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Understanding the Amazon S3 File System

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Now that you know how to setup user permissions for small businesses and solopreneurs, we’re just going to dive right in and take a look at the Amazon S3 file system. Let’s begin by looking at mine first here at BYOB website.

Bucket System

Here is my S3 account. My S3 account has 6 buckets. It has BYOB website plugins, products, videos, the one that I have set up for my EZ Video Player, my Rick Anderson Architects backup and then my Thesis Toolbox site backup bucket.

I have various different buckets that I’ve created for different purposes and naturally, the big one is the video one. And the video has 2400 videos in it. You can’t really see that because they’re all in folders.

But anyway, that’s the way the file system works. You have buckets and the bucket is like the main URL really of a set of storage. So all of my videos are stored under as the name of the bucket.

Folder System in Buckets

Then inside the bucket, you have folders. And I have, inside of this bucket, 3 folders. I have the downloads folder, the premium and the public. And once upon a time, we thought that we would store lessons that people could download one piece at a time. You could take a whole lesson, zip it up into a big file and then let them download it. The problem is, the files ended up being so large that it was very difficult for people to successfully download them so we stopped doing that. But that was what this was for originally.

Premium is essentially all of the videos that we have that we aren’t delivering free. And so we’ve got some under the blog and you can see now, we’ve got all buckets, byob website, videos, premium and blog. This is a very poorly named folder, by the way.

And then we’ve got Customize Thesis Like a Pro, Customize Thesis Like a Pro 2. Pretty soon, there’ll be a Customize Thesis Like a Pro 2.1. Those are eCommerce and membership sites.

This is an interesting little issue that I never noticed. This was created by a staff member of mine who has broken one of the rules… well, there and there. And this actually might account for a couple of problems that I’ve had that I’ve never really understood.

These folders are incorrectly named. No folder should ever have a space in its name. And you can use capital letters but no folder should ever have a space in its name and no folder should ever have a dot in its name. And this is more than likely why I’ve had some intermittent problems with video delivery and it didn’t occur to me that that might be the case.

It’s not an absolute problem because obviously, most people still can watch these videos. But this is an incorrectly named folder which could cause problems. Of course, if I change the folder name now, none of the videos will play anymore because changing the file name is the same thing as changing the URL.

File System is Hierarchical

In any case, the way this is set up is hierarchically, right? Buckets, folders, and then files. And you can see, we just have tons and tons of files.

There’s a little lesson in here because I’m going to give you rules for naming. And clearly, these naming rules aren’t absolute because lots of the stuff is working but will account for having some problems I’ve had in the past.

So anyway, Amazon S3 file system is made up of buckets and then folders and you can have nested folders. We’re in premium, Start Building Your Website Here and then there’s a Professional Website Using Thesis 2 as the next folder level. So it’s very much like organizing files on your computer or organizing files in your website. You have buckets, folders and then files.

Next we are going to create our first Amazon S3 bucket here in John’s account. So we’ll come over here to console home and we’ll come to S3… but first I need to log out of my account and into John’s. When switching between accounts like this, it can get a little tricky.

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