Exploring Amazon S3 and its potential with AirQuery

AirQuery is a powerful SaaS BI tool for reporting directly from Amazon S3 buckets

Many businesses often allocate a substantial budget for cloud storage without fully utilizing it, opting for various paid solutions for different tasks that could be consolidated within AWS alone. The advantages offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) are extensive.

Since AWS launched Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) in 2006, it has grown to become the most popular cloud storage service, boasting millions of customers worldwide spanning diverse industries and use cases. S3, a serverless object storage service, is meticulously designed to store and safeguard any volume of data. It stands out for its unparalleled scalability, data availability, security, and performance. It provides management features that empower users to customize data access, organization, and configuration to align with their specific business, organizational, and compliance needs.

Amazon S3 ranks at the top and has a market share of 92.06% in the enterprise data storage market.

What makes S3 the chosen storage service?

Core Features and Benefits of S3


AWS S3 can take care of huge amounts of data and traffic allowing users to store unlimited data, with individual objects ranging from 0 bytes to 5 TB. To meet demand, the service automatically scales storage resources without the need for manual intervention.

High Durability and Availability

AWS S3 guarantees 99.99% durability, ensuring data is extremely safe and unlikely to be lost. It also promises 99.99% availability making data accessible when needed. This is achieved through redundant storage across multiple facilities and devices.

Storage Classes

S3 provides different storage classes for different use cases, each with its own performance and cost characteristics. These classes include Standard (for storing mission-critical production data), Intelligent-Tiering (ideal for data with fluctuating or unknown access patterns), Standard-IA (for infrequently accessed data), One Zone-IA (optimized for infrequently accessed data), Glacier, and Glacier Deep Archive (designed for cost-effective data archiving).

S3 Express One Zone is an exceptional offering boasting high-performance, single-zone storage with data access speed up to 10 times faster and with request costs 50% lower than S3 Standard.

Customizable Storage Management

Features such as storage class analysis and S3 Inventory help users analyze and manage their stored data efficiently and optimize costs.

Amazon S3’s storage management features - 

  • S3 Lifecycle
  • S3 Object Lock 
  • S3 Replication
  • S3 Batch Operations 

Access Management and Security

S3 allows auditing and access management to users' buckets and objects. To support specific use cases or audit permissions of S3 resources, the following features can be used.

S3 Block Public Access - Account administrators and bucket owners can limit public access to their Amazon S3 resources that are enforced regardless of how the resources are created. 

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) - This feature offers access policy options - resource-based policies and user policies - to manage permissions to user’s Amazon S3 resources. 

Bucket Policies - A bucket owner can associate a policy with a bucket and grant or deny permission to objects in the bucket.

Amazon S3 Access Points - S3 access points simplify data access for any AWS service or customer application that stores data in S3.

Access Control Lists (ACLs) - ACLs can be used to grant basic read/write permissions to other AWS accounts.

S3 Object Ownership - This is a S3 bucket-level setting that enables users to control ownership of objects uploaded to their bucket and to disable or enable access control lists (ACLs)

IAM Access Analyzer for S3 - This alerts users to S3 buckets that are configured to allow access to anyone on the internet or other AWS accounts.

Data Processing

S3 allows to perform data transformations and initiates workflows, facilitating the automation of diverse processing activities on a large scale. This is made possible through the following features:

S3 Object Lambda - This is a serverless compute service that runs customer-defined code without requiring management of underlying compute resources. Users can author and run their own custom Lambda functions, tailoring the data transformation to specific use cases. 

Event Notifications - This feature enables receiving notifications when certain events happen in users’ S3 bucket. Event notifications can be sent for several specified events to several destinations. 

Storage Logging and Monitoring

S3 offers a comprehensive suite of both automated and manual tools for logging and monitoring, empowering users to observe and manage the utilization of their Amazon S3 resources effectively.

Automated Monitoring Tools

Amazon CloudWatch metrics for Amazon S3 - This can help you understand and improve the performance of applications that use Amazon S3

AWS CloudTrail - These logs provide a record of actions taken by a user, role, or an AWS service in Amazon S3

Manual Monitoring Tools

Server Access Logging - These logs are useful for many applications and provide detailed records for the requests that are made to a bucket. For example, security and access audits and customer base.

AWS Trusted Advisor - Trusted Advisor inspects users’ AWS environment and then makes recommendations when opportunities exist to save money, improve system availability and performance, or help close security gaps.

Analytics and Insights

This allows users to gain visibility into storage usage, empowering them to better understand, analyze, and optimize their storage at scale.

Amazon S3 Storage Lens - This cloud-storage analytics feature can be used to gain organization-wide visibility into object storage and activity. It analyzes metrics to deliver contextual recommendations for optimizing storage costs and applying best practices for protecting data.

Storage Class Analysis This analytics feature observes data access patterns to help determine when to transition less frequently accessed STANDARD storage to the STANDARD_IA (IA, for infrequent access) storage class. 

S3 Inventory with Inventory Reports - Amazon S3 Inventory helps manage users’ storage. It can be used to audit and report on the replication and encryption status of objects for business, compliance, and regulatory needs. 


Amazon S3 ensures strong read-after-write consistency across all applications automatically without impacting performance or availability, maintaining regional isolation at no extra cost. This S3 Strong Consistency eliminates the need for application modifications during on-premises analytics workload migration, streamlining the process and reducing infrastructure costs. Every S3 storage request is strongly consistent, guaranteeing immediate access to the latest version after a successful write or overwrite. 

S3 Direct Reporting

Direct reporting from S3 buckets is a powerful approach that allows organizations to efficiently access and utilize data stored in Amazon S3 for reporting purposes. This approach offers a streamlined, scalable solution for organizations seeking to leverage their data for valuable insights and decision-making, and has several advantages.

Advantages of Direct Reporting from S3 Buckets

Cost Efficiency

Direct reporting from S3 is cost-effective as there is no additional expense for data transfer or storage, with the data remaining in its original S3 bucket. Users only pay for the actual storage space and duration utilized on S3.

Durability and Availability

S3 boasts an impressive track record, designed to offer 99.999999999% data durability and 99.99% object availability over a year.

Flexibility and Scalability

S3 provides seamless scalability. When there's a need for more or less storage, implementation is quick and straightforward with provision for auto-scaling for added convenience. 

Minimized Data Redundancy

Direct reporting from S3 allows organizations to bypass duplicating or transferring data to a separate reporting database. This reduces redundancy, leads to savings in storage costs and makes the system easier to manage and maintain.

Versioning and Security

S3 provides multiple layers of security, including access control lists (ACLs), bucket policies, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles. It also supports versioning, allowing users to preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of every object stored in a bucket. Direct reporting can leverage these features, ensuring that data is securely stored, and changes to data can be tracked and managed effectively.

Reduced ETL Overheads

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. Direct reporting minimizes the need for complex ETL processes by allowing reporting tools to directly access and analyze data in its raw form.

Data Lake Architecture

Direct reporting aligns well with the concept of a data lake, where raw and diverse data is stored in its native format. This enables analysts and data scientists to explore and analyze the data without the constraints of a predefined schema.

Integration with Analytical Tools

S3 aligns seamlessly with many popular analytics and reporting tools allowing users to connect directly and visualize the data without the need for complex integrations.

Global Accessibility

S3 buckets can be accessed globally, allowing distributed teams or applications to report on the same dataset regardless of their geographical location.

Role of BI Service Providers in Cloud Analytics

Business Intelligence (BI) service providers play a crucial role in Cloud Analytics as they offer specialized services, tools, and expertise to help organizations extract valuable insights from their data. They help to deploy BI platforms, design scalable data storage on cloud platforms like AWS, and ensure data security and compliance. BI Service Providers empower organizations with advanced analytics, machine learning, and customized reporting, to enable informed decision-making. 

How AirQuery Can Help

An important factor for integrating a BI tool is the need for a single efficient tool to manage multiple needs. There is a variety of reporting and analytics tools in the market but investing in multiple solutions proves costly and makes it difficult to maintain and also defeats the purpose of moving to the cloud to do away with organizational silos. 

To bring together data from disparate sources, it is crucial to opt for a tool that can unlock the power of cloud data. AirQuery is popular and has features that enable business users to unleash the full potential of AWS. 

Why AirQuery

AirQuery is a one-of-a-kind modern SAAS information platform with comprehensive coverage of all aspects of reporting and analytics. Trusted by some of the biggest enterprises in the world, AirQuery equips users to deliver greater business value with data. Consider these unique advantages with AirQuery. 

Access Data Natively from S3 and Other Data Sources

AirQuery supports data access and integration from disparate sources and has native integration with S3. Air Query connectors automatically integrate data from any cloud-based data warehouse and can integrate databases and business applications used across the organization, without having to write complex code. 

Smart Lookup with AirQuery’s Augmatica 

With AirQuery’s Augmatica, you can do a smart lookup for any reports needed without using any reporting tool. You get your information at your fingertips with QUICKLETS. You can use Quicklets in any application to get precise, context-specific information immediately. Quicklets are customizable and are the best way to democratize information.

Access ERP Database Using Excel

You can explore data underlying application transactions, dashboards, and reports, and leverage Excel functionalities. AirQuery’s Excel Reporting tool allows you to pull real-time data from multiple applications and data sources into Excel. You can perform complex data comparisons, run custom SQL Queries, generate reports, and analyze data within the spreadsheet. 

Role-based Access to Data based on Authentication and Authorization

With AirQuery, you do not have to recreate rules for role-based data access. The rules created in your EBS automatically apply without any added configuration.

AirQuery is the best and most powerful SaaS BI tool offering ease of use, scalability, and compatibility with Amazon S3 features. Reporting directly from Amazon S3 buckets with AirQuery offers several advantages, particularly in the context of data analytics, reporting, and business intelligence. If you would like to know and experience how AirQuery can significantly contribute to the success of Cloud Analytics initiatives and empower your organization by harnessing the power of data for informed decision-making and competitive advantage, we would be glad to demonstrate it for you.