Though they don’t disclose numbers, I’m very much interested in just how much data Amazon moves and stores through their web services. I think that because not only have they lowered prices, they’ve added new pricing tiers for moving over 5 PB of data.



Anyways, starting July 1, new pricing for bandwidth goes into effect:

New data transfer price for US-Standard, US-West and Europe regions (effective July 1, 2011)

  • $0.000 – first 1 GB / month data transfer out
  • $0.120 per GB – up to 10 TB / month data transfer out (10 TB total)
  • $0.090 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out (50TB total)
  • $0.070 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out (150 TB total)
  • $0.050 per GB – next 350 TB / month data transfer out (500 TB total)
  • Contact us – next 524 TB / month data transfer out (1PB total)
  • Contact us – next 4 PB / month data transfer out (5PB total)
  • Contact us – data transfer out / month over 5 PB

According to Amazon, if you were moving 10TB in and 10TB out a month, your bill just went down 50%. Not bad.

CloudFront prices are also going down. For more specifics, visit the AWS Data Transfer Pricing Update detail page.

AWS logoIf you’ve been hesitant to try out the cloud and some of the services that Amazon offers, you may want to pay attention to this.

Beginning November 1, new Amazon Web Services customers will receive an unprecedented amount of services for free to introduce you to their services and how you can implement these into your web workflow.

Here’s what you get.

  • 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month*
  • 750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing*
  • 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests*
  • 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests*
  • 30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer “in” and 15 GB of data transfer “out” across all services except Amazon CloudFront)*
  • 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage**
  • 100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service**
  • 100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service**

Seriously – you get all this. I’m stunned. That’s basically a free server for a year from Amazon, storage, load balancing and more.

So how can you integrate these into your web workflow?

1. Backups and content delivery

With 5 GB of free storage, use it to backup your blog or website. There are automated plugins for many CMS and blog systems, especially WordPress.

If you run WordPress, use the TanTan S3 plugin to have media that you or your content creators upload go right to S3 and be served from there. Why? Bandwidth and storage space mostly.

2. Try out a new plugin, code framework, blogging tool, CMS, etc.

With the micro server, you can fire up whatever you want and try it out – especially if you’ve always wanted to run, say, Ruby on Rails on a CentOS server, this is your opportunity to try it out.

3. Get out of your comfort zone.

I’m a pretty heavy AWS user, and I’ve never used their SimpleDB or Simple Notification Services before. I’m going to use this free tier (on a new account, naturally) to put them through their paces and see if they are things might make my job easier on any given day. I’m especially interested in the notification service.

One of the best features of Amazon’s cloud-based storage and content delivery service, Simple Storage Service (S3), is it’s API. They’ve made it very easy to place, delete and share files from a variety of platforms.

For the majority of work I do in S3, I use Panic’s excellent FTP-and-then-some client, Transmit. It treats S3’s buckets and objects model more as regular FTP, where you can create folders and drag and drop folders. S3Fox is a Firefox plugin that makes managing your S3 folders a snap and it’s cross-platform. On the Windows side, I’m a fan of Cloudberry S3 Explorer, a free app. I reviewed Cloudberry Explorer last year, you can read it here.

While those clients are nice, you may find yourself in a situation when you need to access S3 and don’t have the tools I mentioned above. Such a sitation happened to me last week. I stopped by the Cleveland Clinic to talk with John Sharp‘s bioinformatics group. Talk about an intimidating group – these were some seriously smart programmers, doctors and database professionals. They were all very nice, to be sure, but, wow. After all, the Cleveland Clinic was recently voted one of the top 4 hospitals in the country.

As I was prepping to talk with that group about the cloud and some of the neat services out there, I wanted to post a few graphs and wanted to add them to my S3 account so they could grab them after the talk. Since I was on the public Cleveland Clinic wireless, I was pretty much limited to web-based services. I didn’t have S3Fox installed on my Macbook, so I logged into Amazon’s new S3 Management Console.

Much like you can manage your servers in Amazon console, they’ve added S3 as a service you can manage from the web, making uploading, deleting and sharing files very easy. Since it all happens in the browser, you can access the service from any web connection and quickly do the work you need to do. I posted the photos and an updated version of my Powerpoint presentation (based on the one I gave at EduComm) in S3 and the rest, as they say, was history.

Here are some screenshots from Amazon’s S3 Console.