Faster than s3 transfer acceleration


S3 transfer acceleration (S3TA) is amazon's offering for faster uploads to s3 buckets. It increases transfer speed by using AWS edge servers, and by routing traffic through AWS backbone networks. Tachyon offers an alternative and novel faster file transfer approach by using a different transport protocol as well as offering a network of edge servers.

What is S3 transfer acceleration

If your applications need to transfer lots of data (GBs TBs or more) across or between continents, to S3 buckets, or have many users that upload data to a centralized bucket from all over the world, S3 Transfer Acceleration could be useful. S3TA can also be useful  when you realise that your available bandwidth is not being fully utilized and would like to use more of it.

How it works

S3 transfer acceleration increases data transfer speed by 1) reducing the distance of the first network hop and by 2) routing traffic through high bandwidth networks.

When a you enable S3 transfer acceleration, uploads will be first routed to one of Amazon CloudFront's distributed Edge Locations. These locations are closer to the upload locations and thus logically reduce's the distance of the first network hop

Once data gets to a distributed edge location, that data is transferred via AWS backbone networks to the s3 bucket. The backbone networks are high bandwidth and help get data to the s3 bucket faster

What could be improved

Right now there is lack of support for s3ta in a number of key geographic areas listed below

  • Africa (Cape Town) (af-south-1)
  • Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) (ap-east-1)
  • Asia Pacific (Osaka) (ap-northeast-3)
  • Europe (Stockholm) (eu-north-1)
  • Europe (Milan) (eu-south-1)
  • Middle East (Bahrain) (me-south-1)

S3ta uses TCP for file transfer. TCP is well known to perform poorly in a various network conditions. If your transfer is cross continent, high packet loss may still severely affect performance. Additionally if you have a very fast, high bandwidth internet connection TCP does not utilize the bandwidth as well as through other transport protocols (see long fat networks)

Tachyon's differences

Tachyon offers an alternative faster file transfer approach that fully utilizes available bandwitdh and performs well in tough network conditions (eg high latency and packet loss). See how much faster tachyon could be with our file transfer calculator and give tachyon a try!