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Amazon slashes DynamoDB prices

NoSQL flash-backed database gets cheaper

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Amazon has slashed the cost of DynamoDB as the cloud giant passes on operational savings to customers.

The price cut was announced by Amazon on Thursday, and sees dramatic reductions in provisioned throughput costs, along with the price of indexed storage.

"Rapid adoption has allowed us to benefit from the scale economies inherent in our architecture," Amazon CTO Werner Vogels wrote in a blog post.

"We have also reduced our underlying costs through significant technical innovations from our engineering team. I'm thrilled that we're are able [sic] to pass along these cost savings to our customers in the form of significantly lower prices – as much as 85% lower than before."

As is usual, the price cuts vary according to which data center developers are running the service from, with Amazon's huge Oregon and Northern Virginia facilities costing the least in terms of throughput, and Sao Paulo the most.

All prices for throughput have dropped to less than a cent per 10 write or 50 read units per hour. Indexed storage prices have fallen as well, and have fallen along roughly the same lines.

The price cut came into force on March 1.

Amazon is also starting to sell DynamoDB Reserved Capacity, which lets customers get a major discount on the cost of the database if they pay for it in advance.

This reflects both Amazon's scale and its retail mentality, with Bezos & Co.'s cloud pricing their cloud services as you would a commodity, rather than typical enterprise tech.*

Amazon has been able to reduce the prices so much through a combination of savings from buying data center gear in bulk, and optimizing DynamoDB's software program, Vogels wrote.

The NoSQL database lives on SSD-backed servers and offers developers a technology that is scalable.

DynamoDB was launched in January 2012, but had been used internally at Amazon for a number of years. The company published a paper describing the technology in 2007, and this led to the popular Cassandra and Riak open source databases.

DynamoDB has a 64KB object-size limit, and can only replicate data between separate availability zones within an AWS geographical region, rather than offering true global redundancy, as Google enjoys with Spanner or enterprise customers can get with TransLattice or, for that matter, Riak Enterprise. ®

*Bootnote

Amazon's pricing strategy has ruffled the feathers of traditional OEMs, causing VMware executives to indulge in a bout of Wagnerian introspection at Amazon's success. The consistent reduction in pricing for its services has also sparked a cloudy price war among it, Microsoft, and Google – good for developers, but sure to cut into profit margins at all the major cloud companies.

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