A friend told me that Amazon.com is going to start offering disk space to customers, just like Xdrive and other companies, but I don’t believe her. Can it be true? If so, how does that tie into the Amazon vision of “world’s biggest bookstore”?
Well, Amazon has announced Amazon S3 – Simple Storage Service, but it’s not intended for the general public, but rather for software developers who want to work with the Amazon Web Services system. It’s a pretty cool idea, actually, and I’m going to quote from the Amazon Web Services Newsletter for specific details:
Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.
Amazon S3 Functionality
Amazon S3 is intentionally built with a minimal feature set.
- Write, read, and delete objects containing from 1 byte to 5 gigabytes of data each. The number of objects you can store is unlimited.
- Each object is stored and retrieved via a unique, developer-assigned key.
- Authentication mechanisms are provided to ensure that data is kept secure from unauthorized access. Objects can be made private or public, and rights can be granted to specific users.
- Uses standards-based REST and SOAP interfaces designed to work with any Internet-development toolkit.
- Built to be flexible so that protocol or functional layers can easily be added. Default download protocol is HTTP. A BitTorrent (TM) protocol interface is provided to lower costs for high-scale distribution. Additional interfaces will be added in the future.
Pay only for what you use. There is no minimum fee, and no start-up cost.
- $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used.
- $0.20 per GB of data transferred.
Two things worth comment:
First, this storage space service isn’t free. That’s the first misconception that I’ve heard from the developer community.
I’m also intrigued by the fact that Amazon is supporting the tangled world of BitTorrent even though BitTorrent is often used to distribute illegal copies of audio, video and software products online.
Nonetheless, if you’re building a “Web 2.0” product and just need somewhere to store a few gig of data from your user community, this might well be a very attractive offering and worth exploring.
Hope that helps clear things up!