Amazon has introduced a new feature for AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service) – AWS S3 Transfer Acceleration. This feature lets you transfer files from and to S3 at a much higher accelerated speed. Thus, you can save the file transfer time if you are ready to pay for it. The feature was introduced a few days back and I decided to investigate the cons and pros of it.
The new option is now available in AWS S3 console. At the bottom right side of the bucket console, Transfer Acceleration option is available as shown below:
The Transfer Acceleration is to be enabled before being used like Versioning feature of AWS S3. You have to suspend the feature if you don’t want to use it. But before using it, you want to make sure that is there any advantage of using this feature or not ? To test it, Amazon has given a tool which will upload a file to your S3 bucket via both methods: Direct upload and transferred acceleration upload:
By clicking on the option available below Enable button , you will be directed to a web console where the test files will be uploaded to your bucket by both of the above-discussed methods:
After the test, it has resulted that Direct Upload Speed was 13% slower than AWS Accelerated Transfer Upload Speed. It will also show the compared transfer speeds in other regions. This will help you to decide if you want to switch to this option. But before switching, you also want to compare the pricing of both data transfer speeds.
To calculate the pricing of AWS S3 Accelerated Transfer, Amazon has now given the another option in AWS S3 Pricing page:
Amazon is also providing you an advantage of Transferred Acceleration. For each file upload, it will compare the uploading speed of direct and transferred upload. If the accelerated uploading speed is less than the Direct Upload Speed, then the file will be downloaded by Direct Upload Speed and no additional costing of transferred acceleration will be taken from you.
How AWS S3 Transfer Acceleration works:
Amazon is using AWS Cloudfront to enable transfer acceleration of files to S3. As documented, it uses AWS Cloudfront’s globally distributed edge locations. It is beneficial and helpful in the use case where the people are uploading files or data to your Amazon S3 bucket from all over the world. The files will be uploaded to AWS S3 using AWS Cloudfront nearest edge location. The data is sent on an optimized network path between S3 and Cloudfront. The endpoint of your S3 bucket will be changed after enabling this feature and will be like <bucket-name>.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com for buckets in US-Standard region.
There are few requirements of using this feature which are listed in Amazon Documentation. But, this feature is really a blessing for S3 and people who are using S3 for data upload and transfer all over the continents. You will now be able to upload your files at a much higher speed than before in return of spending few bucks.