Amazon to offer volume discounts for S3

High usage allows AWS subsidiary to reduce rates

Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing subsidiary will institute a new tiered pricing structure for its hosted storage service that includes price cuts for high-volume customers.

Simple Storage Service (S3) has reached a level of usage -- holding 29 billion objects and handling 70,000 requests per second -- that allows AWS to bring down its rates, the company said Thursday.

The new tiered pricing structure will kick in Nov. 1. Customers aren't required to enter into contracts or commit to minimum fees, since S3 and other AWS services are billed per usage.

S3 is being used by companies of all sizes for a variety of tasks, including data backup and archiving, Web site content hosting and file sharing, according to AWS. The IT professionals who use S3 include Web application developers, storage managers and data warehousing administrators, said Alyssa Henry, S3's general manager.

"With scale, as we get larger, we're able to aggregate the usage of all our customers and get volume discounts from our suppliers and pass these savings along to our customers," she said.

In the U.S., AWS charges a flat fee for S3 of 15 cents per gigabyte per month of storage used. The upcoming four-tier structure will keep the price the same for the first 50TB of storage, but it will lower the cost to 14 cents per gigabyte per month for a customer's next 50TB of storage. The price then drops to 13 cents per gigabyte per month for the next 400TB of storage and to 12 cents per gigabyte per month for storage beyond 500TB.

A similar pricing structure will be implemented in Europe, although prices there are a bit higher overall.

In Europe, AWS charges a flat fee for S3 of 18 cents per gigabyte per month of storage used. As of Nov. 1, the price will remain the same for the first 50TB of storage, and drop to 17 cents per gigabyte per month for a customer's next 50TB of storage. The price falls further to 16 cents per gigabyte per month for the next 400TB of storage and to 15 cents per gigabyte per month for storage beyond 500TB.

S3 data transfer costs were reduced recently and will remain at their current levels.

S3 is part of the AWS suite of generic computing, payment, billing, fulfillment and Web search services that customers can tap into over the Internet, the increasingly popular cloud computing model for delivery of software and IT infrastructure services.

Other AWS cloud computing services include Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for computing power, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (FPS), and Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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