28. August 2012, 15:39 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

Places to host a web site are plentiful, and good quality hosting can be had at reasonable prices from a plethora of firms. But often the space available, if you wish to host a large number of files is limited. Now before people start the “there are tons of unlimited disk space and bandwidth” hosts, we all know it's marketing hype. There is no such thing as "unlimited" and if you carefully read the Terms of Service of such providers you will find the limits defined therein - usually “soft” limits that can vary at their discretion.

There is a way, however, to obtain a large amount of storage space that shrinks and grows as you need it, and only pay for what you use. Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an easy way to add extensible file storage to an basic hosting account. This can provide considerable amounts of static content for a price that us usually lower and at a performance level usually higher than that available from the average web host.

The first requirement is to create an Amazon services account. Choose a sub-domain for the S3 space and create a bucket using the sub-domain (eg. static.example.com). There are a number of ways of creating these and the tools and technical details on creating and using the space can be found on Amazon’s web site.

Once you have a public-readable bucket with your chosen name, it is accessible from anywhere on the web as a sub-directory of the Amazon service (eg. http://S3.amazonaws.com/static.example.com/). To make it accessible through its own name, you will have to edit your DNS records (or have your host or registrar do so if you cannot, or do not have access) and add the following entry (replacing “static” with whatever sub-domain you chose for your own site):

static IN CNAME s3.amazonaws.com.

Please note the trailing dot after s3.amazonaws.com. That is important and is required.

Once the changes propagate, you can access files stored in your new space directly (eg. http://static.example.com/filename.pdf). You now have a file storage space that operates on an expandable/collapsible, pay-as-you-go basis, accessible from your own domain name (and shareable amongst other domains if you wish).

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Keywords: storage space,cloud,S3,bucket



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