Cost Optimization with AWS S3 Intelligent-Tiering

Opportunity Name:

S3 Intelligent-Tiering

AWS Resource Type:

Simple Storage Service (S3)

Opportunity Summary:

Enable S3 Intelligent Tiering to automatically realize storage class savings.

Opportunity Description:

Enable S3 Intelligent Tiering on the objects in an S3 bucket to automatically move them to a lower-cost storage class when they go unused for a period of time. Items in the Standard Storage class which have not been accessed in 30 days are transitioned to the Infrequent Access class. If it still has not been accessed after 90 days, the object is transitioned to the Archive Instant Access class.

Criteria for identifying the opportunity:

  • S3 Bucket with data in the Standard Storage class
  • S3 Bucket with data in the Standard Infrequent Access (SIA) or One-Zone Infrequent Access (ZIA) storage classes 

And the following are true:

  • The bucket has an estimated per annum savings greater than or equal to $100.
  • The bucket does not have a global deletion policy removing objects within 30 days
  • The bucket does not have a global policy archiving objects within 30 days


Potential savings (range in % on annual basis):

The cost savings that you will realize depend on your current usage of S3 storage classes, but most customers can expect to see average savings of about 35% for each S3 bucket that is not already optimized.


Savings are realized over the course of 3 months in two stages:

  • After 30 days: all objects that have not been accessed for at least 30 days are moved to the Infrequent Access storage class.
  • After 90 days: all objects that have not been accessed for at least 90 days are moved to the Archive Instant Access class.

Please note that if you currently store objects in an Infrequent Access class, this Finder may result in your S3 costs increasing temporarily for the first 30 days. Don’t worry - this temporary increase is expected! The price spike is caused by AWS moving the objects back to the Standard S3 class when Intelligent Tiering is activated. In addition, AWS adds a small charge for Intelligent Tiering object monitoring ($2.5 per month per million objects monitored).

However, this short term cost increase will translate into ongoing net cost savings that will be fully realized from the 4th month’s bill onwards, as objects that have not been accessed are moved back to Infrequent Access (after 30 days) and then on to Archive Instant Access (after 90 days).

What happens when the Fixer is executed?

The Fixer creates an S3 Lifecycle rule which transitions all of the objects in the S3 bucket to S3 Intelligent Tiering. Please note that objects with a size less than 128k are not optimized by S3 Intelligent Tiering.

Is it possible to rollback once CloudFix implements the fixer?

No, there is no rollback feature - enabling S3 Intelligent Tiering incurs no risk.

Can CloudFix implement the fix automatically once I accept the recommendation?


Does this fix require downtime?



Additional Resources


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