Here at CleVR, we use Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) to host all of the panorama image files. This is a truly excellent service that helps us scale really easily without needing to buy loads more servers and RAID arrays and so forth. It’s great for small companies like ours, as well as not so small ones. The pricing is really simple: $0.20 per GB uploaded or downloaded, plus $0.15 per GB per month for storage. The guys at SmugMug reckon that they’ve saved $1 million in a year using S3. Anyway, one of their complaints was that there’s no volume discounts.
This morning I got an email saying that they’re changing the pricing model, and it looks like it should save most people money. They’ve introduced volume discounts, cut the headline transfer costs, but added a per request fee. It breaks down like this:
New bandwidth price (effective June 1, 2007)
$0.10 per GB – all data uploaded
$0.18 per GB – first 10 TB / month data downloaded
$0.16 per GB – next 40 TB / month data downloaded
$0.13 per GB – data downloaded / month over 50 TB
Data transferred between Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 will remain free of
New request-based price (effective June 1, 2007)
$0.01 per 1,000 PUT or LIST requests
$0.01 per 10,000 GET and all other requests*
* No charge for delete requests
Storage will continue to be charged at $0.15 / GB-month used.
Now, we’re not big enough yet for the volume discounts to kick in (but here’s hoping), but this seems like a very sensible change. Costs for a request are generally broken into bandwidth and per request (CPU, memory etc), so it makes sense to unpack them like this. I haven’t done the maths yet, but it should save us money right now, and it could save a lot once we get really big (come on, tell your friends!). Another reason to love AWS!