Amazon Web Services to offer new hierarchical storage options after customer feedback

amazon awsAmazon Web services (AWS) is adding a new storage class to speed up the retrieval of frequently accessed information.

The announcement was made by AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr on his company blog. Customer feedback had made AWS conduct an analysis of usage patterns, Barr said. AWS’s analytical team discovered that many customers store rarely-read backup and log files, which compete for resources with shared documents or raw data that need immediate analysis. Most users have frequent activity with their files shortly after uploading them after which activity drops off significantly with age. Information that’s important but not immediately urgent needs to be addressed through a new storage model, said Barr.

In response AWS has unveiled a new S3 Standard, within which there is a hierarchy of pricing options, based on the frequency of access. Customers now have the choice of three S3 storage classes, Standard, Standard – IA (infrequent access) and Glacier. All still offer the same level of 99.999999999 per cent durability.‎ The IA Standard for infrequent access has a service level agreement (SLA) of 99 per cent availability and is priced accordingly. Prices start at $0.0125 per gigabyte per month with a 30 day minimum storage duration for billing and a $0.01 per gigabyte charge for retrieval. The usual data transfer and request charges apply.

For billing purposes, objects that are smaller than 128 kilobytes are charged for 128 kilobytes of storage. AWS says this new pricing model will make its storage class more economical for long-term storage, backups and disaster recovery.

AWS has also introduced a lifecycle policy option, in a system that emulates the hierarchical storage model of centralised computing. Users can now create policies that will automate the movement of data between Amazon S3 storage classes over time. Typically, according to Barr, uploaded data using the Standard storage class will be moved by customers to Standard IA class when it’s 30 days old, and on to the Amazon Glacier class after another 60 days, where data storage will $0.01 per gigabyte per month.