Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a bus that won’t slow down — AWS now offers cheaper Ec2 instances, from first generation to last (M1-M3) and has lowered the cost of both bandwidth and the transfer of data across AWS Regions. AWS is also giving service providers and IT admins real time push notifications on the statuses of hosted relational database services (RDS), making it easier for providers to keep track of impending storage problems, potential failures and the status of AWS objects.
Amazon’s restructured pricing (percent changes shown above) includes the newly introduced M3 instance, previously only available in the US East region. Amazon has now opened that instance availability into all US regions, but a price drop on this instance is for the US East region only as Amazon adjusts to conditions required for delivery. The lowered price on regional data transfers has also been extended into moving data out of Ec2 into Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier and Amazon GovCloud. All prices are in effect now and will be reflected in providers’ next billing cycle.
AWS RDS notifications (built on the Amazon Simple Notification Services (SNS)) are enabled with any apps or management tools already hooked into AWS APIs for tracking and can be sent via e-mail. Amazon’s notifications efforts come as it seeks to recuse the amount of polling that happens on databases, which also helps reduce the amount of API calls made to applications. This efficiency is heightened with over 40 event-specific notifications, including database availability, completed or failed backups, failover occurrences, recovery processes and more.
Big picture: Making the cloud more accessible will be an ongoing theme for 2013. Late last year, Microsoft Corp. Google and Amazon all jockeyed for position on the cheapest storage instances and that race to lower the barrier to entry has not stopped today. IBM recently made a broad effort to provide a “cloud in a box” solution for small businesses and managed service providers through IBM PureSystems with PureFlex, which included a generous “pay as you grow” financing option.
This ongoing commitment from major vendors to make the cloud cheaper, faster and easier is critical in helping partners adapt to new revenue models, which will also help partners reliably provide customers with next-gen technologies. In some ways, even today, the cloud is still a community effort.
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