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Amazon cloud gets mega storage escape hatch

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In theory, you can upload an infinite amount of data to Amazon's cloud. But squeezing infinite amounts of data through today's internet pipes is another matter.

This spring, in an effort to accommodate those looking to sit epic amounts of data on its S3 storage cloud, Amazon introduced a new service that lets you import and export data through the post - as in, put it on storage device and ship it by land, sea, or air. But at the time, this Import/Export service did not include export. And now it does.

On Friday, with a post to the Amazon Web Services blog, cloud guru Jeff Barr announced that Import/Export is now true to its name. If you wish to export an epic data store from S3, you can send Amazon an email manifest and a storage device. The company will then download your data and ship it back to you through the mail mail.

Amazon charges a fixed fee of $80 for each storage device and $2.49 per hour for the time it spends copying the data. There's no charge for bandwidth, and normal charges for using the S3 cloud do apply.

At the moment, this is a service for US customers only - and it's only available on the US version of Amazon's cloud. But the company says its working on a way for European customers to import and export epic data stores on both the US and European AWS clouds.

According to Barr, since Amazon announced Import/Export in May, customers have been shipping the company "terabytes" of data each week. ®

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