Amazon to offer volume discounts for S3

Amazon will soon begin to offer volume discounts to customers of its S3 hosted storage service.

Amazon's 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 on 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 currently 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. Types of IT professionals who use S3 include developers of Web applications, storage managers and data warehousing administrators, said Alyssa Henry, S3 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 on these savings along to our customers," she said.

Currently in the U.S., AWS charges a flat fee for S3 of US$0.15 per gigabyte per month of storage used. The upcoming 4-tier structure will keep the price the same for the first 50T bytes of storage, but lower it to US$0.14 per gigabyte per month for a customer's next 50T bytes of storage. The price then drops to $0.13 per gigabyte per month for the next 400T bytes of storage and to $0.12 per gigabyte per month for storage beyond 500T bytes.

A similar pricing structure will be implemented in Europe, with the difference that prices there are a bit higher overall.

In Europe, AWS currently charges a flat fee for S3 of $0.18 per gigabyte per month of storage used. As of Nov. 1, the price will remain the same for the first 50T bytes of storage, and drop to US$0.17 per gigabyte per month for a customer's next 50T bytes of storage. The price falls further to $0.16 per gigabyte per month for the next 400T bytes of storage and to US$0.15 per gigabyte per month for storage beyond 500T bytes.

The 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 Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), and Amazon Mechanical Turk.

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