AWS Data Storage Options

Economist often deal with large and complicated data.  However, the degree to which data is expanding in business, academia, and government in many instances has outpaced the storage and computing capacity of individual personal computers, powerful as they may be. Therefore economists must continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies for storing and modeling ever more expansive data. One such technology is Amazon Web Services(AWS).

The goal of this post is to describe how to create new data storage capabilities by using Amazon Web Services. The first step is to set up and create a new AWS account, next explore the different storage options below.

Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

How is it used?

EBS is a volume-based storage that isn’t associated with any particular instance; rather, it’s attached to instances to provided additional storage. It can be attached for that instance but is detached from the instance when it terminates

How to I create it?

  1. Click on the EC2 link on your Management Console of your AWS account.Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.09.01 AM.png
  2. Next click on the ‘create bucket’ button, choose Standard from the Volume Type drop-down menu, set the size to 2GB, choose US west 1a from the Availability Zone, and specify No Snapshot from the Snapshot drop down menu.Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.15.57 AM.png


Glacier Storage Service

How is it used?

Glacier, released in August 2012, is a storage service targeted at a critical IT requirement; archival storage. The best known use of archival storage involves server backups – complete dumps of all data on a server’s drive.

How to I create it?

  1. Click on the Glacier link as shown in the picture below

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.23.26 AM


2. Click on the Create Vault button and a new Glacier vault is created, it’s that simple

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.27.07 AM.png


How is it used?

This is a noSQL database

How to I create it?

  1. Click on the DynamoDB iconScreen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.35.49 AM
  2. Set capacity limits and alarms for the database to avoid being overcharged Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.46.27 AM


Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 12.46.46 AM.png


To summarize:

S3, thigh highly scalable object

EBS, the volume storage offering

DynamoDB, the highly scalable key-value service

Glacier, the inexpensive and highly durable archiving service

Guidelines when choosing among AWS storage services:

  1. Become knowledgeable about all services
  2. Leverage the strengths of the services so Amazon does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to
  3. Choose services that are appropriate and necessary
  4. Use what-if approaches to make service choices (e.g. what is our users grow by 10 times)

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