Amazon Cuts Prices on S3

Amazon announced today that it will cut prices for its Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) offering on Nov. 1. The company is essentially offering people who use more storage significant volume discounts. For folks using up to 50 terabytes of storage, the price cuts don’t make much of a difference. In the U.S. they pay 15 cents per gigabyte; in Europe, 18 cents. If you go above 50 terabytes, the price declines by a penny and if you cross the 100-terabyte mark, you see another penny-per-gigabyte decline. After 500 terabytes your price is going to be 12 cents a gigabyte in the U.S. and 15 cents in Europe.

At present you pay 15 cents per GB/month of storage used, regardless of the amount of storage consumed. The current cuts don’t impact the pricing for data transfers and requests made to the Amazon S3 system. Nevertheless, this is still going to save some dollars for startups that are using the S3 service. Amazon, in making the announcement, gave some interesting data points:

* Currently there are over 29 billion objects stored in Amazon S3 vs. 22 billion at the end of Q2 2008. That is sequential growth of 32 percent.
*On Oct. 1, the service peaked at over 70,000 requests per second to store, retrieve, or delete an object.
* Over 400,000 developers have registered to use Amazon Web Service.

What I was most amazed by was the sheer variety of companies that are using the S3 offering. For instance:

* National Geographic’s uses S3 to sell maps, download updated trail and trip information and even create trip maps to share with their friends.
* Sonian uses it for large-scale content archiving for things like email compliance.
* and utilize Amazon Web Services for web hosting, live video streaming, and live timing and scoring applications.