When we launched S3 back in 2006, I discussed its virtually unlimited capacity (“…easily store any number of blocks…”), the fact that it was designed to provide 99.99% availability, and that it offered durable storage, with data transparently stored in multiple locations. Since that launch, our customers have used S3 in an amazing diverse set of ways: backup and restore, data archiving, enterprise applications, web sites, big data, and (at last count) over 10,000 data lakes.
One of the more interesting (and sometimes a bit confusing) aspects of S3 and other large-scale distributed systems is commonly known as eventual consistency. In a nutshell, after a call to an S3 API function such as PUT that stores or modifies data, there’s a small time window where the data has been accepted and durably stored, but not yet visible to all GET or LIST requests. Here’s how I see it:
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