Archive for March, 2009

Amazon S3 Data Transfer In 3 cents/GB for 3 Months

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

I just got an email from Amazon Web Services.  In honor of their 3 year anniversary, they are offering 3 cents per GB data transfer (that’s external transfer) instead of the normal 10 cents per GB.  This is planned to last for 3 months.  If this was IN and OUT, this would be a significant savings for companies using S3 to serve up large files.  Still, while not as big as it could be, it does mean that this is the time to get all of your files loaded up.

Remember, this is just INto the data center.  Transfer between S3 and EC2 (and EC2 instances) is free.  Transfer out will cost the normal amounts.

Here is the full email:

Dear AWS Developers,

Three years ago this month, Amazon Web Services launched Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as “storage for the internet,” providing “highly scalable, reliable, low-latency storage at very low costs.” Since that time, Amazon S3 has experienced dramatic growth, expanded into Europe, and lowered pricing multiple times as we’ve been able to achieve ever greater economies of scale and pass them on to our customers. Today, the service has grown to store over 52 billion objects and serve over 1 trillion requests per year from customers in over 90 countries. Whether you’ve used Amazon S3 to back up files, host static website content, securely share files with your external business partners, or store scientific, financial, or website data for processing via Amazon EC2, you’ve contributed to this growth.

We owe the success of the service to you, and on the 3rd anniversary of Amazon S3, we’ve decided to say “thank you” with a few more “3s.” We’ll be offering “data transfer in” to Amazon S3 for only $0.03 per GB (vs. the standard $0.10) for the next 3 months, April through June. As always, data transfer between Amazon S3 and EC2 within regions remains free, and all other pricing dimensions are unchanged. At the beginning of July, prices will return to normal, so if you’ve been thinking about moving a new project into Amazon S3, now might be the time. More information on Amazon S3 and its pricing can be found here:

After three years, we continue to be excited and honored to be on this journey with you. Thank you.


The Amazon S3 Team

Categories: cloud computing, cloud data Tags: , ,

Open Cloud Manifesto – Do You Care?

March 30th, 2009 Comments off

I don’t.  Vendors will do what vendors have always done: sign up for the latest and greatest media attracting stunt and then do exactly what they want anyway.  We are way too early in the era of cloud computing for any kind of standards.  When you try to design standards you end up with the Ada programming language.  Technically accurate but totally ignored.

The best standards are best grown, over time and from real world experience.  In a few years, when experienced professionals start publishing best practices, then I will be interested.  Until then, it’s just so much open spew.

Other than that, it was a great way for a few bloggers and journalists to generate some web site hits.  The “manifestogate” and other silly postings about the “scandal” were self serving headline generators.  Some were amusing to read but none of them meant much.

If you are interested in reading the manifesto, the site is online now.  It’s at Open Cloud Manifest.

In defense of the manifesto, it does say that it is meant to be a conversation started, not an end result.  If nothing else, maybe this can finally be a definitive resource for the definition of a cloud.  The manifesto does a pretty good job of that.


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Amazon Web Services S3 – Part 2: Security

March 15th, 2009 Comments off

Simple Storage Service (S3)


Write and delete access to buckets and objects is controlled via Access Control Lists (ACL). You can assign read permissions to any object to specific users. You can also make an object public to grant access to anyone.

Transfer into and out of S3 can utilize SSH which will encrypt data. This prevents any “over the wire” interception of your data. Data at rest is not encrypted and Amazon recommends that users encrypt any sensitive data with their encryption tool of choice. You would encrypt your data before uploading to S3.

When you remove an object or bucket, public access (i.e. from the internet) is removed immediately. The space is then made available for writing by any user.

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Amazon Web Services S3 – Part 1: Intro to the Simple Storage Service (S3)

March 15th, 2009 2 comments

Simple Storage Service (S3)

The AWS S3 service is an API driven storage service. The API provides get, put and delete. Data is stored using a bucket concept that is not unlike directories and sub-directories. A bucket can hold one or more buckets and one or more objects (i.e. files). You can nest buckets as many levels deep as required by your application or other needs. Objects can be up to 5GB per and you can store an unlimited number of objects.

At the top level is a global bucket. All S3 accounts share the global bucket. Your buckets can be located in North America or in Europe. Any objects created within that bucket will exist in the bucket’s regional location.

Access to objects is via HTTP, SOAP or REST, and via BitTorrent. Amazon plans additional interfaces over time. You can find third party Java libraries as well as libraries for other languages.

S3 was designed to be fast, scalable and simple. It is everything they wanted it to be. While it might seem to be limited in scope, it does provide very scalable and cheap storage for the masses.

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Amazon Web Services EC2 – Part 5: Sizing, Costs and SLA

March 15th, 2009 Comments off

Sizing and Costs

EC2, like the other services in AWS are pay as you go, pay for what you use, services. As I mentioned above, you basically pay for the power you use which is a CPU per hour charge, bandwidth and storage. Linux and Windows guests have a different pricing menu. I am listing the prices current as of Dec 2008. I recommend you always check at to verify current pricing before making a commitment.

Instead of buying or leasing a specific type of hardware (that you would then be responsible for upgrading over time), AWS computing power is based on an EC2 compute unit. An EC2 compute unit is the equivalent processing power of a circa 2007 1.0-1.2 Opteron or Xeon CPU processor.

Instance Type


Compute Units



Linux CPU/Hour

Windows CPU/Hour















Extra Large







High CPU, Medium







High CPU, Large







Table 1: EC2 Sizes and Pricing

Data Transfer

US per GB

Transfer Into EC2


First 10TB Out of EC2


Next 40TB Out of EC2


Next 100TB Out of EC2


Out over 150TB


Within the Same Zone (Private IP)


Between Zones (Same Region)


Outside of the AWS Network


Table 2: ec2 Data Transfer Costs


Amazon warrants uptime to be 99.95% per service year. Amazon will credit your account for any unplanned downtime. You do not need to run for an entire year before claiming a credit for any downtime. You can get additional details at

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