Recently, we ran into the issue where several companies wanted to piggyback onto our companies Amazon S3 storage – the dilemma, how to accurately track individual usage to facilitate client billing.

Our first stop was to see if the Amazon S3 billing system shows individual bucket usage – it did not. We were faced with 1 of several options.

1) Setup individual client owned Amazon S3 accounts
2) Code a solution to parse the Amazon log files
3) Find an alternative solution

Immediately, we knew that the first option, while the simplest option for the usage tracking would become a nightmare having to constantly login / logout of a handful of different accounts. This idea was almost instantly scrapped.

We could have taken the time to program a log parser but again this option was quickly scrapped, as we didn’t have the time to stop working to code a solution, the clients wanted to move now.

So rather quickly we searched for an existing option – enter S3Stat.com

What is S3Stat.com

S3STAT is a service that takes the detailed server access logs provided by Amazon’s CloudFront and Simple Storage Service (S3), and translates them into human readable statistics, reports and graphs.

Best of all, we can track individual bucket usage, meaning we can see all activity and cost for a single client.

Why S3Stat?

We went with them for a couple reasons, but ultimately decided to utilize this service after using it for the last 30 days and seeing just how simple and powerful this tool actual is.

Simply download the app, enter your S3Stat username and password, your Amazon IAM (Identity and Access Management) user account credentials, allow S3tat access to your logs, and select the endpoint aka the bucket.

Log files if not already turned on in your Amazon account may take up to 24 hours to start reporting. This turn around time isn’t an S3Stat issue, its an Amazon setting issue, as the log files do not start to populate until you enable the logs. Should you stop the reporting via the app, re-enabling the site and getting it back to reporting status took less than 20 minutes in our test.

The only Hiccup

The only issue that I’ve experienced so far is bucket removal from S3stat. You’ll use the website to view all the information, but when you try to remove a bucket you’ll encounter an “error” stating you need to remove it via the app.

Ideally, we should be able to add / remove a site from S3Stat either from the App or the website with the two systems syncing when an action takes place.

Nothing to lose

S3Stat offers a 30 day trial after which the service is only $10 a month. To start your free trial visit https://www.s3stat.com/Setup/RegisterAlt.aspx