Amazon.com has announced that it is dropping prices for heavy users of its hosted storage service, S3. The baseline monthly fee of 15 cents per gigabyte of storage remains, but high-volume users will be able to take advantage of a tiered pricing model.
After 50 terabytes, the cost goes down to 14 cents a gigabyte; for more than 500TB, it's at 12 cents. See the new pricing chart.
I asked an Amazon representative if the company is reducing prices just because it could, or if it was the company's way of helping to bail out tech companies that are going to be finding it harder to fund ongoing operations. The answer is the former:
Through increased scale and operational innovations, we've been able to lower the cost of running Amazon S3. We've always said we would pass on savings to our customers when we could, and we're doing so again now.
We have a relentless focus on reducing our operational costs for hardware, storage, and other aspects of operating the Amazon Web Services' infrastructure. In addition, with greater scale (S3 now houses >29 billion objects) have come further efficiencies. As we continue to reduce these costs, we're able to pass the savings on to our customers.
Any small amount of additional flotation will no doubt be welcomed by tech companies today, though entrepreneurs may also want to heed Richard Stallman's warning: cloud computing is "stupidity."