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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Amazon S3: Marrying Scale & Mass Access

As the world is awaiting the vision of free bandwidth, computing & storage to become a reality, comes the news courtesy of Businessweek about the launch of the new Amazon Web Service “Simple Storage Service”. It is a storage service backend for developers that offers “a highly scalable, reliable, and low-latency data storage infrastructure at very low costs”. Rob Hof writes, seen from a business standpoint this looks like the clearest step yet that Amazon has taken beyond the retail business model on which it was created. And it should put to rest the notion that Amazon is just a retailer. Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet, designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. A simple web services interface can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. For the first time a developer can get access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. No up-front investment or performance compromises. All file types upto 5 GB are allowed. Files may be set as public, shared or private and will have a unique URL. Mike Arrington thinks that this is a game changer. (I am not too sure - talk to any developer - lack of storage would not even list in his top ten set of concerns) While some may see it as a hard drive with API, fact remains that the service comes with the reliability of Amazon’s infrastructure and I also see possibilities for distributed development getting enhanced – hopefully Amazon would come up with administrative and monitoring tools to facilitate such type of usage. In the good old main days storage used to be in a central place and made accessible through monitarable mechanisms. Just a fortnight back, in its analyst day presentation, Google talked about the possibility of 100% online data storage as a distinct possibility in future. With services like these made available, Joe Kraus vision of exploding entrepreneurism may become a reality faster.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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