AWS Official Blog

Amazon S3 and Amazon SNS – Best Friends Forever

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon S3, Amazon Simple Notification Service |

We’re starting to wire various AWS services to each other, with interesting and powerful results. Today I’d like to talk to you about a brand new connection between Amazon S3 and the Amazon Simple Notification Service.

When I introduced you to SNS earlier this year I noted that “SNS is also integrated with other AWS services” and said that you could arrange to deliver notifications to an SQS message queue.

We’re now ready to take that integration to a new level. Various parts of AWS will now start to publish messages to an SNS topic to let your application know that a certain type of event has occurred. The first such integration is with Amazon S3, and more specifically, with S3’s new Reduced Redundancy Storage option.

You can now configure any of your S3 buckets to publish a message to an SNS topic of your creation (permissions permitting) when S3 detects that it has lost an object that was stored in the bucket using the RRS option.Your application can subscribe to the topic and (when the event is triggered) respond by regenerating the object and storing it back in S3. The message will include the event, a timestamp, the name of the bucket, the object’s key and version id, and some internal identifiers.

Let’s say that you are using S3 to store an original image and some derived images. You would use the STANDARD storage class for the original image and the REDUCED_REDUNDANCY storage class for the derived images. You would also need to store the information needed to regenerate a derived image from the original image. You could store this in SimpleDB or you could create a naming convention for your S3 object keys and then extract the needed information from the URL.

Consider this image:

It is the original image and would be stored with the STANDARD storage class. Derived images (scaled to a new size in this case) would use a suffix containing the needed information, and would be stored with REDUCED_REDUNDANCY:

A notification would be stored on the faces bucket and routed to a topic such as faces_web_app_errors. Your application need only await events on the topic and respond as follows:

  • Confirm the event is of the expected type (s3:ReducedRedundancyLostObject)
  • Extract the bucket and key name from the event
  • Parse the key name to identify the key of the original object and the transform to be applied
  • Fetch the original object
  • Apply the transform (image scaling in this case)
  • Store the derived object in S3 using the REDUCED_REDUNDACY storage class

Over time, we’ll wire up additional events (for S3 and for other services) to SNS. You can prepare for this now by creating general purpose event handlers in your application, and by keeping your code properly factored so that it is easy to create an object when needed. For the case listed above, I would think about structuring my application so that the only way to create a derived object is in response to an event. I would then generate synthetic “lost” events and use them to materialized the derived objects for the first time.

– Jeff;