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September 24, 2020updated 25 Sep 2020 9:30am

Down to the Wire: AWS Delays “Path-Style” S3 Deprecation at Last Minute

Breaking change delayed at the last minute

By CBR Staff Writer

AWS has delayed plans to kill off support for a certain type of S3 storage bucket access path, less than a week before its original deadline, amid blowback from customers.

The plans, first announced in April 2019, would have seen S3 stop accepting requests made using a “path-style” request format in all regions from September 30, 2020.

After that September date, under AWS’s original plans, unless customers made sweeping updates to how they access S3 buckets, requests to access S3 storage would have failed for applications using the “path style” model.

You can read an explainer of the path style vs virtual hosting here

Critics of the breaking-change had warned that many AWS customers were likely to have hard-coded these paths into their systems and would have neither capacity nor inclination to re-write links, e.g. in their CMS systems, by the given deadline.

Justifying the earlier proposed changes, Amazon had said of the original plan that the path style mode may not scale well and can result in high volumes of requests being routed through a potential bottleneck of limited S3 endpoints.

With the path-style access model, the S3 subdomain is always s3.amazonaws.com or a regional endpoint. With the virtual-hosted style of address that AWS has been encouraging users to shift to, the subdomain is specific to the bucket. i.e. legacy path style: https://s3.amazonaws.com/etargett-public/images/example.jpeg vs. virtual hosted style: https://etargett-public.s3.amazonaws.com/images/example.jpeg

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September 23, however, citing “feedback from many customers”, AWS said it had opted to delay the deprecation of path-style URLs to ensure that customers had more time.

The company had earlier said use of the legacy type of subdomain for S3 buckets was stymying the deployment by customers of “powerful features”, adding that deprecation of “some of the oldest security ciphers and versions was easier and smoother (for you and for us) if you are using virtual-hosted references.”

(AWS users can tap S3 Access Logs (“look for the Host Header field”) and AWS CloudTrail Data Events (“look for the host element of the requestParameters entry”) to identify the applications that are making path-style requests.

AWS’s Jeff Barr said: “Over the last year, we’ve heard feedback from many customers who have asked us to extend the deprecation date. Based on this feedback we have decided to delay the deprecation of path-style URLs to ensure that customers have the time that they need to transition to virtual hosted-style URLs.

“We have also heard feedback from customers that virtual hosted-style URLs should support buckets that have dots in their names for compatibility reasons, so we’re working on developing that support. Once we do, we will provide at least one full year prior to deprecating support for path-style URLs for new buckets.”

See also: AWS Customers are Opting in to Sharing AI Data Sets with Amazon Outside their Chosen Regions and Many Didn’t Know

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