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Amazon cuts S3 storage prices AGAIN

How low can other clouds let their margins go?

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Cloud titan Amazon Web Services has cut the cost of getting data out of its storage service, putting pressure on rivals Google and Microsoft.

Request pricing for S3 GET operations across the company's nine globe-spanning data center hubs have been reduced by 60 per cent, and prices for PUT, LIST, COPY, and POST requests have been cut by 50 percent.

"We are happy to pass along these savings to you as we continue to drive down our costs," the company wrote. "New prices are effective April 1st and will be applied to your bill for all requests on or after this date."

PUT requests now cost $0.005 per 1,000, compared with $0.01 previously, and GET requests have fallen to $0.004 per 10,000 from $0.01. Further information with a region-by-region breakdown is available on Amazon's pricing page.

Request pricing was introduced by Amazon in June 2007 and has not changed until today. Prior to then, Amazon hadn't charged for requests and - we suspect - was getting hammered as many developers used S3 as backend storage for chatty EC2 applications.

This price cut encourages developers to write applications that manipulate data stored in Amazon S3 rather than just store information there – an important distinction, and one that makes the storage service an increasingly attractive option for dynamic sites as well as static ones.

It will also likely yield a wave of tit-for-tat price cuts by key competitors Google and Microsoft, who have decided to enter into an infrastructure-as-a-service price war with the giant, lest they cede the whole utility-storage market to a margin-destroying company run by the mercurial Jeff "your margin is my opportunity" Bezos.

The price cut follows Amazon dramatically reducing storage prices in November in response to earlier price cuts by Google, which were themselves likely made in response to reductions by both Microsoft and Amazon.

But hold on tight, folks, because more price cuts seem likely: a recent analysis by The Register's antipodean beancounter Simon Sharwood shows that the prices Amazon is charging for its Dropbox-clone Amazon Cloud Drive work out lower than the published prices for mainstay S3 storage, so there's already willingness by Amazon to run at a loss to destroy the competition, or to dip further into the margins derived from its own storage infrastructure. ®

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