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S3 adds Tier 2 for 10 cents per GB

Amazon Web Services today added a new offering for its Simple Storage Service (S3) called Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS). RRS offers users the ability to choose fewer “hops” of object replication among Amazon’s facilities for a lower cost per gigabyte. With RRS, objects would survive one complete data center failure, but wouldn’t be replicated enough times to survive two concurrent data center failures. It’s like RAID 6 vs. RAID 5 storage tiering writ large.

Some users like the CDN capabilities Amazon offers with S3, and Amazon officials say those capabilities will still be offered with RRS, claiming no difference in performance between RRS and S3. However, the cloud data storage vendors that have introduced gateway and caching devices for S3 will have to update their support to offer users the option of RRS on the back end. I’m sure we can anticipate a flurry of announcements from companies such as Nasuni, StorSimple and TwinStrata in the coming months (ETA: at least where Nasuni is concerned, I stand corrected…).

Ten cents per GB is already raising eyebrows, but that’s actually just the starting price for RRS. According to an emailed statement from Amazon S3 general manager Alyssa Henry, “Base pricing for Reduced Redundancy Storage covers the first 50 TB of RRS storage in a month.  This tier is charged at a price of $0.10 per GB per month.  As customers increase their storage, the price declines to as low as $0.037 per GB per month for customers with more than 5 petabytes of RRS storage.”

Henry was mum on whether Amazon has any more gradations of storage tiering up its sleeve, saying, “The RRS offering was the result of feedback from customers who, for their particular use cases, did not require the level of durability that Amazon S3 provides today.  We’ll continue to listen to feedback from our customers on what’s important to them in terms of future functionality but have no other announcements today.”

S3 customers we’ve gotten in touch with so far seem intrigued by the new offering. Stay tuned for a followup in the coming days about reaction to this announcement in the market.

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