS re:Invent 2018’s slides, S3 Intelligent-Tiering storage class’s use cases are as bellow.

# Big Data, Data Lakes- Storage with changing access patterns used by multiple applications# Enterprises- Storage accessed by fragmented applications from various organizations# Startups- Constraint on resources and experience to optimize storage themselves

Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Classes Diagram

FIGURE2: “Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Classes Diagram”, created by myself


As this figure shows you, Glacier has Retrieval Options.

# Standard is the default option# Unlike Glacier, S3 doesn’t seem to have such an option.  - If not, please give me a comment.

sources: Retrieving S3 Glacier Archives

The following blogger’s advise:

if users plan on storing less than 100 TB of data under this condition, it looks to be more cost-efficient to use S3 Infrequent Access.

sources: Here Be Dragons: Avoiding Unplanned Cost Spikes With AWS Glacier

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