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Amazon gives marching orders to cloudy storage

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Amazon.com continues to offer deeper penetration into its cloud. The company this week unfurled a storage service for hard-core users that will let you keep data and file systems in separate piles.

The Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) builds on the existing Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) processing service and lower-level storage and database services - Simple Storage Service and SimpleDB, respectively. The EBS effort allows customers to break the ties between their data and the EC2 service, so you can control volumes of information on their own and move them around as needed rather than always accessing the information via EC2. "Additionally, for even more durable backups and an easy way to create new volumes, Amazon EBS provides the ability to create point-in-time, consistent snapshots of volumes that are then stored to Amazon S3," Amazon said.

This marks a natural progression with Amazon's online services and shows that the company is really out pacing its competitors by adding fresh features at a regular clip.

Amazon reckons that the EBS service will have particular appeal for customers looking to set up databases and those with applications that need access to block-level storage. "As Amazon EC2 instances are started and stopped, the information saved in your database or application is preserved in much the same way it is with traditional physical servers," the company said.

You can set up volumes, ranging in size from 1GB to 1TB and can mount multiple volumes as part of a single instance.

There's more information available on the new service here. ®

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