Saving More Money With S3?

May 1, 2007

I had lunch yesterday with some of the fine folks at JanRain, and one of our discussions was about Amazon’s S3 … can a business actually save money, using it for file storage and distribution? It turns out there’s a few pretty good cases for it, the most impressive being SmugMug saving half a million bucks vs. their DIY approach.

But things are changing in June. Amazon unveiled a new pricing model for S3, which is a little more complex than the previous $0.15 per gigabyte stored per month, with $0.20 per gigabyte transferred (simple, ‘eh?).

The storage cost is the same, but transfers have been lowered and put into a tiered structure, and there’s an additional charge for each request:

  • $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
  • $0.01 per 1,000 PUT or LIST requests
  • $0.01 per 10,000 GET and all other requests

I’m not a big fan of complexity, but Amazon seems to think it’ll save most of us some money:

If this new pricing had been applied to customers’ March 2007 usage, 75% of customers would have seen their bill decrease, while an additional 11% would have seen an increase of less than 10%. Only 14% of customers would have experienced an increase of greater than 10%.

Fair enough, I suppose.

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