STORES OF VALUE
Dubbed "S3", for a "Simple Storage Service" for Software Developers, the service will offer up to 100 GB of storage for about $150/year, while enabling file transfers up to 5GB per file. The pricing in general seems to be flexible with variable options, and seem to leverage Amazon's own scaling infrastructure capabilities. As their press release explains:
" S3 lets developers pay only for what they consume and there is no minimum fee. Developers pay just $0.15 per gigabyte of storage per month and $0.20 per gigabyte of data transferred."
What does this mean more broadly? Well, initially, this a competitive shot across the bow of both start-ups and other internet gorillas eyeing the space. Michael describes this well in his post:
"They’ve built the back end for the number one requested company that I wrote about late last year - reliable and cheap online storage. I’ve been watching this space very closely, even profiling a number of new entrants, and I have to say that S3 changes the game entirely. Move over Google Drive, Amazon just stole your thunder (for now)."
This is not the first time Amazon has seemingly come from "left field" with a developer oriented service. Some may recall last November's announcement of it's "Mechanical Turk" piece-meal software development service, which also represented "out-of-the-box" thinking by the company.
Also interesting is that Amazon is making it easier for new web start-ups trying to scale up in the digital media space, providing scalable infrastructure at ground-breaking prices. It gets more interesting of course if the start-ups are also able to leverage other Amazon APIs into Amazon's many databases for their own businesses, including the core Amazon service, IMDB, amongst others.
In a post last October, I highlighted a challenge for consumer oriented startups this time around vs. half a decade ago, in that there were fewer venture-backed infrastructure providers now compared to then.
This forces many start-ups to build some of that infrastructure vertically rather than leveraging off an outside provider with greater economies of scale.
Amazon's S3 is not necessarily the end-all service to solve this problem, but it points to a possible way this speed bump to interesting new consumer services, may be addressed.
It'll be interesting to see if some of the other GYMAAAE companies follow suit. The company with presumably the greatest competency in this area of course, is Google, with it's prematurely revealed plans around "GDrive".
The question is whether Google will also focus on the smaller, but potentially strategic market for smaller companies and/or enterprises that may be able to build services complementary to Google's core services, using their APIs. It's not out of the realm of possibility, given that the company already has a small, but active focus on the enterprise market for it's search services.
But for now, Amazon does get credit for being the first out of the gate on the path to "storage Nirvana".