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Amazon ElastiCache vs Amazon S3: What are the differences?


This Markdown code provides a comparison of key differences between Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon S3.

  1. Data Storage and Retrieval: ElastiCache is a managed in-memory caching service that is used to enhance the performance of web applications by caching frequently accessed data in memory. It supports two open-source in-memory engines, Redis and Memcached. On the other hand, S3 is a scalable object storage service that allows storing and retrieving any amount of data from anywhere on the web. It is optimized for storage and backup purposes rather than in-memory caching.

  2. Use Case: ElastiCache is primarily used for caching database queries, session data, and computationally expensive data. It helps reduce the load on the primary data sources, improving application response times. S3, on the other hand, is well-suited for storing and distributing large files, static assets, backups, and data archiving. It is often used for data lakes, content distribution, and as a cloud storage solution.

  3. Data Durability and Scalability: ElastiCache is an in-memory service, which means the data stored in the cache is volatile and can be lost in case of failures or restarts. It is a non-persistent service, and its primary purpose is to improve application performance. S3, on the other hand, provides high durability and data scalability with replication across multiple availability zones. It is designed for long-term data storage and offers 99.999999999% durability for objects.

  4. Data Structure Support: ElastiCache supports various data structures like key-value pairs, lists, sets, sorted sets, and hashes depending on the chosen engine (Redis or Memcached). It provides advanced features like Pub/Sub messaging and Lua scripting for Redis. S3, on the other hand, stores data in the form of objects (files) within buckets, without specific data structure support. It is mostly used for storing unstructured or semi-structured data.

  5. Pricing Model: ElastiCache is priced based on the cache node hours and associated data transfer. It offers both On-Demand and Reserved Instances pricing options. The cost is proportional to the chosen cache node type and size. In contrast, S3 follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model based on the amount of data stored, data transfer out, and specific storage classes. It also offers features like Glacier Deep Archive, which provide low-cost long-term archival storage.

  6. Compatibility and Integration: ElastiCache integrates seamlessly with other AWS services like Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and AWS Lambda. It can be easily integrated into existing applications using standard caching libraries. S3, on the other hand, can be integrated with various AWS services as a storage solution. It also provides integration with CDN services like Amazon CloudFront for content delivery.

In Summary, Amazon ElastiCache is an in-memory caching service primarily used to improve application performance by caching frequently accessed data, while Amazon S3 is a scalable object storage service designed for storing and distributing large files, backups, and data archiving with high durability and scalability.

Advice on Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon S3

Hello! I have a mobile app with nearly 100k MAU, and I want to add a cloud file storage service to my app.

My app will allow users to store their image, video, and audio files and retrieve them to their device when necessary.

I have already decided to use PHP & Laravel as my backend, and I use Contabo VPS. Now, I need an object storage service for my app, and my options are:

  • Amazon S3 : It sounds to me like the best option but the most expensive. Closest to my users (MENA Region) for other services, I will have to go to Europe. Not sure how important this is?

  • DigitalOcean Spaces : Seems like my best option for price/service, but I am still not sure

  • Wasabi: the best price (6 USD/MONTH/TB) and free bandwidth, but I am not sure if it fits my needs as I want to allow my users to preview audio and video files. They don't recommend their service for streaming videos.

  • Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage: Good price but not sure about them.

  • There is also the self-hosted s3 compatible option, but I am not sure about that.

Any thoughts will be helpful. Also, if you think I should post in a different sub, please tell me.

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Replies (2)
Michira Griffins
Software Developer at Codeshares Ltd · | 1 upvotes · 115.9K views

If pricing is the issue i'd suggest you use digital ocean, but if its not use amazon was digital oceans API is s3 compatible

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Cloudways Cloudways

Hello Mohammad, I am using : Cloudways >> AWS >> Bahrain for last 2 years. This is best I consider out of my 10 year research on Laravel hosting.

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Decisions about Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon S3

Minio is a free and open source object storage system. It can be self-hosted and is S3 compatible. During the early stage it would save cost and allow us to move to a different object storage when we scale up. It is also fast and easy to set up. This is very useful during development since it can be run on localhost.

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Gabriel Pa

We offer our customer HIPAA compliant storage. After analyzing the market, we decided to go with Google Storage. The Nodejs API is ok, still not ES6 and can be very confusing to use. For each new customer, we created a different bucket so they can have individual data and not have to worry about data loss. After 1000+ customers we started seeing many problems with the creation of new buckets, with saving or retrieving a new file. Many false positive: the Promise returned ok, but in reality, it failed.

That's why we switched to S3 that just works.

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Pros of Amazon ElastiCache
Pros of Amazon S3
  • 58
  • 32
  • 26
    Backed by amazon
  • 21
  • 14
  • 590
  • 492
  • 456
  • 329
    Simple & easy
  • 83
    Many sdks
  • 30
  • 13
    Easy Setup
  • 11
  • 11
    1000+ POPs
  • 6
  • 4
    Plug and play
  • 4
  • 3
    Web UI for uploading files
  • 2
    Faster on response
  • 2
  • 2
    GDPR ready
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy integration with CloudFront

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Cons of Amazon ElastiCache
Cons of Amazon S3
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    • 7
      Permissions take some time to get right
    • 6
      Requires a credit card
    • 6
      Takes time/work to organize buckets & folders properly
    • 3
      Complex to set up

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    What is Amazon ElastiCache?

    ElastiCache improves the performance of web applications by allowing you to retrieve information from fast, managed, in-memory caches, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases. ElastiCache supports Memcached and Redis.

    What is Amazon S3?

    Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web

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    What companies use Amazon ElastiCache?
    What companies use Amazon S3?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon ElastiCache or Amazon S3.
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    What tools integrate with Amazon ElastiCache?
    What tools integrate with Amazon S3?

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    What are some alternatives to Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon S3?
    Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
    Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).
    Memcached is an in-memory key-value store for small chunks of arbitrary data (strings, objects) from results of database calls, API calls, or page rendering.
    Azure Redis Cache
    It perfectly complements Azure database services such as Cosmos DB. It provides a cost-effective solution to scale read and write throughput of your data tier. Store and share database query results, session states, static contents, and more using a common cache-aside pattern.
    Amazon DynamoDB
    With it , you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available distributed database cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.
    See all alternatives