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S3 Select and Glacier Select – Retrieving Subsets of Objects

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) stores data for millions of applications used by market leaders in every industry. Many of these customers also use Amazon Glacier for secure, durable, and extremely low-cost archival storage. With S3, I can store as many objects as I want and individual objects can be as large as 5 terabytes. Data in object storage have traditionally been accessed as a whole entities, meaning when you ask for a 5 gigabyte object you get all 5 gigabytes. It’s the nature of object storage. Today we’re challenging that paradigm by announcing two new capabilities for S3 and Glacier that allow you to use simple SQL expressions to pull out only the bytes you need from those objects. This fundamentally enhances virtually every application that accesses objects in S3 or Glacier.

S3 Select

S3 Select, launching in preview, enables applications to retrieve only a subset of data from an object by using simple SQL expressions. By using S3 Select to retrieve only the data needed by your application, you can achieve drastic performance increases – in many cases you can get as much as a 400% improvement.

As an example let’s imagine you’re a developer at a large retailer and you need to analyze the weekly sales data from a single store, but the data for all 200 stores is saved in a new GZIP-ed CSV every day. Without S3 Select, you would need to download, decompress and process the entire CSV to get the data you needed. With S3 Select, you can use a simple SQL expression to return only the data from the store you’re interested in, instead of retrieving the entire object. This means you’re dealing with an order of magnitude less data which improves the performance of your underlying applications.

Things To Know

Glacier Select is generally available in all commercial regions that have Glacier.

Glacier is priced in 3 dimensions.

  • GB of Data Scanned
  • GB of Data Returned
  • Select Requests

Pricing for each dimension is determined by the speed at which you want your results returned: expedited (1-5 minutes), standard (3-5 hours), and bulk (5-12 hours).

Soon, in 2018, Athena will be integrated with Glacier using Glacier Select.

I hope you’re able to get started enhancing your applications or building new ones with these capabilities. You can apply for this preview at the S3 Select Preview Application Page.

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