Parthenon Software Group

Amazon S3

If you use your computer on a regular basis, chances are you've run into problems with slow websites. A common problem with websites is when images and web pages are coming from the same server, which brings  the speed down. The good news: there’s a quick and easy solution. As our clients experience an increase in traffic, we use Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Server) for images and other large media files.

As a software and development company, we work with images and videos on a daily basis and they can easily take up the majority of a site's network usage. Amazon S3 is an industry standard for quickly reducing load on websites. This is a public server which enables storage and retrieval of any type of data from anywhere on the Internet at any given time. The result: We've been able to reduce our bandwidth by half and improve site performance by using bandwidth more efficiently in other areas.

How exactly does it work? Think in terms of the components located in our computer. There are three main parts; the Central processing unit (CPU), a data storage device and a controller device. In terms of a regular web server, the server itself acts as the CPU, while S3 becomes the hard drive and the visitor's web browser as the controller. Freed from the burden of dealing with images and video, the web server can send back web pages faster and let the visitor's web browser do the rest.

Convinced S3 will work for your company as well? Consider the following tips before you use it.

  • Index all your file information and make sure it is labeled correctly.
  • Once uploaded on S3, these files will save to one blanket or folder. There are no sub-folders on S3. Moreover, the files cannot be duplicated.
  • Make sure your website's design takes advantage of S3's strengths. There is a full S3 API that will help you.
  • You pay for what you use, and a bad design can end up wasting money. Use the API to modify files server side without using bandwidth.

While Amazon S3, has proven to be a successful storage server in terms of images and videos, that doesn't mean it will necessarily work for all types of data or all companies and people. Still, it’s definitely something to consider.

Interested in learning more? Go to Amazon's Web Services page to get started today.

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