Is S3 Region Specific or Global? What do you think?

aws s3 is global or regional
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Dear Reader, I see many people saying S3 is a global service.Many are asking the question about S3 being region specific or global in various online forum.

That’s why, I thought to write this post and help you understand the reality.

Where does the confusion start?

When you login to AWS console and open S3. By default Global is selected and as soon as you try to change the region you will see-

“S3 does not require region selection.”

Also, you will notice that all the regions are grayed out and you actually can’t change the region.

However, the confusion starts when we create a bucket. Because creation of a bucket always require us to choose a region.

s3 bucket regional or global

Now we are bound to be confused.

Don’t worry, by the end of this post you will fully understand the chemistry of global and regional.

S3 console shows Global in region

If you notice the bucket list, you will see that console lists out all the bucket in the account across all region.

bucket regional vs global

The console also allows you to access bucket from all the regions and do operations on them.

But does that mean s3 bucket is global? Yes ? No? No Idea??

Okay, first let’s understand what’s global in S3.

What’s Global in S3?

The name of the bucket

Yes , that’s true.

Once you create a bucket “mybucket”, you or anyone else can not create a bucket with same name until you delete the bucket.

In short, bucket name are unique globally.

You can checkout the reason in this post : Why S3 bucket names are unique globally.

What about bucket and objects?

Ideally a bucket is always created in the region you specify and never ever leaves that region until transfer the object to some other region.

To optimize latency, or minimize costs, or for compliance reason you can choose any AWS Region that is geographically close to you.

Now you may have the question which I had.

Hows does S3 maintains redundancy?

They maintain the redundancy by automatically storing the data across multiple devices across availability zone or in a single availability zone depending upon the their storage class.

For S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and S3 Glacier storage classes, objects are automatically stored across multiple devices spanning a minimum of three Availability Zones, each separated by miles across an AWS Region.

However, the objects stored for S3 One Zone-IA storage class are stored redundantly within a single Availability Zone in the AWS Region you select.

Please notice that no matter how many places S3 is storing data. it’s in a single region.

Proving that S3 buckets are region specific and always stays in same region until you decide otherwise.

Does that mean our bucket or objects never leave a region?

Of course they can but only when you want.

You may enable Cross region replication to meet regulatory requirement to store your data in different regions so that in case of a region failure it doesn’t effect you.

Conclusion:

Finally, to conclude I would say that the bucket namespace is shared across all accounts and is unique globally .

However, a bucket always belong to a specific region. and s3 bucket is region specific.

I hope I was able to clear your doubt.

If yes- Please add a comment.

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