Amazon S3 statistics – more than 566bn objects

5 Oct 2011

Amazon has revealed key statistics about its S3 cloud platform – it holds more than 566bn objects and processes more than 370,000 requests per second at peak times.

That is about 82 objects for every person on the planet, according to World Bank Estimates. This is up from 449bn in Q2 and nearly double the number of objects stored at the end of Q4 last year when the number was 262bn.

“These objects are stored by many of our hundreds of thousands of customers we have in over 190 countries around the world,” a spokesman for Amazon S3 explained.

One large European organisation using Amazon S3 for its data sets is the European Space Agency (ESA). The ESA is one of the leading advanced research institutes on the planet looking at the earth, space and the solar system.

One important ESA programme, Data User Elements (DUE), uses satellites to collect data and uses Amazon S3 to house and retrieve its images and other end-user products. By using Amazon S3, the ESA is able to provide this data to scientists, government agencies and private organisations around the world. The data is used for a range of purposes, including monitoring the environment, improving the accuracy of weather reporting, and assisting disaster relief agencies.

In the UK, start-up and property-based website Zoopla! also uses Amazon S3. Zoopla! offers information and tools to help users make better informed property-buying decisions. Its website calculates property value estimates by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK.

This works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in different geographic areas. Estimates are constantly refined, using the most recent data available and a variety of statistical methodologies, in order to provide the most current information on any home.

To deal with such a large amount of data Zoopla! uses Amazon S3 heavily. Currently, all data is stored in Amazon S3 and every database table across all databases is encrypted and uploaded to Amazon S3 multiple times per day. Amazon S3 also stores all user and vendor submitted images and data files for Zoopla!

Another European user of Amazon S3 is Swisstopo, the Swiss Federal Office of Topography. Swisstopo is responsible for Switzerland’s geographical reference and mapping data and uses Amazon S3 to run 40 geographic information system applications and web map services.

As Switzerland is such a mountainous, rugged country, accurate maps and geographical information is important for everyone, from recreational skiers through to the emergency services. From Amazon S3, Swisstopo serves up to 30,000 unique visitors per day. This equates to data transfer of 8TB per month, up to 1,300 delivered map tiles per second, coming from a repository of 250,000,000 preproduced map tiles – all stored in Amazon S3.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years