Investigating File Transfer Speed: Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration

Editor’s Note: With recent announcements by eDiscovery software providers as to the significant impact that Amazon’s S3 Transfer Acceleration technology may have for their (eDiscovery software provider) customers, the following information is shared to help educate the eDiscovery ecosystem on this technology and to provide links and tools that may help highlight actual vs. asserted benefits of leveraging the technology for file transfers.

Extract from Amazon S3 Documentation 

Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration

Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration enables fast, easy, and secure transfers of files over long distances between your client and an S3 bucket. Transfer Acceleration takes advantage of Amazon CloudFront’s globally distributed edge locations. As the data arrives at an edge location, data is routed to Amazon S3 over an optimized network path.

When using Transfer Acceleration, additional data transfer charges may apply. For more information about pricing, see Amazon S3 Pricing.

Why Use Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration?

You might want to use Transfer Acceleration on a bucket for various reasons, including the following:

    • You have customers that upload to a centralized bucket from all over the world.
    • You transfer gigabytes to terabytes of data on a regular basis across continents.
    • You underutilize the available bandwidth over the Internet when uploading to Amazon S3.

For more information about when to use Transfer Acceleration, see Amazon S3 FAQs.

How fast is Transfer Acceleration?

Transfer Acceleration helps you fully utilize your bandwidth, minimize the effect of distance on throughput, and is designed to ensure consistently fast data transfer to Amazon S3 regardless of your client’s location. Acceleration primarily depends on your available bandwidth, the distance between the source and destination, and packet loss rates on the network path. Generally, you will see more acceleration when the source is farther from the destination, when there is more available bandwidth, and/or when the object size is bigger.

One customer measured a 50% reduction in their average time to ingest 300 MB files from a global user base spread across the US, Europe, and parts of Asia to a bucket in the Asia Pacific (Sydney) region. Another customer observed cases where performance improved in excess of 500% for users in South East Asia and Australia uploading 250 MB files (in parts of 50MB) to an S3 bucket in the US East (N. Virginia) region.

Try the speed comparison tool to get a preview of the performance benefit from your location.