Amazon launches new cloud services

And competition in UK hots up as Rackspace introduces beta trial

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced two new pricing plans for its cloud service and has reduced the prices for its existing offerings.

But Amazon is not alone in launching new services, as a sign as to how competitive the cloud market is set to become, hosting company Rackspace has announced a beta trial of its new UK cloud service.

AWS has added bronze and platinum plans to existing gold and silver categories. As the name suggests, it won't be a cheap option.The company said that the platinum service was intended for its enterprise customers and would cost a minimum of $15,000.

According to an Amazon blog, the platinum service has been designed to provide a more responsive support service to customers. "We will assign a named Technical Account Manager (TAM) to your account, and your tickets will receive "white-glove" routing, jumping ahead of queued tickets entered at the other levels. We'll respond to critical tickets within 15 minutes and urgent tickets within an hour. Your TAM will work with you to conduct reviews of your AWS usage and performance on a regular basis, and they'll also help to ensure that you are ready for new launches," wrote Jeff Barr AWS's, lead evangelist.

The company has also reduced the prices across the board, reducing the usage-based pricing for silver and gold plans by 50 per cent. The company said that the minimum cost would remain the same at $100 for silver and $400 for gold but the usage-based fee for the former would now be five per cent of usage instead of 10 per cent, while gold becomes 10 per cent instead of 20 per cent. AWS also said it had improved responsiveness for its pricing plans.

Rackspace will join the cloud service providers this month with the launch of its own UK service. It's currently offering cloud as a beta trial, The company has two cloud offerings: cloud files and cloud servers.

Cloud files lets users to store/retrieve files in or from the cloud. These files can range in size from a few bytes up to 5 gigabytes and the use is charged according to usage - 11p per GB plus bandwidth costs. The Cloud Servers service, which is based on Xen virtualisation, is a way to provision servers in the cloud. The service is charge by both size of server and by bandwidth used. Prices start from 1p per hour for a 256MB RAM, 10GB hard disk, server running Linux to 83p an hour for a 16GB RAM, 620GB hard disk, server running Windows.

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