S3 Intelligent Tiering, Storage Class Analysis and Lifecycle Management. When do you use them?
The difference between Intelligent Tiering and Storage Class Analysis with Lifecycle Management is that with Intelligent Tiering you expect that infrequently accessed data may need to be promoted back to S3 Standard from S3 Infrequent Access. In contrast, with Storage Class Analysis and Lifecycle Management you expect any data you will be moving will not need to be promoted back from whence it came. Lets look at both.
S3 Intelligent Tiering is an S3 storage class where the access pattern of objects is monitored. You pay a monitoring fee for this but ongoing analysis of that monitoring results in data objects being moved between a standard access tier of S3 and a lower cost infrequently accessed tier of S3. The cost savings of moving inactive data to the infrequent access storage class can be substantial, depending on how much inactive data you have.
There are some things to keep in mind. There is a minimum object size requirement, objects less than 128KB will not be moved, also the benefit comes from data which is not being accessed all the time. If a lot of your data is read frequently, like the objects contain deduplicated segments that could be required many times, S3 Intelligent Tiering might bring you no value. Keep that type of data in S3 Standard.
What if you have data in regular S3 Standard and want to find out if you could save some money by moving it yourself to S3 Infrequent Access? Turn on S3 Storage Class Analysis and run it for 30 days. It will watch the access patterns of the objects in S3 Standard and after 30 days it will display how much data has been accessed in relation to the data you have analysed. With those number in hand you can then turn to Lifecycle Management transition and expiry rules to automate the move of the infrequently accessed objects into S3 Infrequent Access; or to Glacier. Or, use Lifecycle Management to delete data you no longer need.
You may have to do some work to ensure you can target the correct objects when you create the transition or expiry rules. If you’re not working with creation dates, S3 object tags will matter. Lifecycle Management allows you to automate moves down the S3 storage classes and into the coldest tier of storage, Glacier Deep Archive. There are transition charges accrued when you use lifecycle rules so take note of the cost.
Regardless of if you want the storage system to automatically move your data between storage classes, or you want to do it yourself, you can do it with S3.