Amazon Announces A New, Dirt-Cheap Cloud For Storage

Werner Vogels, AmazonWerner Vogels, CTO, Amazon

Photo: Flickr/Interop Events

Amazon has expanded its cloud offerings once again — this time offering to store a company’s data for the low price of 1 penny per gigabyte per month.The new service is called Amazon Glacier and it’s intended for backup and archival data. The kind of data a company needs to keep but doesn’t have to access very often. This is stuff like e-mails, videos and other records that a company must hang on to for years to comply with various laws and regulations.

Enterprises typically pay quite a bit of money for off site archiving from companies like SunGard because they have to store an awful lot of data. Amazon thinks its new Glacier service will be “disruptive” to this, because there’s no upfront contract or fees, the company said when announcing the service. You pay only for what you use.

Although it’s a nice price, man enterprises will probably not move their data out of whatever service they use now to use Glacier. Archiving and storage is complicated business. It can be a real challenge to find one tidbit of needed information in a mountain of it if, say, a company gets sued or audited. So it’s not always just about finding the lowest-cost service.

But it makes a lot of sense for Web companies using other Amazon Web Services especially Amazon’s online storage cloud, S3. That’s because its easy to move data from S3 into Glacier, Amazon says. And in the next stage — coming in a couple of months — companies will be able to automatically move data from S3 to Glacier based on policies, says Amazon CTO Werner Vogels on his blog.

That’s the point of this dirt cheap service. To get more people on AWS, which Amazon makes money on. 

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