A couple of weeks ago, I described a month’s worth of experience with hosting Free Radical’s media on S3. This update responds to some predictions now that I have an entire calendar month under my belt.

Storage, again

Storage growth was still linear and transfer was constant. Midway through the month I set up a lifecycle rule so that objects are moved to cheaper “infrequent access” storage 30 days after creation. After that change, the main S3 storage has leveled out as old objects are rotated out almost exactly as quickly a new objects come in.

S3 standard May 2017

Now the infrequent access class is filling at a mostly-linear rate, but it costs approximately half as much. Yay, cheap storage!

S3 IA May 2017

This is perfect for an application like Mastodon, where new media is much more likely to be accessed than old photos that were uploaded a month ago. Evidence of this that in the last 48 days (I don’t know why that time frame either; that’s just the time window Amazon shows), users have downloaded an average of 226.5MB per day of media from the standard less-than-30-days class and 12KB per day from the 30-days-or-more infrequent access class. I could probably delete everything older than a month and no one would notice.


So, what’s the bill for storage that:

  • Is hosted on Amazon’s servers so that I don’t have to pay for CPU to serve it,
  • Is served to Free Radical’s users from a world-class content delivery network much faster than I could do it,
  • Automatically moves old media to half-price storage after a month, and
  • Doesn’t charge any more for bandwidth than if I’d served it myself?

My entire bill for the month of May 2017 was $1.40. This is slightly more than the $1.32 I’d predicted earlier, but I’m not ready to start a Patreon just yet.