AWS’ new S3 Storage Lens gives an in-depth view of cloud storage

New service will help customers find ways to reduce storage costs

AWS customers can now find out how they could cut storage costs with the new S3 Storage Lens service.

AWS bills S3 Storage Lens as a cloud storage analytics solution that gives users visibility into their object storage usage and activities over all the accounts and S3 buckets they have with AWS.

The service features over 29 usage and activity metrics and interactive dashboards that can aggregate an organization’s data for analysis and optimization. The organization can drill down into the data to get visibility into specific accounts, regions, buckets or prefixes.

The interactive dashboard is on the S3 console and enables filtering and drill-downs into a customer’s metrics to understand how storage is used. The metrics are organized into categories, such as data protection and cost efficiency, to allow users to find relevant metrics. All this data is accessible in the S3 Management Console or as raw data in an S3 bucket.

In a blog post, Amazon principal developer advocate Martin Beeby said the service targets customers whose dependence on Amazon S3 increases over time.

“When starting out in the cloud, a customer’s storage requirements might consist of a handful of S3 buckets, but as they grow, migrate more applications and realize the power of the cloud, things can become more complicated,” he said.

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He said that there comes the point where customers have tens or even hundreds of S3 storage accounts, with multiple buckets across different regions. 

Early adopters of the service have been positive about it. Dan Soble, vice president of technical operations at Veeva Inc., said his company has obtained useful insights into S3 usage. He added this had “allowed us to put into action plans to optimize costs in S3. We are now saving thousands of dollars a month by optimizing how we store objects in S3."

S3 Storage Lens has two tiers. Free Metrics, which is free of charge, automatically available for all S3 customers and contains 15 usage related metrics. The Advanced Metrics option has an additional cost, but it includes the full 29 usage and activity metrics with 15-month data retention and contextual recommendations. 

S3 Storage Lens is now available in all AWS regions, according to the company. Customers can use S3 Storage Lens with the Amazon S3 API, CLI, or in the S3 Console. 

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