Amazon S3 is meant for websites to use as a back-end for storing large volumes of data, and is in fact used by Dropbox itself for its storage. It is also used by Twitter for storing and serving profile images.
Until now it offered no way to upload / download or manage your stored “objects”, and you were forced to use 3rd party applications, or write your own, however now have they unveiled the new Amazon S3 console. Other Amazon Web Services, such as Amazon EC2, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and Amazon RDS already had an online console.
The concept of folders / directories and files does not exist on Amazon S3, as any data you store on it is simply another object with an id or name. Many application which used Amazon S3 emulated support for directories by using the “/” character in object ids. The good thing is, that Amazon S3’s online Console supports this as well. So the online interface will allow you to create directories and upload files to them while transparently converting them to object names that it understands.
Another of Amazon’s services “AWS Import/Export” has concluded its beta period and is now available to the public. The “AWS Import/Export” service allows those with large amounts of data to upload to simply mail over a hard-drive with the data on it rather than uploading it over the interent, saving time and money.
Amazon is now facing some competition from Microsoft Windows Azure, and Google — which recently announced a storage service of its own. Amazon has been adding some great features of its own though. Recently they added a new reduced redundancy storage service which can save costs for storing data which is of lesser value. Data such as thumbnails of images — which are of course stored on a higher redundancy storage — could easily be regenerated if the worst were to happen. They also introduced versioning of data stored on S3, so previous versions of files would be retained with each new upload. With all its features Amazon is still ahead of its competitors.
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