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More AWS Price Cuts: S3, Glacier, CloudWatch and Storage Gateway

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced another round of cost reductions to several of its cloud services.

The affected services include three of AWS' cloud storage offerings -- Simple Storage Service (S3), Glacier and Storage Gateway -- and the CloudWatch Custom Metrics service.

For S3, AWS is lowering the per-GB cost of using S3 Standard Storage in most of its regions by as much as 28 percent. It is also restructuring the pricing structure from six tiers to three.

AWS evangelist Jeff Barr illustrated the S3 price changes, which will take effect on Dec. 1, in this table:

[Click on image for larger view.] S3 Standard Storage pricing, effective Dec. 1. (Source: Jeff Barr/AWS Blog.)

Barr noted that the S3 service launched 10 years ago with a starting price of $0.15 per GB per month -- a fortune compared to today's much lower prices.

AWS has also lowered the cost of the Glacier archival storage service for customers across most of its regions. "[Y]ou can now store 1 GB for 1 month in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), or EU (Ireland) Regions for just $0.004 (less than half a cent) per month, a 43% decrease," Barr said. "For reference purposes, this amount of storage cost $0.010 when we launched Glacier in 2012, and $0.007 after our last Glacier price reduction (a 30% decrease)."

The company is also replacing its previous rate-based model for retrieving data from Glacier with three new options:

  • The "Standard" retrieval option, which retrieves data within three to five hours, costs $0.01 per GB and $0.05 for every 1,000 requests.

  • The "Expedited" retrieval option, which returns data requests within five minutes, costs $0.03 per GB and $0.01 per request.

  • "Bulk" retrievals, designed for non-critical data, take between five and 12 hours and cost $0.0025 per GB and $0.025 for every 1,000 requests.

Pricing for the Storage Gateway service is also undergoing some changes, AWS announced on Tuesday. Effective Dec. 1, the cost of Storage Gateway volumes and virtual tapes will drop by as much as 28 percent per GB, while archived virtual tapes will cost as much as 43 percent less.

In addition, AWS is replacing its old monthly gateway fee with data-based pricing. "The monthly gateway fee will be replaced by pricing based on the amount of data your gateway writes to AWS when it is actively being used," AWS' announcement said. "In all regions, you will pay $0.01 per GB up to a monthly maximum of no more than $125 per gateway. For new customers, the first 100 GB will be free to enable you to setup and try the service."

AWS is also switching to a per-GB pricing structure for Storage Gateway, a departure from the previous rate-based structure. "In all regions, you will pay $0.01 per GB of data retrieved giving more predictability to charges for retrieving data stored on your virtual tapes," the company said.

In addition to price cuts to its storage services, AWS is also lowering the price of CloudWatch Custom Metrics by as much as 96 percent.

Previously, AWS provided users their first 10 custom metrics at no charge, with each metric thereafter costing $0.50 per month. According to a blog post last week by Barr, starting Dec. 1, the new CloudWatch metrics pricing will be as follows:

CloudWatch metrics pricing for the U.S. East region, effective Dec. 1. (Source: Jeff Barr/AWS Blog.)

The first 10 metrics will still be free, according to Barr.

CloudWatch users with EC2 Detailed Monitoring will also save some money, "with per-month charges reduced from $3.50 per instance per month to $2.10 or lower based on the volume tier," Barr said.

This recent round of price reductions follows AWS' announcement earlier this month that it was reducing the cost of several EC2 instances by 25 percent. Those price cuts are also expected to take effect on Dec. 1.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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