Amazon Web Services (AWS) has given its Simple Storage Service (S3) a makeover, speeding up the movement of large amounts of data in and out of the cloud storage platform and now supporting S3 with the AWS management console.
The general availability of AWS Import/Export for S3 gives AWS a one-up on its cloud storage rivals as AWS looks to regain the cloud storage traction it held in 2006 and 2007, before a host of competitors dove headfirst into the cloud arena.
AWS Import/Export lets users more quickly move data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport. The company said that for large data sets AWS Import/Export can be much faster than Internet transfer and more cost effective than upgrading network connectivity.
"AWS Import/Export accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport," Amazon wrote. "AWS transfers your data directly onto and off of storage devices using Amazon's high-speed internal network and bypassing the Internet. For significant data sets, AWS Import/Export is often faster than Internet transfer and more cost effective than upgrading your connectivity."
AWS has also added a new Web service interface for easy management of data transfers and migrations through AWS Import/Export, Amazon said.
According to Amazon, some common uses of AWS Import Export include data migration, content distribution, direct data interchange, offsite backup and disaster recovery.
The AWS Import/Export service is a pay-as-you-go and the cost covers the fees for each storage device used and for the number of hours it takes to load data. According to Amazon's AWS Import/Export pricing page, device handling is $80 per storage device handled; data loading runs $2.49 per hour; and data wiping is $2.49 per hour. For data loading and data wiping, partial hours are billed as full hours.
Along with launching the new AWS Import/Export service, AWS has also added support for Amazon S3 in the AWS Management Console to give users easier management of their storage and other cloud resources from the point-and-click Web interface. Console support enables S3 users to create buckets, upload objects and set access controls from their browser without writing code.
The launch of AWS Import/Export is the latest blow in the battle between Amazon and Google for cloud storage supremacy. Last month, Google offered an early look at Google Storage for Developers, a new cloud service on Google's storage and networking infrastructure that gives developers tools to tap into data that Google stores. The launch of Google Storage for Developers is seen as a direct swipe at Amazon S3 and pits the two cloud powerhouses in price competition.
Google Storage for Developers will cost 17 cents per Gigabyte, per month, for storage. Additionally, to upload data to Google, it will cost 10 cents per Gigabyte, and to download data from Google will cost 15 cents per Gigabyte in the Americas and EMEA and 30 cents per gigabyte for APAC.
For requests, Google will charge one cent per 1,000 put, post and list request, and one center per 10,000 get and head requests. While Google Storage for Developers offers flat rates, Amazon S3 rates drop as users utilize more storage. Amazon's storage rates start at 15 cents per GB for the first 50 terabytes per month and drop to 5.5 cents per GB for storage used per month over 5,000 TB.
Amazon also kicked up the competition with the launch of its Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) tier, a cheaper alternative to full-on S3 that is designed for users to store less important data for less money. RRS, which was launched in May, is cheaper because it requires fewer storage resources and requires less replication. According to Amazon, RRS rates start at 10 cents per GB for the first 50 terabytes per month and drop to 3.7 cents per GB for storage used per month over 5,000 TB.