Posts tagged ‘Amazon S3’
Google and Amazon are doing battle for your cloud storage business, and no matter who wins, you win!!!
Basically, the web giants have both enabled enterprise scale storage offerings. Google’s Cloud Storage and Amazon’s S3 Storage solutions have both been available for a while, but the competition is heating up. During the past week, they have traded public announcements of price drops – first Google, then Amazon, then Google again. The quick chronology is:
2012-11-26 (A New Hope) – On November 26th, Google fired the first shot. They announced price reductions of 20% and the launch of Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) storage. The prices undercut AWS and the DRA storage was the first competition to S3′s RRS offer. (Note: Google is probably more like the Empire than the rebels, but they are certainly the underdogs in the infrastructure on demand world when compared to AWS)
2012-11-28 – (The Empire Strikes Back) Just two days later, AWS struck back. At their re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, SVP Andy Jassy announced a 25% price cut at both Standard and RRS pricing for S3. (Note: we do not think that Andy Jassy really has any Vadar like qualities)
2012-12-01 – (The Return of Jedi) After two days of letting things sink it, Google dropped prices by another 10%. They are serious about making a play here, and appear ready to fight with price. (Note: we are pretty sure that if Sergei lost a hand in a light saber duel that there is a Google engineer’s 20% project capable of replacing the limb)
The big winner (as was the case with the release of each of the above referenced films) is the audience of cloud storage developers and companies.
Let’s hope that the next three installments are better than their fim counterparts…
The marketplace for cloud storage services is already a hotly contested space – there are literally dozens of companies fighting it out in a variety of different verticals. Our directory of cloud storage services attempts to classify some of them, but breaks them down according to target audience and focuses on features. As the market for these services continues to evolve, a new and important distinction is occurring, which we call “cost versus value.”
Since storage itself is rapidly becoming a commodity (courtesy of bulk providers like Amazon S3, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, and Google), the features, performance, and price of services is where end users will have to make their choices. And the trade offs of are real and interesting. A recent article captured this well comparing the services at Mozy and ElephantDrive. The author breaks down the relative strengths and finds that Mozy costs less but ElephantDrive offers more value. The take aways are pretty clear – if you are looking for the lowest priced option you go one way, but if you are looking for the most functionality or the fastest performance you go another. Our read is that as a home user with lots of data, you should consider the Mozy option but if you are running a small business or operating as a “power user” (and have an understanding of your actual data footprint) you will want to choose ElephantDrive.
This same question will be addressed within the other verticals and we are looking forward to the continued maturing of the competitors.
Amazon announced a new option for its S3 cloud storage service that could change the game for online data management.
The new service is called RRS, for Reduced Redundancy Storage. Instead of the ultra-reliable storage offering that comes standard with S3 (an astounding 99.99999999% of reliability, though only 99.9% of availability), RRS promises 99.99% reliability. In this sense, reliability means durability and integrity (that the object will be intact in the exact form that you put it there originally). Amazon CTO Werner Vogels posted on the topic yesterday. Why would you ever want this? Price.
RRS starts off 33% cheaper than normal S3, making it much more attractive if you don’t need to the extreme levels of reliability. This could make Amazon storage a real option for a whole new class of data.
Today San Francisco-based Dropbox announced reaching the 4 million user mark and the hiring of Adam Gross, formerly of SalesForce, as SVP Sales and Marketing. The user milestone is remarkable considering that the company touted 3 million users in November 2009 and 2 million in September 2009.
The announcement comes despite an overall decline in traffic to Dropbox’s sites in December according to Compete (in November 2009 the company acquired dropbox.com and discontinued the use of getdropbox.com). Interestingly, Compete reports only 2.3 million unique visitors since September; adding 2 million registrants in that time would indicate either 1) errors in Compete’s measurements, so extreme as to be toxic, 2) massive growth coming from iPhone or other peripheral sources, 3) a conversion rate so incredible it has never before been seen on the web.
Dropbox users are given 2 GB of storage for free, 50 GB for $9.95, or 100 GB for $99.95. Both paid tiers, at $0.20 per GB per month, closely mirror the $0.15 per GBM storage cost of Amazon S3, which the company uses as its storage backend. Loading transfer and request costs, margins for paying users are even slimmer. Presumably the company is betting on both paid and free users using far less capacity than their plans allow or gaining economies of scale from Amazon (who drops storage pricing as much as 75% at higher tiers of storage). Storing 2GB for 4 million users equals 8 petabytes, which would cost roughly $600K per month for storage alone. The company previously raised $7.2 million from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.
More Dropbox coverage here.
The analysis leaves a lot to be desired, but the conclusions of CloudScaling’s Randy Bias cannot be ignored. And while simple, the math is grounded in reasonable assumptions and backed by independent sources.
His figure puts AWS revenue for EC2 alone at almost $220 million annually. This is real revenue. And we think he estimate for S3 revenues is way low – the bandwidth costs alone are enormous. There are some interesting points raised in the comments. Care to raise any here?
We’re very interested in feedback on the newly launched Cloud Files services from Rackspace. The Rackers posted a very interesting blog entry that included performance analysis and cost comparisons that pits their service squarely against Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). If you are using the Cloud Files system, please post a comment and let us (and our readers) know what you think.
Shortly, we will be adding the Rackspace storage service to our directory (just gathering a little info for now)…
Amazon S3 appears to be the clear leader in providing storage-as-a-service to developers and firms. They continued to make their offer more compelling this week by announcing new tiered storage pricing. For larger firms (or small firms storing larger amounts of data), this may create further barriers to entry for upstarts like San Diego-based Nirvanix and the soon-to-be-launched Rackspace Cloud Storage Service.
Let’s keep our eyes on the performance – if Amazon can avoid any of the noticeable outages they suffered during the past year, it will be difficult to unseat them.
FYI – wish we could take credit for breaking this news, but TechCrunch beat us to it.
Phoenix Technologies (Nasdaq: PTEC), a leading maker of firmware, announced their purchase of storage service BeInSync today. BeInSync offers synchronization and online access services to consumers and small businesses and makes use of Amazon’s S3 storage service.
Looks like The Standard scooped the story. They reported a $22M purchase price. Sounds like a steal for Phoenix, if BeInSync’s claim of 4 million users is accurate…
Wells Fargo wants to secure more than just your money – they’re getting into the online storage game, reports Judy Mottl at Enterprise Storage Forum. She says that the newly announced Wells Fargo vSafe will be deployed by year’s end.
Also interesting is the observation of analyst Bob Laliberte of the Enterprise Strategy Group. He suggests that institution like banks that don’t focus on storage solutions will partner with dedicated firms, such as those who have built solution utilizing infrastructure-on-demand platforms like Amazon’s S3 or Nirvanix. Two that jump to mind are ElephantDrive (uses Amazon’s platform or ElasticDrive (uses Nirvanix).