Amazon Tries to Take the Commodity Out of Cloud Computing

Amazon (s amzn) will offer a lower-priced, less reliable tier of its popular Simple Storage Service, the retailer said today. The offering, called Reduced Redundancy Storage, is aimed at companies that wouldn’t be utterly bereft if the less reliable storage fails. From the Amazon release:

Amazon S3’s standard and reduced redundancy options both store data in multiple facilities and on multiple devices, but with RRS, data is replicated fewer times, so the cost is less. Once customer data is stored, Amazon S3 maintains durability by quickly detecting failed, corrupted, or unresponsive devices and restoring redundancy by re-replicating the data. Amazon S3 standard storage is designed to provide 99.999999999% durability and to sustain the concurrent loss of data in two facilities, while RRS is designed to provide 99.99% durability and to sustain the loss of data in a single facility.

As the market for infrastructure-as-a-service platforms grow, Amazon is trying to offer variations and services that distinguish its compute and storage cloud from those of Rackspace (s RAX) and Verizon (s vz) and from platforms such as Microsoft’s (s msft) Azure or VMforce. Cheaper storage with a lower service level is one such way, and its spot pricing instances are another.

On his blog, Amazon’s Jeff Barr offers an overview of the RSS offering. For more detail, check out Amazon CTO Werner Vogel’s explanation on how S3 works and what the magic behind RRS is.

For more on the economics of cloud computing and how they will evolve, visit our Structure 2010 conference June 23 and 24 where Amazon CTO Werner Vogels will be a key note speaker.

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