Get started with Amazon S3 Lifecycle Rules

AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service) Lifecycle Rules are a set of actions defined for managing your objects' lifecycle on AWS S3. These rules are used to automate tasks based on defined criteria, such as object age or the version status of the object in versioned buckets. They help in effectively managing the storage, reducing costs, and adhering to data retention policies. Here are the key actions available in Lifecycle Rules and their use cases:

  1. Transition Actions: These actions move objects to different storage classes within S3.

    • Standard to Standard-Infrequent Access (IA): Used for less frequently accessed data but requires rapid access when needed.

    • Standard to Intelligent Tiering: This is a unique storage class in S3 designed to optimize costs by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective access tier, without performance impact or operational overhead. It's ideal for data with unknown or changing access patterns.

    • Standard to One Zone-Infrequent Access: Suitable for data that is infrequently accessed and doesn't require the resilience provided by geographically distributed storage.

    • Standard to Glacier or Glacier Deep Archive: Ideal for archiving data that is rarely accessed and can tolerate retrieval delays.

  2. Expiration Actions: These actions define when objects should be deleted.

    • Object Expiration: Automatically deletes objects after a specified period. Useful for data that only needs to be stored for a limited time, like temporary files or logs.

    • Incomplete Multipart Upload Expiration: Removes parts of multipart uploads that haven't been completed within a specified period. This helps in avoiding charges for storage space used by unfinished uploads.

For more information, see Expiring objects.

  1. Noncurrent Version Transitions: This applies to versioned buckets and allows you to transition noncurrent object versions to lower-cost storage classes.

  2. Noncurrent Version Expiration: Automatically deletes noncurrent versions of objects after a specified period, which is useful in versioned buckets to manage the lifecycle of older object versions and to save costs.

Use Cases

  1. Cost Optimization: By moving less frequently accessed data to lower-cost storage classes, you can significantly reduce storage costs.

  2. Data Retention Compliance: Automate the deletion of data that no longer needs to be retained, helping to comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

  3. Automated Archiving: For data that must be retained but is rarely accessed, automatically moving it to Glacier or Glacier Deep Archive can be cost-effective.

  4. Cleanup of Unfinished Uploads: Automatically delete unfinished multipart uploads to prevent unnecessary storage costs.

  5. Version Management: In buckets with versioning enabled, lifecycle rules help manage and delete older versions of objects, keeping storage usage efficient.

By using these lifecycle rules, you can automate the management of your data in S3, ensuring that it is stored in the most cost-effective manner while adhering to your organization's data management policies.

Tutorial: Create a lifecycle rule for Amazon S3 by using AWS CLI

To configure a lifecycle rule to move objects in an S3 bucket between different storage tiers using AWS CLI, you can follow these steps:

Prerequisites:

  • Ensure AWS CLI is installed and configured with the necessary permissions.

  • Have an S3 bucket ready. If not, create one using aws s3 mb s3://your-bucket-name.

Steps:

1. Create a JSON File for Lifecycle Policy

Create a file named lifecycle-policy.json. This file will define the lifecycle policy with rules to transition objects between different storage tiers.

Here's an example policy:

{
  "Rules": [
    {
      "ID": "Transition to Standard-IA after 30 days",
      "Status": "Enabled",
      "Filter": {
        "Prefix": ""
      },
      "Transitions": [
        {
          "Days": 30,
          "StorageClass": "STANDARD_IA"
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "ID": "Transition to Intelligent-Tiering after 60 days",
      "Status": "Enabled",
      "Filter": {
        "Prefix": ""
      },
      "Transitions": [
        {
          "Days": 60,
          "StorageClass": "INTELLIGENT_TIERING"
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "ID": "Transition to Glacier after 90 days",
      "Status": "Enabled",
      "Filter": {
        "Prefix": ""
      },
      "Transitions": [
        {
          "Days": 90,
          "StorageClass": "GLACIER"
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "ID": "Transition to Deep Archive after 120 days",
      "Status": "Enabled",
      "Filter": {
        "Prefix": ""
      },
      "Transitions": [
        {
          "Days": 120,
          "StorageClass": "DEEP_ARCHIVE"
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

This configuration sets up transitions to different storage classes at different day intervals.

2. Apply the Lifecycle Policy to Your Bucket

Apply this lifecycle policy to your bucket with the following command. Replace your-bucket-name with your actual bucket name.

aws s3api put-bucket-lifecycle-configuration --bucket your-bucket-name --lifecycle-configuration file://lifecycle-policy.json

3. Verify the Lifecycle Policy

Check that the lifecycle policy is correctly applied:

aws s3api get-bucket-lifecycle-configuration --bucket your-bucket-name

4. Monitoring and Adjusting (Optional)

  • After applying the lifecycle policy, monitor your S3 usage and costs.

  • Adjust the days or storage classes in the lifecycle policy as needed based on your usage patterns and cost considerations.

Important Notes

  • The transitions in the lifecycle policy will be executed based on the age of the objects from their creation date.

  • The lifecycle policy runs once daily, so changes might not be immediate.

  • Ensure that the IAM user or role used for AWS CLI has the necessary permissions for managing S3 lifecycle policies.

By following these steps, you can configure a lifecycle rule to automatically move objects between different S3 storage tiers, helping to optimize storage costs and management.

References:

  1. Managing your storage lifecycle

  2. Lifecycle configuration elements

  3. Expiring objects

  4. Setting lifecycle configuration on a bucket

  5. Examples of S3 Lifecycle configuration

  6. Amazon S3 Storage Classes

  7. Amazon S3 pricing

  8. How do I create Amazon S3 lifecycle configuration rules for noncurrent object versions?

  9. When is the Amazon S3 lifecycle rule executed?