Pros and Cons of hosting on Amazon S3

I signed up for an S3 trial account and uploaded a Storyline project to test out. It seems to work very well. Their cost calculator is also nice, so that one can gauge probable monthly costs for hosting. They also have a few different means available to secure your content.

I was wondering if anyone is using Amazon S3 for medium to large-scale (>5TB/month) project hosting. Has anyone had any problems with hosting Storyline projects on Amazon? Anything else to be aware of with this type of hosting?

This is my list so far:

Pros: ease of use; very inexpensive; multiple means of securing content; backup of content; high availability(?)

Thanks for your input!

26 Replies
Steve Flowers

For hosting, I would think it would do nicely. Some Amazon services are a little wacky to setup and can result in cost runaway if you're not careful (it won't warn you if things get out of control, it will just continue charging away). Storage is pretty simple and straight forward. Low risk of runaway.

I'm also hearing some great things about Microsoft's Azure cloud:

A fellow I know indicated for his purposes it was a better fit. He also tested virtualization with multiple processes. Said it ran his application compiler about 60 times faster than on his desktop. Neat possibilities.

Mike B.

Fantastic, Tom! Is that post going to be on this site? Would you mind updating this thread with a link when you have it posted? The only problem I've had so far is that our LMS does not send an http referrer when a course is clicked, so I can't use that security mechanism. I thought that would be a simple way to be pretty sure a visitor clicked directly from our LMS to the course. I realize that's not bulletproof anyway though.

David Elcock

Hello Tom.  I am experiencing playback issues on S3.  Namely, my courses don't play!  I've outlined the challenges on this post:

Any ideas for a newbie?  I suspect that I'm overlooking a simple step.  Any help is appreciated.


David Elcock

Leslie, to which link are you referring specifically? I've seen several but none seem to address the issue that I'm facing.   I appreciate your ongoing assistance.  I know that some people have shared their .html files for assistance.  I'm willing to do the same.  Again, I suspect it may be a simple fix.

David Jones123

I've also been having problems with setting up my Amazon S3 service. I wanted to move past my dropbox option.  I've followed this & another thread regarding this issue.  Just as David Elcock I've completed these steps:

Published Storyline content to web in Storyline. Check.
Used S3 Browser (not Cloudberry) to copy all course files to S3. Check.
Changed story.html file to index.html. Check.
Set permissions to public in S3. Check. 

My link from S3 shows "web page is not available" 

Yet in my dropbox the module works fine. 

I've configured other online resources, but I'm unable to determine how this process is failing.  I realize that once i find the single check box/process/folder, I won't have to worry about future uploads.

Thank you for any follow up links or suggestions. 


I verified my setup process from @Christine's follow up from @Tom post at  Her video was a GREAT resource.  What i've learned.  CloudBerry is a better solution for Articulate process rather than S3 Browser.  DON'T choose HTTPs but stay with HTTP. The secured url option continues to not produce usable links. Make sure story.html is index.html.

Best of luck to others setting up Amazon S3

David Elcock

Thank you , David, for the response.  I am relieved to see that I was not alone on this one.

You're correct that the video is a GREAT find.  It was exactly what I needed.  Instead of tweaking the security and sharing settings through the S3 browser, I followed the example of working through the Cloudberry settings, particularly the ACL Settings for the Storyline output, as the video points out.  From there I was able to open the course to everyone and make it public--and that was the ticket!  Now the course launches, even without changing the course from story.html to index.html.

Thank you, again, everyone.  I hope that others will find this as useful.  For prospective S3 users, the setup is not difficult and it seems to be a worthy sharing option.

Jo Murphy

I am so happy to learn I am not alone.  I am attempting a career switch.  Got my Masters in Tech Ed a few years ago but hit the ceiling in the public school system.  I know companies will want to see my work before even calling for an interview.

Please, let me know if you have anymore tips.


Thank you

Yoser Alarashi

Hi All,

I am getting a little confused as to the difference between Amazon S3 and Clouberry, mainly because when we downloaded free cloudberry explorer (via this website: it say "To download CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3 please click the button below." 

Is it not the same thing? I am trying to figure out cost projections for using Amazon but am unable to because I can't figure out if i am to use this or this . I also wanted to know if anyone was faced with surprise charges by either of these storage spaces. 

Please help!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Yoser,

Cloudberry is an option to access your S3 account - but you're not limited to that one. You may want to begin by reviewing the article Tom put together here with a video on how to upload this as well. 

I haven't heard of any surprise charges, but Amazon S3 is known for having very generous storage limits at a low cost so I wouldn't think you'd run into any problems. 

Yoser Alarashi

Hi Ashley,

I need something else! Do you insight on what happens to the cost after the 12 free months that Amazon Web Services free tier offers? Is there a flat rate for having an amazon s3 account + the charge of going over the TB? This is the link we are currently using to estimate how much our costs may be:

Is the Amazon Web Service different than the Amazon S3 account? I'm only getting more and more confused! Or does Amazon Web Service host Amazon S3 which provides the cloudberry service? In that case, is there a flat rate for any of these after 12 free months?

Hope my question is clear!