AWS History and Timeline regarding Amazon S3 - Focusing on the evolution of features, roles, and prices beyond mere storage

First Published: 2023-06-10
Last Updated: 2023-06-11

The theme of this time is to create a timeline of Amazon Simple Storage Service(Amazon S3) and reflect on its history and updates.

The reason for looking back at the past history and updates of AWS services in this way is that by tracking the addition of features and updates since the birth of each AWS service, we can get an overview of the major features and changes without omissions.
And in addition to a functional overview of each AWS service, it also provides clues as to what has changed and what has not.

Amazon S3 was launched on March 14, 2006 and has been a central part of the AWS service for over 15 years.
Here I will review the evolution of Amazon S3 over the past 15+ years, focusing on the evolution of its features and role beyond mere storage and its pricing.

Background and Method of Creating Amazon S3 Historical Timeline

In the AWS blog, an article commemorating the 15th anniversary of Amazon S3 has been written by Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr, who has contributed numerous articles to the AWS blog since its inception, including articles about the launch of Amazon S3.
The article discusses the fact that the number of Amazon S3 objects has exceeded 100 trillion, as well as the design concepts and pricing models from the beginning to the present day.
It also includes a link to the live stream public video.

Celebrate 15 Years of Amazon S3 with ‘Pi Week’ Livestream Events | AWS News Blog

After looking through these AWS resources, I wanted to create a timeline summarizing the history and key updates of Amazon S3, which has now become an indispensable AWS service. The timeline I created is described below.
This timeline is mainly based on the content related to Amazon S3 from the following blogs and document history.

What's New with AWS?
AWS News Blog
Document history - Amazon Simple Storage Service

However, regarding Amazon S3 pricing, it is difficult to track all price changes from public information such as data transfer prices and request prices.
Therefore, to avoid incomplete information, this article only describes the transition of storage prices for the Standard and Glacier storage classes in Amazon S3 in US Standard (currently us-east-1).
Also, there may be slight discrepancies in the dates in the timeline because the timing of announcements and article posts may vary depending on the materials referred to.
As the number of services integrated with Amazon S3 increases as we get closer to recent years, I have limited the listing to those that primarily feature Amazon S3.
In other words, please be aware that the items in this timeline do not represent all the pricing and feature updates of Amazon S3, but are merely the representative updates I have selected.

Amazon S3 Historical Timeline (Updates from March 14, 2006)

Now, here begins the timeline of Amazon S3's features and storage charges.
The history of Amazon S3 starts on March 14, 2006, Pi Day, when it was introduced as the first infrastructure service to become Generally Available (GA) on Amazon Web Services.
The 15-year history of Amazon S3, even if summarized with key events, is quite long, so pricel free to scroll as necessary.

* The notation "( XX TB - YY TB)" for storage price tiers indicates "the capacity that falls within more than XX TB and less than or equal to YY TB of usage."
For example, if the actual usage is 90TB in the tiers like "(1) first 50TB/month (0TB-50TB)" and "(2) next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB)", out of the 90TB, 50TB corresponds to the capacity in (1), and 40TB corresponds to the capacity in (2).
* You can sort the table by clicking on the column name.

2006-03-14Announcement of the general availability (GA) of Amazon S3 service.
It offers 99.99% durability, and interfaces via REST, SOAP, and BitTorrent protocols.
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage price: $0.15USD/GB per month

References: Amazon S3
2008-10-08Announcement of Amazon S3 storage price reduction (applied from 2008-11-01).
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage price (standard)
 First 50TB/month (0TB-50TB): $0.150USD/GB per month
 Next 50TB/month (50TB-100TB): $0.140USD/GB per month
 Next 400TB/month (100TB-500TB): $0.130USD/GB per month
 Over 500TB/month: $0.120USD/GB per month

References: Amazon S3 – Busier Than Ever
2008-11-17Amazon CloudFront, which caches and delivers Amazon S3 static content at edge locations, is now available.

References: Distribute Your Content With Amazon CloudFront
2009-08-13AWS Import/Export (later the AWS Snowball family) can now import/export data to Amazon S3 in its beta version.

References: Adding the Export to AWS Import/Export
2009-11-11Amazon CloudFront can now limit access to Amazon S3 content using Origin Access Identity (OAI).
(At the time, without the management console or bucket policy, the ACL specified the OAI and issued Amazon CloudFront's signed URLs locally using third-party tools such as CloudBerry Explorer.).

References: New Amazon CloudFront Feature: Private Content
2009-12-07Amazon S3 storage price reduction and addition of pricing tiers (applied from 2009-12-01).
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage price (standard)
 First 50TB/month (0TB-50TB): $0.150USD/GB per month
 Next 50TB/month (50TB-100TB): $0.140USD/GB per month
 Next 400TB/month (100TB-500TB): $0.130USD/GB per month
 Next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): $0.105USD/GB per month
 Next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): $0.080USD/GB per month
 Over 5PB/month: $0.055USD/GB per month

References: AWS Price Reductions and Free Inbound Data Transfer
2010-02-08Support for version management of objects.

References: Versioning Feature for Amazon S3 Now Available
2010-05-18The Standard Storage Class now provides 99.999999999% durability. At the same time, the Reduced Redundancy Storage (RSS) feature, which provides 99.99% durability, is added as the low redundancy storage class (REDUCED_REDUNDANCY).

References: New: Amazon S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS)
2010-06-09Amazon S3 is now available on the AWS Management Console.
(Until now, APIs were executed locally via GUI operations using tools like S3Fox Organizer for Amazon).

References: AWS Management Console Now Supports Amazon S3
2010-07-06Support for bucket policies to set access control for buckets
(Until now, access control was only through ACLs).

References: Amazon S3 Bucket Policies – Another Way to Protect Your Content
2010-07-14Support for notifications (integration with Amazon SNS topics).

References: Amazon S3 and Amazon SNS – Best Friends Forever
2010-10-21Announcement of AWS Cloud Free Tier (Starting from 2010-11-1). At this time, up to 5GB of Amazon S3 storage became part of the free tier.

References: Announcing AWS Free Usage Tier
2010-11-01Amazon S3 storage price reduction and change of pricing tiers
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage price (standard)
 First 1TB/month (0TB-1TB): $0.140USD/GB per month
 Next 49TB/month (1TB-50TB): $0.125USD/GB per month
 Next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): $0.110USD/GB per month
 Next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): $0.095USD/GB per month
 Next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): $0.080USD/GB per month
 Over 5PB/month: $0.055USD/GB per month

References: What Can I Say? Another Amazon S3 Price Reduction!
2010-11-10Support for multipart upload, which allows files to be broken into parts and uploaded asynchronously.

References: Amazon S3: Multipart Upload
2010-11-18AWS obtains ISO27001 certification (covering Amazon S3, etc. in ISMS).

References: AWS Achieves ISO 27001 Certification
2010-12-09Support for storing large objects up to 5TB in size.

References: Amazon S3 – Object Size Limit Now 5 TB
2011-02-17Support for static website hosting.

References: Host Your Static Website on Amazon S3
2011-03-02Launch of AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo, ap-northeast-1) region. Amazon S3 is also available in the ap-northeast-1 region.

References: Announcing the AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region
2011-05-03AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) goes GA, and management features of Amazon S3 are officially available. (However, IAM has been provided as a beta service since 2010-09-02).

References: IAM: AWS Identity and Access Management – Now Generally Available
2011-06-29Data transfer price (Inbound) becomes free in all regions. Until now, data transfer price was charged for uploading data to Amazon S3.

References: AWS Lowers its Pricing Again! – No Inbound Data Transfer prices and Lower Outbound Data Transfer for All Services including Amazon CloudFront
2011-08-04Support for IAM's Identity Federation. Access to Amazon S3 can now be done using temporary security credentials.

References: AWS Identity and Access Management – Now With Identity Federation
2011-09-22Support for sharing objects using signed URLs in Amazon S3.

References: Document history - Amazon Simple Storage Service
2011-10-04Support for Server Side Encryption (SSE) using AES-256 encryption managed by Amazon S3.

References: New – Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption for Data at Rest
2011-12-07Support for multi-object deletion with a single request.

References: Amazon S3 – Multi-Object Delete
2011-12-27Support for object expiration (lifecycle rules).

References: Amazon S3 – Object Expiration
2012-02-06Announcement of Amazon S3 storage price reduction (effective from 2012-02-01)
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage cost (Standard)
 First 1TB/month (0TB-1TB): $0.125/GB per month
 Next 49TB/month (1TB-50TB): $0.110/GB per month
 Next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): $0.095/GB per month
 Next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): $0.090/GB per month
 Next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): $0.080/GB per month
 For exceeding 5PB/month: $0.055/GB per month

References: Amazon S3 Price Reduction
2012-07-10Support for MFA protection of API access in Amazon S3.

References: New AWS Feature – MFA-Protected API Access
2012-06-05Started offering Programmatic Access to AWS Billing Data to output AWS billing data to Amazon S3.

References: New – Programmatic Access to AWS Billing Data
2012-08-21Announcement of the launch of Amazon Glacier (later known as Amazon S3 Glacier) service.
Provides 99.999999999% durability.

[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage cost (Glacier)
 $0.01/GB per month

References: Amazon Glacier: Archival Storage for One Penny Per GB Per Month
2012-08-21Support for cost allocation tags for Amazon S3 buckets.

References: AWS Cost Allocation For Customer Bills
2012-08-31Support for Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS).

References: Amazon S3 announces Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support
2012-10-04Support for redirect settings in static website hosting.

References: Amazon S3 – Support for Website Redirects
2012-11-13Support for archiving data from Amazon S3 to Amazon Glacier.

References: Archiving Amazon S3 Data to Amazon Glacier
2012-11-15Support for archive retrieval range specification for Amazon Glacier.

References: New – Range Retrieval for Amazon Glacier
2012-11-29Announcement of reduction in Amazon S3 storage costs (applicable from 2012-12-01)
[For US Standard(us-east-1)]
- Storage cost (Standard)
 First 1TB/month (0TB-1TB): $0.095/GB per month
 Next 49TB/month (1TB-50TB): $0.080/GB per month
 Next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): $0.070/GB per month
 Next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): $0.065/GB per month
 Next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): $0.060/GB per month
 Over 5PB/month: $0.055/GB per month

References: Amazon S3 Storage Price Reduction (24 to 28%)
2012-12-27Support for root domain (Zone Apex) in static website hosting.

References: Root Domain Website Hosting for Amazon S3
2013-04-03Support for IAM policy variables in Amazon S3 bucket policies.

References: Variables in AWS Access Control Policies
2013-11-13Announcement of the AWS CloudTrail service, delivering activity trace logs to Amazon S3.

References: Announcing AWS CloudTrail
2014-01-21Announcement of Amazon S3 storage price reduction (effective from 2014-02-01)
[For US Standard (us-east-1)]
- Storage charges (Standard)
 First 1TB/month (0TB-1TB): 0.085USD/GB/month
 Next 49TB/month (1TB-50TB): 0.075USD/GB/month
 Next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): 0.060USD/GB/month
 Next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): 0.055USD/GB/month
 Next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): 0.051USD/GB/month
 Over 5PB/month: 0.043USD/GB/month

References: AWS Update – New M3 Sizes & Features + Reduced EBS Prices + Reduced S3 Prices
2014-03-26Announcement of Amazon S3 storage price reduction (effective from 2014-04-01)
[In the case of US Standard (us-east-1)]
Storage price (Standard)
 The first 1TB/month (0TB-1TB): monthly 0.0300USD/GB
 The next 49TB/month (1TB-50TB): monthly 0.0295USD/GB
 The next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): monthly 0.0290USD/GB
 The next 500TB/month (500TB-1PB): monthly 0.0285USD/GB
 The next 4PB/month (1PB-5PB): monthly 0.0280USD/GB
 In case exceeding 5PB/month: monthly 0.0275USD/GB

References: AWS Price Reduction #42 – EC2, S3, RDS, ElastiCache, and Elastic MapReduce
2014-05-20Support for version-managed objects with lifecycle rules.

References: Amazon S3 Lifecycle Management for Versioned Objects
2014-06-12Support for server-side encryption (SSE-C) using customer-provided encryption keys.

References: Use Your own Encryption Keys with S3’s Server-Side Encryption
2014-11-12AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) was announced and support for server-side encryption (SSE-KMS) using AWS KMS.

References: New AWS Key Management Service (KMS)
2014-11-12Support for event notifications to trigger events to Amazon SNS, Amazon SQS, AWS Lambda.

References: New Event Notifications for Amazon S3
2014-12-11Support for data retrieval policy and audit log in Amazon Glacier.

References: New AWS Key Management Service (KMS)
2015-03-24Support for Cross-Region Replication.

References: New – Cross-Region Replication for Amazon S3
2015-04-27Support for Vault Access Policy in Amazon Glacier.

References: New – Glacier Vault Access Policies
2015-05-11Support for private connection between VPC and Amazon S3 via Gateway VPC Endpoint and control by VPC Endpoint specified by bucket policy.

References: New – VPC Endpoint for Amazon S3
2015-07-08Support for Vault Lock in Amazon Glacier.

References: Meet Regulatory Storage Requirements with Amazon Glacier Vault Lock
2015-07-29Object deletion events are supported in event notifications, and object filtering functionality is added by prefix/suffix.

References: Amazon S3 Adds Prefix and Suffix Filters for Lambda Function Triggering
2015-08-04The maximum number of Amazon S3 buckets per AWS account was up to 100, but now it can be increased by requesting a service limit increase.

References: Amazon S3 Introduces New Usability Enhancements
2015-08-04Until now, only US Standard (us-east-1) had read-after-write consistency for new objects by PUT, but now all regions have the same consistency model as write-after-read consistency is supported.
- New objects by PUT have write-after-read consistency
- Overwrites and DELETES by PUT have eventual consistency

References: Amazon S3 Introduces New Usability Enhancements
2015-09-16Support for S3 Standard – Infrequent Access (Standard – IA) class for low-frequency access.

References: AWS Storage Update – New Lower Cost S3 Storage Option & Glacier Price Reduction
2015-09-16Announcement of Amazon Glacier storage price reduction (effective from 2015-09-01)
[In case of us-east-1]
- Storage price (Glacier)
 Monthly 0.007USD/GB.

References: AWS Storage Update – New Lower Cost S3 Storage Option & Glacier Price Reduction
2015-12-11The region name "US Standard" has been changed to "US East (N. Virginia) us-east-1". There is no change in functionality.

References: Document history - Amazon Simple Storage Service
2016-03-16Supports removal of expired object deletion markers and suspension of incomplete multipart uploads (deletion of incomplete parts) with lifecycle rules.

References: S3 Lifecycle Management Update – Support for Multipart Uploads and Delete Markers
2016-04-19Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration launched.

References: AWS Storage Update – Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration + Larger Snowballs in More Regions
2016-08-11IPv6 support.

References: Now Available – IPv6 Support for Amazon S3
2016-10-06Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration IPv6 support.

References: IPv6 Support Update – CloudFront, WAF, and S3 Transfer Acceleration
2016-11-15Amazon QuickSight, a business analysis tool for big data, becomes GA.

References: Amazon QuickSight Now Generally Available – Fast & Easy to Use Business Analytics for Big Data
2016-11-21In addition to standard retrieval in Amazon Glacier, rapid retrieval and large volume retrieval (bulk retrieval) are now available.

References: IPv6 Support Update – CloudFront, WAF, and S3 Transfer Acceleration
2016-11-21Amazon S3 object-level API calls can be recorded with AWS CloudTrail.

References: AWS Storage Update – S3 & Glacier Price Reductions + Additional Retrieval Options for Glacier
2016-11-21Announcement of Amazon S3 & Glacier storage price reduction (effective from 2016-12-01)
[In case of us-east-1]
- Storage price (Standard)
 First 50TB/month (0TB-50TB): $0.023/GB per month
 Next 450TB/month (50TB-500TB): $0.022/GB per month
 Over 500TB/month: $0.021/GB per month

- Storage price (Glacier)
 $0.004/GB per month

From this point on, the storage price for this class has been applied until the time of writing this article.

References: AWS Storage Update – S3 & Glacier Price Reductions + Additional Retrieval Options for Glacier
2016-11-29Support for object tagging.

References: AWS Storage Update – S3 & Glacier Price Reductions + Additional Retrieval Options for Glacier
2016-11-29Supports tag-based filtering with lifecycle rules. Introduced Amazon S3 Inventory. Introduced Amazon S3 Analytics - storage class analysis. Improvement of Amazon CloudWatch S3 metrics.

References: Revolutionizing S3 Storage Management with 4 new features
2016-11-30Amazon Athena, which can analyze data stored in Amazon S3 using standard SQL, is now available.

References: Amazon Athena – Interactive SQL Queries for Data in Amazon S3
2016-12-22Amazon QuickSight can now visualize Amazon Athena query results.

References: Amazon QuickSight adds support for Amazon Athena
2017-04-19Amazon Redshift Spectrum, which can execute SQL queries against data on Amazon S3 from Amazon Redshift, is now available.

References: Introducing Amazon Redshift Spectrum: Run Amazon Redshift Queries directly on Datasets as Large as an Exabyte in Amazon S3
2017-07-06Data from Amazon S3 Analytics can now be visualized with Amazon QuickSight.

References: Amazon QuickSight adds support for Amazon Athena
2017-08-14Amazon Macie for S3, which detects and protects confidential data within Amazon S3, is now available.

References: Launch – Hello Amazon Macie: Automatically Discover, Classify, and Secure Content at Scale
2017-11-06Support for S3 bucket default encryption settings.

References: Launch – Hello Amazon Macie: Automatically Discover, Classify, and Secure Content at Scale
2017-11-06Support for encryption status in Amazon S3 Inventory.
It is now possible to replicate SSE-KMS encrypted storage between AWS regions using Cross-Region Replication (CRR).
With CRR inter-account replication, it is now possible to set separate data ownership for source and destination accounts.

References: New Amazon S3 Encryption & Security Features
2017-11-29Preview of Amazon S3 Select and Amazon Glacier Select are announced.

References: S3 Select and Glacier Select – Retrieving Subsets of Objects
2018-02-12AWS Asia Pacific(Osaka, ap-northeast-3) Region begins to provide as a local region. Amazon S3 is also available.

References: 【 AWS New Region】 AWS Osaka Local Region is now available from today
2018-04-04Support for S3 One Zone – Infrequent Access (One Zone-IA) class for low-frequency access to hold data in one availability zone.
Amazon S3 Select becomes GA.

References: Amazon S3 Update: New Storage Class and General Availability of S3 Select
2018-08-08Amazon VPC Flow Logs can now be delivered directly to Amazon S3. Previously, it was via Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

References: Amazon VPC Flow Logs can now be delivered to S3
2018-09-19Cross-region replication (CRR) supports filtering by object tags.

References: Amazon S3 Announces Selective Cross-Region Replication Based on Object Tags
2018-11-15Support for S3 Block Public Access to block public access at the account or bucket level.

References: Amazon S3 Block Public Access – Another Layer of Protection for Your Accounts and Buckets
2018-11-26Full-managed SFTP service for Amazon S3, AWS Transfer for SFTP starts providing.

References: New – AWS Transfer for SFTP – Fully Managed SFTP Service for Amazon S3
2018-11-26The name of Amazon Glacier changes to Amazon S3 Glacier.

References: AWS Announces New Amazon S3 Features that Simplify the Use of the Amazon S3 Glacier Storage Class for Archival Workloads in All AWS Regions
2018-11-26Support for object lock that limits changes and deletions of Amazon S3 objects.
In Amazon S3 Glacier, you can change to a faster option during the restoration process.
You can now directly PUT objects to the Amazon S3 Glacier storage class.

References: AWS Storage Update: Amazon S3 & Amazon S3 Glacier Launch Announcements for Archival Workloads
2018-11-26Support for S3 Intelligent-Tiering class for unpredictable access patterns.

References: New – Automatic Cost Optimization for Amazon S3 via Intelligent Tiering
2019-03-27Supports the Deep Archive class for extremely low access frequency in Amazon S3 Glacier.

References: New – Automatic Cost Optimization for Amazon S3 via Intelligent Tiering
2019-04-30Supports Amazon S3 batch operations for large-scale bulk processing of objects.

References: New – Amazon S3 Batch Operations
2019-04 aboutSupports replication to object lock configured buckets in Cross-Region Replication (CRR).

References: Protecting data with Amazon S3 Object Lock
2019-09-18Supports Same-Region Replication (SRR) to replicate between buckets within the same region.

References: Amazon S3 introduces Same-Region Replication
2019-11-20S3 Replication Time Control (S3 RTC) is provided to replicate 99.99% within 15 minutes for compliance and business requirements.

References: Amazon S3 Replication Time Control for predictable replication time, backed by an SLA
2019-12-02Supports Access Analyzer for S3 to detect and alert on unintended public and shared access settings for S3 buckets.

References: Monitor, review, and protect Amazon S3 buckets using Access Analyzer for S3
2019-12-03Amazon S3 Access Points, which create policies for each access point and control access to buckets, are now available.

References: Easily Manage Shared Data Sets with Amazon S3 Access Points
2020-03-16Support for tag addition in Amazon S3 Batch Operations.

References: Amazon S3 adds tagging support for S3 Batch Operations jobs
2020-05-04Support for Object Lock settings via Amazon S3 Batch Operations.

References: Amazon S3 Batch Operations adds support for S3 Object Lock
2020-09-30AWS Outposts, which allows on-premise installation of appliances that can be used like AWS Cloud, begins offering Amazon S3 on Outposts.

References: Amazon S3 on Outposts Now Available
2020-10-02Support for object owners to automatically manage new object ownership through bucket settings.
Amazon S3 Batch Operations supports bucket ownership condition to ensure that the bucket belongs to the appropriate AWS account.

References: Amazon S3 Update – Three New Security & Access Control Features
2020-11-09Replication metrics added to Amazon CloudWatch metrics of Amazon S3 in addition to storage and request metrics.

References: Amazon S3 Replication adds support for metrics and notifications
2020-11-09Support for Delete Marker Replication, which replicates delete markers from the replication source to the replication destination.

References: Amazon S3 Replication adds support for replicating delete markers
2020-11-16Support for tracing S3 requests using AWS X-Ray.

References: AWS X-Ray now supports trace context propagation for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
2020-11-18Start offering Amazon S3 Storage Lens, which aggregates and visualizes usage and activity metrics, and provides recommendations for cost optimization and data protection.

References: Introducing Amazon S3 Storage Lens – Organization-wide Visibility Into Object Storage
2020-12-01Support for strong read-after-write consistency (strong consistency).

References: Amazon S3 Update – Strong Read-After-Write Consistency
2020-12-01Support for Amazon S3 Replication Change Sync that replicates changes to object metadata.

References: Amazon S3 Update – Strong Read-After-Write Consistency
2020-12-01Support for replication from one source bucket to multiple destination buckets.

References: Amazon S3 Replication adds support for two-way replication
2021-02-02AWS PrivateLink for Amazon S3, which connects using interface type VPC endpoint, becomes generally available (GA).

References: AWS PrivateLink for Amazon S3 is Now Generally Available
2021-03-18Amazon S3 Object Lambda, which allows the response data for S3 GET requests via the S3 object Lambda access point to be edited by an AWS Lambda function, is now available.

References: Introducing Amazon S3 Object Lambda – Use Your Code to Process Data as It Is Being Retrieved from S3
2021-07-26Support for Amazon S3 access point aliases that can access Amazon S3 access points like bucket names.

References: Amazon S3 Access Points aliases allow any application that requires an S3 bucket name to easily use an access point
2021-07-29Amazon S3 on Outposts supports direct access for applications running outside the Outposts VPC.

References: Amazon S3 on Outposts supports direct access for applications running outside the Outposts VPC
2021-09-02Amazon S3 multi-region access point providing global endpoints that span multiple S3 buckets in different regions is now available.

References: How to Accelerate Performance and Availability of Multi-region Applications with Amazon S3 Multi-Region Access Points
2021-11-18Amazon S3 on Outposts now supports powerful read-after-write consistency (strong consistency).

References: Amazon S3 on Outposts now delivers strong consistency automatically for all applications
2021-11-22Metrics of Amazon S3 Storage Lens are now available on Amazon CloudWatch.

References: Amazon S3 Storage Lens metrics now available in Amazon CloudWatch
2021-11-23Filters based on the current version number and object size are now available in Lifecycle rules.

References: Amazon S3 Lifecycle further optimizes storage cost savings with new actions and filters
2021-11-29Addition of event notifications for transitions & deletions by lifecycle rules, auto archiving of S3 Intelligent-Tiering class, object tag changes, and object ACL changes.

References: Amazon S3 adds new S3 Event Notifications for S3 Lifecycle, S3 Intelligent-Tiering, object tags, and object access control lists
2021-11-29You can now create Amazon EventBridge rules based on Amazon S3 event notifications.

References: Amazon S3 Event Notifications with Amazon EventBridge help you build advanced serverless applications faster
2021-11-30When creating policies in the Amazon S3 console, security warnings, errors, and suggestions from IAM Access Analyzer are now displayed.

References: Amazon S3 console now reports security warnings, errors, and suggestions from IAM Access Analyzer as you author your S3 policies
2021-11-30With Amazon Backup, you can now backup Amazon S3 object data, tags, ACLs, user-defined metadata, creation date, and version ID object metadata at a point in time or on a regular basis, along with other AWS services.

References: Announcing preview of AWS Backup for Amazon S3
2021-11-30Amazon S3 Glacier supports the S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval class for archiving data that is infrequently accessed but requires retrieval in milliseconds
* The previous S3 Glacier storage class will be renamed to S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval class (no specification changes).

References: Announcing the new Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval storage class - the lowest cost archive storage with milliseconds retrieval
2021-11-30Archive Instant Access tier is added to the S3 Intelligent-Tiering class.

References: Announcing the new S3 Intelligent-Tiering Archive Instant Access tier - Automatically save up to 68% on storage costs
2021-11-30A setting is introduced to disable access control lists (ACLs) and enforce ownership to the bucket owner.

References: Amazon S3 Object Ownership can now disable access control lists to simplify access management for data in S3
2022-02-08 Amazon S3 Batch Replication, which can replicate objects that existed before replication settings were made, will be available.

References: Amazon S3 Batch Replication synchronizes existing data between buckets
2022-02-18 The feature of periodic snapshots and continuous backups of Amazon S3 buckets using AWS Backup becomes General Availability (GA).

References: Announcing the general availability of AWS Backup for Amazon S3
2022-10-24 Support for SSE-C encrypted objects in Amazon S3 Replication.

References: Amazon S3 Replication now supports SSE-C encrypted objects
2022-11-28 Support for Amazon S3 multi-region access point failover control that shifts Amazon S3 data access request traffic routed via Amazon S3 multi-region access points to an alternative AWS region within minutes.

References: New Amazon S3 Multi-Region Access Points failover controls enable active-passive configurations and customer-initiated failovers
2022-11/30 Support for creating cross-account access points in Amazon S3 access points.

References: Amazon S3 Access Points can now be used to securely delegate access permissions for shared datasets to other AWS accounts
2023-03-14 Support for cross-account Amazon S3 multi-region access points.

References: Announcing cross-account support for Amazon S3 Multi-Region Access Points
2023-03-14 Amazon S3 Object Lambda access points can now automatically generate unique aliases and can be used as an origin for Amazon CloudFront distribution.

References: Use S3 Object Lambda with Amazon CloudFront to tailor content for end users
2023-03-14 AWS PrivateLink for Amazon S3 supports private DNS, enabling access to Amazon S3 via interface endpoints using AWS PrivateLink from on-premises.

References: Amazon S3 simplifies private connectivity from on-premises networks

Consideration of history and timeline

About features

Regarding its features, Amazon S3 did not have an official GUI from the start of its service in 2006 until the appearance of the AWS Management Console in 2010, providing only web interfaces such as REST, SOAP, and BitTorrent. GUI operations were mainly performed by executing APIs from third-party software created by volunteers. For a while after the service started, improvements to Amazon S3's web interface, functionality to integrate with Amazon S3 from programming libraries and third-party software, and active use of Amazon S3 through corporate APIs became more active.

Next, between 2010 and 2012, major features or their precursors that are now commonly used, such as version control, AWS Management Console, bucket policies, notifications, multipart upload, static website hosting, Server Side Encryption (SSE), lifecycle rules, MFA protection, and Amazon Glacier, were provided in succession.

Subsequently, in 2014, additional features were introduced that expanded on previous functionalities, such as SSE-C and SSE-KMS, which are additional options for SSE, event notifications that evolved from notifications, and cross-region replication that presupposes versioning features. After that, while Amazon S3 continued to add features, its role as a data integration destination for other AWS services that emerged one after another also became more prominent.

In recent years, there have been many updates providing monitoring, enhanced security features, flexible access methods, and replication, and there were also updates improving consistency.

When I started actively using AWS in 2008, there was no AWS management console at that time, and I used it by either hitting the REST API myself or using third-party locally installed GUI software such as S3Fox Organizer or CloudBerry Explorer to execute Amazon S3 APIs. At that time, I initially questioned why there was no original GUI provided, as services were emerging that offered online storage based on a GUI without providing an API.

However, because Amazon S3 prioritized usage via API, it was able to offer flexible, loosely coupled integration with other systems as independent features from the beginning, making it an IaaS that was easy to adapt to changing usage purposes. This shows that it had already realized the concepts of serverless and microservices at that time.

Furthermore, I believe that having almost all the main features in place from 2010 to 2014 has had a major impact on flexible integration and development with many AWS services, such as computing services, serverless services, analytics, machine learning, media services, and IoT, in addition to multipurpose use by users.

Personally, the update I found most impactful in the history of Amazon S3 was the support for "strong consistency" announced on December 1, 2020. Since the start of the service, Amazon S3 was eventually consistent after object writes, so in operations that read the latest data immediately after data updates, there were cases where the pre-update data was read, and additional checks were necessary when strict consistency was required. This support for "strong consistency" widened the range of possibilities and improvements for various use cases, such as ETL processing in data lakes.

In this way, it can be said that the ability to meet the needs of users for integration with systems they have developed, and to improve the service and flexibly integrate with other AWS services without having a major impact on the service, is due to the design philosophy that has focused on providing features based on APIs from the beginning.

About the price

Regarding the price, let's first take a look at the transition of Amazon S3's storage price listed in the above historical timeline. The storage price of Amazon S3 is tiered according to the amount of capacity used.

The horizontal axis represents the date (year, month, and day), and the vertical axis represents the monthly price per GB. The price tiers in the graph are based on the most finely divided price tiers that have appeared up to now.
The transition of tiered Amazon S3 storage pricing in US Standard (us-east-1)
The transition of tiered Amazon S3 storage pricing in US Standard (us-east-1)
There is no precedent for raising the storage prices. As for the trend of price reductions, they significantly lowered the price for large-volume usage, such as per petabyte, in 2009, and the price reduction has been conducted so that the prices of other tiers approach that amount.
However, since the price reduction on April 1, 2014, there is almost no difference in price between the tiers, and the storage prices and tiers implemented from December 1, 2016, have been in use until now. It is expected that the adoption of a pay-as-you-go billing system proportional to the storage usage allowed for flexible changes in prices according to the usage and prospects of Amazon S3 and other AWS services.

The current pricing is in three tiers ranging from $0.023/GB to $0.021/GB, so compared to the past, with more detailed price tiers, it is closer to the flat rate that was in place at the start, with no initial price tiers. When we look at this in terms of the current price tiers, the tiered discount rate, and the examples of price totals, it is as follows.

Price TierInitial PriceCurrent Price
Price Reduction
Rate per Tier
Price Consolidation Example
(1)First 50TB/month
0.150USD/GB0.023USD/GB84.67%[In case of 1TB(1,024GB) usage]
Initial Price: 153.6USD
Current Price: 23.55USD
(2)Next 450TB/month
0.150USD/GB0.022USD/GB85.33%[In case of 100TB(102,400GB) usage]
Initial Price: 15,360USD
Current Price: 2,304.0USD
(3)Over 500TB/month
0.150USD/GB0.021USD/GB86.00%[In case of 1PB(1,048,576GB) usage]
Initial Price: 157,286.4USD
Current Price: 22,583.3USD

Significant price reductions exceeding 84% have been implemented so far.
Additionally, if you spend the same amount now as the initial service charge, you can use about 6.521 to 7.143 times the data capacity.

Behind the price reduction, there is a view that it is due to benefits from the increased use of AWS and price competition with rival companies. However, I personally speculate that the rapid price cuts have been implemented to meet the needs of IT trends dealing with large amounts of data, such as big data analysis and machine learning, which began in earnest in the mid-2010s.


In this article, I created a timeline of the history of Amazon S3 to see how its functions, roles, and fees have changed over the years.
When I was using AWS back in the days when there was no AWS Management Console, I was inexperienced and at first I thought Amazon S3 was something amazing similar to an FTP service and Amazon EC2 was something amazing similar to a rental server.

However, as time passed and new features were added and pricing was revised, the API-based Amazon S3 began to distinctly stand out from other GUI-based online storage services and other similar services in terms of use cases.

Amazon S3, with its pay-as-you-go billing that allows adequate use, and API-based system that accepts cooperation from various systems, has been a great fit for meeting a wide variety of sudden storage needs and optimization for use cases.

I am continuously impressed with the stability and innovation of Amazon S3, which has become an indispensable service when using AWS. I am eager to see what new features and service integrations Amazon S3 will introduce in the future. I plan to keep updating this article's timeline regularly to keep a close watch on it.

Also, there is a timeline for the entire history of AWS services, including services other than Amazon S3. Please take a look if you are interested.

AWS History and Timeline - Almost All AWS Services List, Announcements, General Availability(GA)

Written by Hidekazu Konishi

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