Organizations and enterprises that bank on Amazon S3 services for their cloud storage needs might find themselves paying up to 13.5% less starting this February, as Amazon announces price cuts for S3, promising a "significant reduction" in storage costs.

The change actually happened at the start of February this year, although Amazon has only recently announced the latest price cuts. The price reductions are done on a tiered basis, which means enterprises that use more data will realize bigger savings -- up to a point.

Amazon S3 Service Now Cheaper

The new pricing scheme is as follows (prices are per GB monthly):

  • First 1TB -- from US$ 0.140 to US$ 0.125
  • Next 49TB -- from US$ 0.125 to US$ 0.110
  • Next 450TB -- from US$ 0.110 to US 0.095
  • Next 500TB -- from US$ 0.095 to US$ 0.090
  • Next 4,000TB -- US$ 0.080 (no change)
  • Over 5,000 TB -- US$ 0.080 (no change)

In effect, users with 50TB of data stored on S3 get a 12% price reduction, while users with 500TB  S3 get a 13.5% price reduction.

Jeff Barr, posting at the AWS Blog, says these new prices are for the S3 standard storage service in the U.S. Standard region. Prices for other regions are available via the S3 pricing page. Meanwhile, government agencies can use the GovCloud pricing scheme.

An Overwhelming Success?

Amazon is optimistic about the success of S3, citing a 192% growth of objects stored in Amazon S3 from end 2010 to end of 2011. By Q4 2010, S3 had 262 billion objects stored, which grew to 762 billion by Q4 2011. The service gets more than 500,000 peak requests per second.

Observers say this price reduction is intended by Amazon as a means to attract businesses to use more if its core services, as AWS moves up the infrastructure stack to offer higher-level services. This includes the new DynamoDB database service. Whether the S3 price reductions will lead to more enterprises signing up for other AWS services, S3 users get to benefit from lower prices, which will result in considerable financial savings.