Secure, Durable, Highly-Scalable Object Storage

Made for

Technical users familiar with the AWS suite of tools, scalable object storage

Not for

Sharing and collaboration tools, non-technical users

 
Free: 5 GB
 
100 GB $3/mo.
Pricing details
Example customers

Features

Features

File Tools:
  •  Syncing
  •  Sharing
  •  Collaboration
Backup:
  •  Scheduled Backup
  •  External Hard Drive Backup
  •  Incremental Backup
  •  Mobile Device Backup
Storage:
  •  Unlimited Storage
  • File versioning: User-defined
  • File Size Limit: 5 TB objects (5 GB per single PUT)

Security

Encryption:
  • In-Transit: SSL or Client-Side
  • At Rest: SSE (AES-256) or Client-Side
File Management:
  •  Role Based Access
  • Retention Time: User-defined
Compliance:
  •  HIPAA
  •  PCI
  •  ISO

Performance

Access:
  •  Multi-User
  •  Mobile Access
  • Windows, Mac, Linux
Usage:
  •  SLA
  • Guaranteed Uptime: 99.9%
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
Support:
  •  Phone
  •  Chat
  •  Forums and Guides

Pricing

AWS S3 is billed based on monthly usage

Basic info

 
Free: 5 GB
 
100 GB $3/mo.
 

Pay-as-you-go

Storage TypePrice/Month
Standard Storage$0.0275/GB
Standard Infrequent Access Storage$0.0125/GB
Glacier Storage$0.007/GB

Reviews

Sort by
 
Client Interview
Nov 17 2015

High Availability and Scalable Cloud Storage

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Computer & Network Security
 
11-50 employees
 
Poland
Board President at Hostersi
Tomek Dwornicki
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is extremely satisfied with the performance of the Amazon Web Services [AWS] platform. They speak highly of the security and durability of Amazon S3, along with its strong record of high performance. According to the client, Amazon has high availability and offers useful automated scaling, which has proven to be very beneficial. The client highly recommends the Amazon S3 platform to others.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Our company is called Hostersi. We are based in Poland, and specialize in remote server management and cloud resources. We are solution architects, specializing in hosting solutions, including security and load management. We provide whole architecture solutions and 24 hour monitoring. We manage servers all over the world, with most of our clients being based in Europe and the US.

We've been in the field for over ten years. Our expertize covers most current operating systems, including Windows and Linux. Our main goal is to have customers keep the internet parts of their businesses online working at maximum efficiency. We focus on cloud markets, and have been an AWS partner for two years.

What is a typical challenge for which you'd recommend the AWS platform to a client?

The typical business challenge is creating scalable full program architecture with perfect performance and a low cost. 

Can you walk me through the implementation process of the AWS service, once a client has agreed to it?

We first assess the customer requirements, including several developer variables. The whole system consists of parts that are built by developers; we simply provide the hosting solutions for them. They have to cooperate in the process: it's important to understand customer needs in regards to their applications, including the way in which their business works. We thoroughly discuss with the developers the way in which an application works and determine whether it's ready to be moved to cloud directly, or if it requires any changes.

We will then build a project featuring all required AWS bricks, and estimated costs. After the project development, we will start launching the cloud platform, project services, monitoring and back-up tools. During this, it's important to avoid single points of failure. AWS simplifies this by giving us a lot of preparation tools.

When the environment is ready, developers begin the testing phase. We also provide light tests, giving the clients feedback for any bugs that were found. We also provide security, and high availability tests.

If the production environment is now up and running, we will usually prepare a stage platform for the developers, which can be used for making changes to the application and making load tests.

Why would you recommend AWS over other comparable platforms?

AWS consists of a wide range of technologies and possibilities which can't be found on many other platforms. With any AWS solution, we can start with a very low cost. The platform is improving its services constantly, adding more features for customer service and so on. They are always looking into the future, with microservices which are very popular with developers. They're considered to be better than Google Cloud, being the leader in the field with a 27% market share.

The S3 platform is very secure, durable and highly-scalable object storage. The guaranteed uptime (SLA) for their services is 99.99%, so we don't have to worry about performance. As proof, there are thousands of platforms all over the world that integrate S3 as backend storage. There is a wide range of storage classes, which are cheaper for infrequent access, have redundancy for critical data, and so on.

What is the biggest benefit that a company will receive after switching to the AWS platform?

Performance and availability on one end, and cost reduction on another. It is a fast way of obtaining a storage solution without paying thousands of dollars at the beginning, and provides developer tools for immediate implementations; tools such as ECDM [Evolution and Change in Data Management] for distributing content.

Are there any particular features or tools which you find particularly useful, or have really impressed you?

All AWS solutions have proven useful. For our business, the most useful have been the solutions that scale automatically.

Are there any particular areas of improvement for the platform, or features to be added?

Each platform has areas of improvement, but the AWS team is constantly launching new features. Anything that we may be in need of is already in production. Very rarely do we have to use external services. Something that could be improved is the ELB [Elastic Load Balancers]. Sometimes, AWS will reorganize the ELB on a project, which can cause a small latency. This is something we want to avoid, obviously. We have addressed this load balancing problem with AWS, and we expect to do it manually in the future (ELB Warmup).

Have you had any interaction with the Amazon support team or any of their support resources?

We have used AWS support. We sometimes have to ask them for further investigation on problems. Their support services are also required for changing limitations on platforms. Each customer can also retain their support, which will amount to 10% of the monthly bill. Of course, this isn't necessary, as there are a lot of online tools and information, which can provide answers to a lot of questions.

We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate AWS on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score. 

How would you rate the platform for functionality and available features?

Five.

How would you rate AWS for ease of use and implementation?

Four and a half.

How would you rate them for the responsiveness of their support team and helpfulness of resources?

Five.

How would you rate AWS for overall satisfaction?

Five.

How likely are you to recommend AWS to a friend or colleague, out of five?

Five.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 10 2015

Highly Functional Amazon S3 Platform

4.0

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$1,001 - $10,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
2-10 employees
 
Poland
CTO at Landingi
Tomasz Ślązok
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The Amazon Web Services [AWS] platform has been useful to the client in creating a more scalable infrastructure for the organization. The client speaks highly of the entire AWS platform, and its easy integration between tools and services. The client highly recommends Amazon S3 to other business users.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I’m working as the Chief Technology Officer at Landingi. We are an application for creating and hosting landing pages. We use Amazon S3 for our company’s daily functionalities.

CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that initiated the need for this platform?

When we started, we used a web hosting company and we got some trouble with our application on this host link. Two years ago we had very big problems with the running applications in this hosting and we decide to go out and move to the cloud.

And after some research, we made a decision with our friends from another company. With their help, we moved to AWS primarily to load balance link and SK link our application. Now we move to a more complete solution for many things along with Q, SQS on AWS and S3, RDS databases and so on.

What is the reason you would use this over other platforms?

I think the whole eco system is great. Other platforms may have some better features or sometimes better pricing, but when you compare the whole eco system of AWS, where you can connect everything, you get a great value. For example, creating backups for database on the S3 is really convenient. Also, on AWS you can trigger notifications after creating an update on S3 storage. When you combine this whole eco system, it's much better and faster. You can create an application, and you can create things that matter for you and your customers.

SOLUTION

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

We spend between $2,000 to $2,500.

FEATURES

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

The biggest strength is with uploading all work assets to S3. We could go to more scalable infrastructure. Before S3, we had all of our images on one server. So when we had another web server, we needed to synchronize our images so our web server had access to these image assets. Moving to S3 has allowed us to create a more scalable infrastructure for our application so we don’t need to make this kind of synchronization between servers.

Another big benefit is that it's very easy to add components and maintain them, especially within the working S3 service. So when you move all the files to S3, adding additional functionality is very easy. These are the two main things that S3 is very good at for us. It’s also very convenient for maintaining the needs of the database back ups, etc.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

With S3 no, but the biggest problem for us is currently synchronizing the RDS databases between Europe and the United States. We need to move our storage elsewhere for this kind of functionality.

S3 is a very simple service and for us it works perfectly.  

Have you had to interact with the platform’s support team or reference their support resources?

We have had contact with architects from AWS. We’ve met at some conferences, and one time we met with them to discuss our company. They helped us migrate to the AWS infrastructure, and to learn how to use AWS the best we can possibly use it.

OVERVIEW

To sum up: We havea few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate the software on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best.

What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

Overall, satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Nov 06 2015

Cloud Storage Solution for Web Application Developers

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$1,001 - $10,000/yr. spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
51-200 employees
 
Poland
Head of Technology at Netguru
Adam Nowak
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client particularly enjoys the scalability and security permissions on S3. They highly recommend S3 as the "go to" choice for cloud storage. The client also spoke highly of Amazon's support team, and stated that they had been quick to resolve any issues that came up. The client gave S3 high marks for features and ease of use.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I work for NetGuru, a team of mobile developers. We work with a variety of clients and partners across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

We use Amazon S3 mostly for our project needs. As developers, we maintain a lot of web apps, and those web apps have to store user images, files, and a lot of other different stuff. This is something web applications require. S3 is our main solution for that.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

Any time a project needs to store some kind of data, we recommend using S3 because it is excellent for that. Our main use of S3 is storage for web applications data.

How would you say that S3 has performed, and what features have you used and enjoyed?

They have excellent pricing because they charge you per gigabyte. The pricing is very nice. Also, security permissions are very good. They have the ability to use this storage with other APIs, so we can write integrations without even going into the Amazon panel. We can just upload files via our program's scripts applications; it is very easy to use. We do that all the time. They have the capability to designate permission where one person can see the resource but someone else is not allowed to. Ease of use is also one of the benefits.

In regard to security, as far as the encryptions that they use, are you satisfied with the way that they encrypt a file?

Yes, absolutely. We can configure that on a case-by-case basis, and that is very useful. We can do it on the fly. For instance, we can have an image and we can allow some users to see this image only for a certain period of time. That is very useful for some kinds of applications.

Plus, you do not have to wait for any changes. Basically, if you make a switch it is instantly there and ready to use and every new request will take it into consideration. That is very useful as well.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

Our clients also use S3, so if we do some projects for their applications, they pay for it. So a real rough estimate would be under $10,000.00/year.

FEATURES

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

The features we appreciate the most are scalability and permissions.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

Not really. S3 is just cloud storage, and that's it; anything else you need, you can use different services for that. So, for Cloud storage they are flawless.

As far as recommendations that you would make, based on your experience with S3 storage, what recommendations or advice would you make to another business that was considering it? 

If you want to start something, like any kind of data, you can do it there. Because S3 is just for storage, it does not mean that something can be downloaded very fast. Speed is not something you should expect from S3. If you expect fast downloading, S3 is not for you. But you can use S3 with some other service and then you can get the speed. If you do some kind of automatic work with storage, S3 should be your “go to” choice.

How many people at Netguru are currently using S3?

About 100 people use it.

Have you had to interact with the platform’s support team or reference their support resources?

Actually, I have not had any issues that needed their support team. However, I know of one issue when some credentials were stolen from my colleague and someone else used those credentials to start 100 instances of EC2 or something like that. They notified my colleague immediately, and they were able to solve the issue.

OVERVIEW

To sum up: We have a few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate the software on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best.

What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Five.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Five. Mostly because of the fact that you can do things outside their web page. You have various APIs, which is very useful.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

I have no personal experience with their support team.

Overall, satisfaction with the platform?

Five. They do Cloud storage perfectly.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

I would recommend them, but only for companies which are able to access S3 in some automatic manner. Because, if you have a bunch of office people trying to upload their documents, I think there are better solutions for that, like Google Drive. But if you have developers or some clever people who can program stuff, then S3 would be a good choice. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • N/A Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Oct 22 2015

CloudBerry Lab Implementation of Amazon's Cloud

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Computer Software
 
11-50 employees
 
Newport Beach, California
Marketing Director at CloudBerry Lab
Alexander Negrash
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client speaks highly of the different types of storage that S3 allows, such as standard, standard infrequent access, and Glacier storage. The life cycle policy scripting has been useful for the client, and sets Amazon S3 apart from other providers. Due to the complex and diverse ecosystem of Amazon Web Services, the client highly recommends the Amazon S3 platform to others, particularly those who use other IT infrastructures available on the Amazon Web Services platforms.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I am the marketing director at CloudBerry Lab. CloudBerry Lab provides cloud-based backup and file management services to small and mid-sized businesses. This includes easy-to-use backup management capabilities with high security. We offer customers 20 online storage providers, including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, HP Cloud, Rackspace, SoftLayer, and others.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that instigated the need for this platform?

The first software solution we developed was a cloud explorer for Amazon S3. We did this because we needed an AUI for Amazon S3. Back then, in 2008, Amazon's server was only accessible through the API codes, so there was no web interface or software that allowed you to actually see the files and interact with the storage platform. We came up with a kind of two-pane style interface that allowed you to access the cloud on the one pane, and your local file system on the other. That way, you are able to move files from your local system to the cloud and back.

As Amazon was developing their services, and adding more bells and whistles to S3, we've also tried to support that with a cloud explorer. It was a freeware solution, and we put it in front of the community to see their feedback. We saw many people downloading the software and using it, and we got a lot of positive feedback. We saw people trying to schedule their transfers to Amazon S3, and we came up with another product, which interacts with S3 in a different way. It allows you to schedule data transfers to the cloud storage, and it comes with all the must-have backup features like retention policies, image-based backup files, system backup files, level restore, and many more.

The core idea behind the technology is that the user can connect the product to his or her own cloud storage account. We don't have access to these accounts. We just provide the software that facilitates any kind of tasks with the cloud storage. That is true for all the products that we have now. Amazon was the first, and then Azure came to the market. We supported Azure block storage services. Currently, there are more than 30 storage platforms that we support. Basically, they're S3 compatible or they're open stack based. The only exclusions are Azure and Google Cloud, which have their own APIs.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

It's just offsite storage, so you can use it to store your data, you files and documents. You can automate backups to Amazon S3, and it's pretty straightforward. The only thing you need to do is set up an account, and then get the access credentials. Then the step-by-step backup wizard allows you to connect to your account and specify which files you want to move on what schedule, whether you want to encrypt it, if you want to compress something, and if you want to set email notifications to know whether your files were successfully backed up. It's pretty much set and forget. If anything goes wrong, you will get notified.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

This was the first cloud solution, and it had already captured a big customer base. In terms of technology and features that a storage platform brings, it's much more developed than others like Azure and Google Cloud. The overall ecosystem of services is very diversified, so enterprise customers can not only use the storage, but they can integrate the storage in different scenarios and into different IT infrastructures. Amazon in general is big and offers many services.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

It depends on the client's data. It can be from 100 gigabytes to terabytes and petabytes. We have customers that store 10 to 50 terabytes of data in Amazon S3.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

We're a company that helps other users facilitate this service but, for me personally, it's about my usage of the storage. I would say that the different storage types that Amazon implemented, such as standard storage, Standard-IA storage, Amazon Glacier storage, and the life cycle policies that you can set up for your data, are the most impressive.

You can keep data in Amazon S3 for 90 days, for fast recovery, and then move it to Standard-IA for another 90 days, which also allows for fast recovery, but costs less because of the reduced redundancy. Then, you can move it to Glacier, which is a bit cheap and can be used as archival storage. This can all be set up within Amazon. I think the only other storage provider that offers the same variety of storage options is Google Cloud, but they lack that life cycle policy scripting.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

It would be to enhance cloud storage, but the Internet latency limits the integration of businesses to the cloud. If you have terabytes and terabytes of data, you can spend years uploading that data to the cloud. However, with the recent announcements from Amazon, the amount allowed by Amazon snowballed, and actually this is the kind of storage case that they ship to you onsite. You can upload up to 50 terabytes of data and move that back to Amazon, and they will upload that directly in their data centers. This partly solves the problem, but it still exists.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

I haven't personally. We're a technology partner for AWS, so we communicate closely with their partner network team.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Five – compared to the competition.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four. The storage is pretty easy; however, the overall services from Amazon get more complicated from year to year. That brings more system integrators into the game to help organizations deploy their data in the cloud.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five. I'm fully satisfied.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five. Very likely.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • N/A Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Oct 14 2015

Client Implementation of Amazon S3 by Auxis

4.5

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
More than $1,000,000/yr. spend
 
Management Consulting
 
201-500 employees
 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Director Infrastructure Technology at Auxis
Jose Alvarez
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client states that S3 is very secure, has high availability and high scalability. Access is widely available, and access can be restricted if needed. Amazon S3 allows for growth, according to Auxis. They speak highly of the flexibility of available features that the platform offers, while still being an inexpensive solution. Auxis highly recommends the Amazon S3 platform to other users. 

Background

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

 I am the director of managed services and we provide help to organizations, mid and large-sized companies, to move and manage their workloads in the cloud and data centers. We provide consulting services, but we also manage those workloads on an ongoing basis. We do the monitoring, the engineering, support, and also security management.

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

As of now, a lot of the companies are facing problems with older hardware that needs to be replaced. Also, they have challenges with scalability; they don’t have enough resources to support the new applications’ requirements, neither do they have the flexibility or agility to support the development teams. That is a big challenge for most organizations these days. From our perspective, we look into how to help them move into platforms like the cloud, Amazon in particular, in order to address those concerns.

A lot of organizations approach us to first do an analysis, to see if it makes sense to move their platform to the cloud. We do a technical and a financial analysis. Once a company decides that it makes sense to move these particular applications to the cloud, we then finalize those designs and we move into an implementation phase. 

Solution

How does your company implement this platform or software?

In most cases, we implement some type of proof of concept. The client tests it and if they like it, we move either their development or productions systems, or both, to Amazon. In some cases they ask us to continue to manage the platform. In other cases, we pass all the knowledge back to them so they can take control of the management.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

Amazon S3 is a very secure service. It has high availability and high scalability, which is very important for us. When you configure S3, you can make those buckets accessible from the internet. You can restrict access if you want to, and you can grow as much as you want. It also has great functions that allow you to automatically determine the life of the objects that are stored, and allow them to be moved to a lower storage type of platform, such as Glacier. Once you move it to Glacier, you can retrieve them if you need to in the future. Although it takes a longer time, it’s a very cheap type of storage. The S3 on its own is a very inexpensive solution, while still having great benefits for the company.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?  

The cost depends on the company’s need. Just to give an example, for every terabyte of data we have on S3, we basically spend about $30 a month. You can’t do that when you buy storage solutions in a data center. We have customers that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars implementing a storage solution because they need to over-provision for their growth. With S3, you pay as you go. So I can pay a couple of terabytes now, and if I need a few more later I just add them in there. I pay when I need them and if I reduce them, I stop paying for them. So the costs compared to the benefits are higher in the cloud than it is in the data center.

Results

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this platform?

I would say the biggest benefit is the high scalability. You can add and grow as much as you want, with no restrictions whatsoever. You can have different buckets for different functions, with different security setups, et cetera.

 I think the availability is also amazing. They replicate those buckets, so you are always sure that you can access those buckets from anywhere, without worrying about redundancy.

Features

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?   

S3 is very easy to configure and very easy to manage and support. Once you have it configured, you hardly have to go back and maintain it. As with any kind of storage, you can present that storage to any of your servers on the cloud, which makes it very flexible as well. There are not a lot of tools related to that, because it is a service itself. So we take advantage of the full service.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?  

Sometimes you don’t have the ability to determine the performance of S3 buckets. It’s kind of predetermined. I can see that maybe in the future, there might be a couple of different flavors of S3 type of performance you can select, and maybe pay a premium to get a very high level performance type of S3 bucket.

Have you had to interact with the platform’s support team or reference their support resources?

I have not personally, but my engineers have access to them. Most of our customers have either business support or enterprise support. We have interacted a lot with Amazon engineers, and they’ve been really helpful with any questions we may have with the platforms.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
    I highly recommend it.
 
Client Interview
Oct 02 2015

Cloud Storage for Technical Consulting Firm

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Confidential spend
 
Information Technology and Services
 
2-10 employees
 
San Francisco, California
Developer at GoNimbly
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client states that they like the flexibility that comes with the AWS platform. Specifically, the user likes that AWS provides a lot of good abstraction for working with the resources over the application programming interfaces, making for easier implementation and usage. The client is likely to recommend the Amazon Simple Storage Service platform to others, particularly for those implementing other AWS services.

Background

Can you provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

GoNimbly is a relatively small, boutique development shop. We do a couple different things, but I would say the projects are mainly Salesforce-related, even though we do a lot of custom development in Node, and things like this, to enhance the things we're doing in Salesforce. We look to many cloud providers to enable us to host these solutions.

What was the business challenge your company was facing that initiated the need for this platform?

Much of my experience with AWS is not just around the storage platforms in particular. Normally, I'm just looking to get around doing a lot of configuration on the box itself, to handle file uploads, or to some sort of content distribution network. I noticed that some of these startups are offering file uploads as a service. I can see why people would want to do something like that because you may have to jump through a few steps to get a robust file uploading solution. In general, you need flexibility with your file management. If you're storing all your file uploads in a database, then you maybe have to think about how you're using your database, or the schema. You're trying to save headaches.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

It would probably be something along the lines of one of these custom solutions, storing something in S3. It may be a file upload for later processing, or maybe data as it's in transit between Salesforce and another system.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

We chose it because it saves you time on the configuration. S3 would not necessarily be my go-to thing, but I would choose it if I wanted to get out of the gate quickly. Many people are looking to try their ideas in a one-off kind of state, maybe to validate some ideas, or experiment with a web app of some kind. In that case, if you don't want to go through the trouble of provisioning a database or configuring PHP uploads, you might just want to use S3. 

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

I'm not familiar with the cost. As a developer, if I'm using it in an experimental fashion, it's a low usage. If it's been higher usage, it's usually been on a project for a client, where I'm not the one dealing with the financial aspects.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

I don't use S3 extensively or as much as other cloud platforms, so I've never really seen anything that stands out as awesome. I do like how you can download many FTP [file transfer protocol] clients now, and they'll just have an Amazon S3 option built in. In general, I like the flexibility that you get with AWS. They provide a lot of good abstraction for working with the resources over the APIs. If it takes me a long time to do something in AWS, it's usually not AWS's fault. If you haven't read all their documentation, and if you don't know exactly the way to do things, you may run into headaches.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

Speaking to AWS in general, I recently did my first real project in Heroku, and I see the ways that I feel Amazon's platform is superior. However, I think one way that Heroku really wins is that they've made it a streamlined process to provision add-on applications. I would say the parallel there for me, in AWS, is when I want to experiment with some service, or piece of middleware, and I see that someone has actually provided an image on AWS with that software installed. It's not a very user-friendly process to get that up and running. Sometimes, there's very specific information. For example, maybe I grabbed a database image, and I'm trying to get that up and running, but I need to change something, and I need to know the user login for the box or whatever. That information is not always provided on the page that gives me the image, like the Amazon store image list. I have to Google, and see if the provider itself has some information about it, so that's not always good.

I've also experimented with a few Windows boxes for the first time recently. The experience there is not always smooth, either. I guess if I'm going to say one thing that stands in opposition to what I said about Amazon being pretty standard or what you expect, it would be how some of the Amazon Web Services plug you in to a framework. I don't really like that so much. In most cases with Amazon, you're not plugged into this framework aside from provisioning and monitoring the boxes, and doing meta things like that.

When you provision a Windows box, you have a wait a few minutes to get a Windows key, to then log in. Sometimes, it just doesn't work, and you have to shut the box down and reprovision it. It's cool that the cloud makes that easy, but that still seems like a pretty big miss to me. I like that you can provision a database very quickly using Amazon's RDS [relational database] service, but then it's the permissions around that.

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

I haven't had to call for very many big things, but when I do call, it's always pleasant. Generally, they've been good. I've never walked away with any forehead slapping moments where they couldn't help me. I've never had to deal with any of the elevated support tiers for anything big. For the lower tiers, they help me get to the bottom of the issue I'm having.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Four.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four. Pretty likely. 

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Sep 17 2015

Cloud Storage for Custom Software Development Company

4.5

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Less than $250/yr. spend
 
Computer Software
 
11-50 employees
 
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
CIO at WorkXPress
Drew McLain
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client likes the integration of S3 with the whole suite of Amazon Web Services tools. He spoke highly of the ease of navigation on AWS. The client states that there hasn't been much difficulty navigating through the tool. They have hundreds of thousands of files on S3 and can generally find what they're looking for. The client definitely would recommend Amazon S3 to other users.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a brief description of your company.

Our company is WorkXpress. We make a cloud-based platform that allows nonprogrammers to build web-based software applications that range from simple front-end websites to sophisticated back-end business-processing sites. It's a noncode type environment – basically plug and play and drag and drop.

What is your role at WorkXpress?

I am the chief information officer.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge you were trying to address with the Amazon S3?

Mostly it was just a cloud resources issue. The majority of what we use Amazon S3 [Simple Storage] Service for is just mass storage of things, such as backups. We have a dozen or more cloud servers running, with hundreds of gigabytes on each one, and those apps are backed up nightly. We needed a centralized location to store those backups that could expand to an infinite size. We also wanted a high degree of redundancy, in that we didn't want to upload the backups in multiple places. We wanted to be able to rely on S3 as the exclusive place to put our backups. That's why we started using S3 several years ago.

Of course, we also needed great APIs [application programming interfaces] to be able to upload files and download them easily while, at the same time, having the process be transparent to the end user. We did not want the user having to wait for a bunch of crazy files to download. S3 really made the process not only totally elastic, but also made the APIs able to communicate with the service and grab directory tree structures and size information. All of that was important to us.

SOLUTION

How did your company implement the Amazon S3?

Everything is behind the scenes. In the cases of backups, for instance, you trigger your backup, it locks the systems so we can get a consistent database snapshot, and then we package the whole thing. Essentially, we end up with a tar.gz file that has all the content of the backup, and then we just use the Amazon S3 PHP SDK [software development kit] to connect to them and upload the file. We also use MD5 because we had some trouble with corrupted files, either uploaded or downloaded.

Consequently, we had to add in some of the capabilities available through S3 where you can grab an MD5 of a file and upload it. Once the upload is done, we can ask Amazon to tell us the MD5 of that file. As long as it matches, then we're satisfied that the file is complete and not corrupted. We do that both on the upload side and on the download side to make sure the files are complete. Once we upload them, we delete them off our local systems, so it's important that the complete file be up there. It's all part of an automated programmatic system.

Was your company considering other platforms? Why did you choose the Amazon S3?

That's a great question. To be honest, if someone would ask me for a recommendation, I would probably tell him or her to review all of the platforms for themselves and try to think about his or her required feature set. We started using S3 because we originally used Amazon EC2 [Elastic Compute Cloud] for all of our clouds, until we found out they were not only the most expensive, but also the least performing.

When we found a provider that used SSD [solid state] drives and was a third of the cost of Amazon EC2, with just as good redundancy and just as good a reputation in the technical community, we ended up migrating all of our cloud from EC2 to the competition. To be honest, the competition did not have a file attachment type service, and we didn't really feel the need to move from S3. We still work with S3, even though we rarely work with Amazon's EC2. We may, however, do so in the future because we're going to look at re-implementing EC2 now that Amazon has SSD-based systems that would simplify some of their offerings.

EC2 is difficult to work with, but they were all that was available when we started. Now, there's a lot of competition out there that does just as well, and EC2 has improved itself. From an EC2 standpoint, we may begin working with Amazon's EC2 again at some point, but we didn't really feel any reason to move the files straight over to a competitor.

That's not really a shining review of S3, but I haven't even looked at the competition in terms of mass file storage because S3 does everything we need, so we just go with it.

Could you provide a sense of the size of your involvement with the Amazon S3 in financial terms?

I think we pay somewhere between $60 and $90 a month. Compared to the rest of the bills to run the business, it's nothing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any statistics, metrics, or other feedback from your implementation of this platform?

There's nothing that I'm particularly unhappy about. We recently started to use Amazon Glacier, S3's long-term storage. In a couple of hours, my systems team was able to set up automatic migration from S3 to Glacier based on file age, and then we were able to update the restore code to detect when a file had moved to Glacier and bring it back down to S3 at the start of a restore.  That all went smoothly. We didn't have a lot of trouble doing that.

I don't know if maybe earlier versions of Glacier would have been harder to work with, but this version was quite easy to work with, with the exception that we weren't told upfront that there was an early deletion penalty. Apparently, if you delete something off Glacier that's only been up there less than 90 days, you pay them money for that early deletion. Instead of saving money, our bill actually went up by 75 percent because we were paying less to store the files, but significantly more to delete them early. We had to make some changes there, and that wasn't really well explained, so we were disappointed in that.

The actual implementation was quite smooth. We don't do anything unusual with S3 – it's just put the files up there and bring them down. Now, we have the MD5 function all squared away, and we haven't had any problems with corruption. It's hard to mess up a file storage system if all three of those things work right.

Did the Amazon S3 have any features or tools that really impressed you?

The whole suite of AWS tools is good to work with. They have their website with all their different buttons across the top for the different services; that is quite good. We haven't had a lot of trouble navigating through that. We have hundreds of thousands of files on S3, and we can generally find what we're looking for.

We use their CLI [command-line interface] tool a bit, and we use the PHP SDK, as I said earlier. I don't know if that's an official Amazon thing or something we found online when we were just figuring out how to put together a package. Pretty much anything we needed, we were able to find. I'm happy with Amazon's overall support level. I can't say I would be saying the same thing if I had chosen any of the other competing products.

Looking back, are there any aspects of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

Honestly, I've had only two major problems with S3. One was handling very large files. We were having problems either with corruption or with lost data connections. If we split our files into smaller pieces, then they uploaded without any trouble. I don't know if this is a historic thing because we've been using S3 for the better part of eight to 10 years now. We were a fairly early adopter of their technology.

We've solved that problem already, and whenever we need to upload a file larger than 200 megabytes, we split it into however many pieces we need, and we track all the different pieces of that file. I would rather not have had that problem. I'd like to be able to send them a 50-gigabyte file and not have any problems. I don't know if they have fixed those issues, but today it wouldn't be an issue for us. When we solve a problem like that, we would just keep the solution in place and let it go.

The other thing that was a little surprising to me was that when I uploaded or downloaded a file through their APIs, they didn't wrap it in MD5 matching. I don't understand why I have to MD5 the file, then have to upload it, then ask S3 for the MD5 and make sure they match. If they don't, I have to upload it again. Shouldn't that be part of the uploading and/or downloading package, something you check before you start? When you're done, make sure it's good, and if not, tell me to try again.

I don't see why something as simple as confirming if the whole file got there or not couldn't be built into the API tools.

Having said that I was able to get around that myself, but it's just painful to loose potentially critical data because the upload, or download process doesn't have built in transfer guarantee.  I wouldn't mind if the package threw an error and we had to catch that are retry ourselves; but we had to build all of that.I haven't had any business losses because of this problem – thankfully – but I could have. Obviously, we live and learn, and we made some changes to make the backups more hardened, but I would have preferred not to have needed to do that.

We have five additional questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for the functionality of its available features?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

What is your overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Five. I definitely would.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • N/A Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Survey Response
Sep 27 2016

Great Dashboard Management

4.0

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
$251 - $1000/mo. spend
 
Hospitality & leisure
 
11 - 50 employees
 
Las Vegas, NV
Owner
1
The Review

Recommendations:

There are hundreds of options I would start at a low tier and expand if you need to also take advantage of their experts in choosing which and all parts are needed in your industry. The help they gave me was outstanding

Experience:

It offers the best value for the money and it up time is beyond belief can be accessed from all devices that we use. My only problem we run into is from new employees not knowing how to use it. I think it is easy but some are afraid that they are going to damage our cloud files. But that is mainly a training problem for us not a cause of AWS. We use standard storage S3, also use their API gateway, Amazon Inspector and infrequently OPs Work, Their Management console both mobile and non-mobile. I don't have to spend time making sure my storage devices are performing when I have other things I could be doing, cheap because I do not have to upgrade me in-house servers as often. So far, the performance of S3 has been flawless.

Pros:

I like the management dashboards, and the ease of using it on mobile devices when I'm not at the office.

Cons:

I can't really think of anything I dislike about what I use, their analytics aren't real maximized for our industry had to write my own.

 
Survey Response
Sep 16 2016

Effective, Fairly Priced, and Trustworthy

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$251 - $1000/mo. spend
 
Business Services
 
11 - 50 employees
 
Indianapolis, IN
Owner
1
The Review

Recommendations:

I would recommend it because protecting your business, how you run it, the database, and factors like this are essential in this day in age. No one wants their business matters or relationships with customers, b2b, etc. to be compromised due to not protecting yourself and how you handle your business. AWS is a great ally to this point and one that is cost effective as well. Seriously could laud the praises of this for a very long time.

Experience:

I guess it's more so of taking a notice that breaching of servers, contracts, etc. have been running rampant. So the reason why I even looked into cloud services/storage, and more so deciding with using AWS as the main one we tend to use (we also use a few others as noted before) is because it's essentially the one that checked all the boxes for our needs with the company. I personally took it upon myself to research several different brands/companies that offer cloud/storage services and for me, AWS really was the one that worked for what I was seeking as a collective for this. It's proven with high acclaim and on a personal level, it's gone beyond my expectations. I work in a consulting background so the data we have with fellow businesses we work with (which is our customer base) needs to be protected, safeguarded and backed up. This is essential because you never know and these records and protocol with even backing up our database, systems, etc. are successful due to AWS primarily. We pretty much utilize it to the fullest degree. For instance, when we use the SDK's we make sure that all data, records or anything that goes on concurrently through our networks are vaulted as accordingly. The price point is low so that is why we really do not have much worry with how frequently (and kind of excessively we do this). It's been more so a matter of being a peace of mind. I trust this product and the company behind it. I can't stress this enough but in this day in age with how technology or in general how information and data can be compromised or disappear in a snap? This gives my company the assurance that we are protected which is so satisfying.

Pros:

I like that the price point is fair, too much storage space (this is a compliment), easy to implement with our database, effective, transparent, trustworthy, and a necessity that I am happy to use.

Cons:

To be candid, I can't think of a sincere dislike. I guess one could complain about how long it could take to retrieve certain data... But to be honest it's really not that bad of a "wait" and considering the other end of the spectrum where you could simply lose data and other things to this vein and never retrieve it? The "wait" is nothing to whine about.

 
Survey Response
Mar 20 2016

Affordable System with Great Support

4.5

Features: 
4.5
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Retail
 
51 - 200 employees
 
Chicago, IL
Senior Manager, Sales
1
The Review

Recommendations:

Take some time and go through the description of services. Call the support number with any questions.

Experience:

The great part of this was the simplicity of the setup. This did not require major IT participation. Actually, we did it ourselves. The cost was another factor. Very affordable compared to some of the other services. We also appreciated the great customer support. The security was another factor. With internet problems today and data breaches, we have to be careful. We would tell you to go for this! It is a great product! We have been using the cloud backup. We also have file system storage and networking solutions as well. This has been good right out of the so-called box. It is very easy to use and it has been great. We are not worrying about internet security and file breaches.

Pros:

It has solid ease of use. Also, it’s quite affordable

Cons:

We do not have any complaints as of now.