Amazon storage server options can be surprisingly costly

Posted By on November 13, 2016

Surprise! At least that’s what I found out when I opened a couple virtual invoices from Amazon for my two AWS accounts (personal and business). After moving files for online web content to Amazon’s fast and reliable S3 cloud-based servers a couple years ago,AWSBucketPoliciesEditor I’ve been happily adding content regularly since then as the cost has been relatively miniscule … until recently?

Much of the content I’m using Amazon S3 for is audio and video, where speed is helpful and transfers  infrequent (especially older archival items). I’ve contemplating using their Glacier storage but have heard horror stories from people archiving data and then attempting to retrieve everything at one time (a no-no). It seems that uploading data and "parking it" is inexpensive, even for massive archives, BUT retrieving "more than the minimum per month" can be "bigly" expensive.

AWSPermissions

For me with the S3 storage, my last month invoice for both accounts jumped 200% in price … so I knew something wasn’t right. A quick ticket and reply indicated that access was way up, but no details. Unfortunately the "reports" are not intuitive or detailed enough for me and their advice was to check my "bucket" setting … which of course I have slowly opened up over time. Back to adding "Bucket Policies" and modifying "properties" again. Hopefully this will take care of things?

From Amazon Tech Assistance:

Thanks for following up with us regarding your issue with data transfer charges. I will keep your case locked to me, while you investigate, and will wait for further updates from you.

I’m sorry for the trouble this issue have caused you. In addition to the information that my colleague provided to you earlier, I wanted to mention some other resources, that I think you might find useful.

You can download usage reports from your billing console below to investigate, what kind of request may generate the traffic:

https://console.aws.amazon.com/billing/home#/reports/usage

You can select Amazon Simple Storage Service and download .csv hourly usage report for the previous billing cycle. By filtering the information, you can check which resource and which operation generates the most data transfer.

If you would like to prevent your instance from responding to requests, you may want to make sure your security groups are configured to block unsolicited inbound traffic to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your data. Here are
some tips for securing your instances against unwanted traffic:

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/using-network-security.html

The issue with data transfer may happen if you grant permissions to your bucket to either "Everyone" (anyone on the Internet, even someone who doesn’t have AWS account) or "Any Authenticated AWS User" (anyone who has an AWS account). You may want to review the permissions that you set up for your buckets:

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/manage-acls-using-console.html

I hope this helps, and I will look forward to hearing back from you.

Comments

  • What a great company Amazon AWS has built. Superb engineers working in customer support that clearly answered questions, were attentive to helping me retrieve data from logs (not doing it for me, a plus!) and even offering a credit for the obvious denial of service attempt by hammering away at the server & “open” data. I’ve tightened my links and “bucket policies” so we’ll see if this hardens things a bit. Again, Amazon’s support is heads above most others in the business — keep that in mind if your business is critical.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.