Amazon Web Services offers a multitude of cloud computing products that are both cost-effective and flexible. Whether you're looking for storage, computing capacity or online databases, it's easy to find cloud services that can soothe your IT needs.
The amount of options available through Amazon Web Services (AWS), however, can sometimes be overwhelming. To make it a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most commonly used services and their basic pricing information. Check out Amazon's website for a more detailed look at Amazon Web Services.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) from Amazon provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud, which is intended to make Web-scale computing easier for developers. Users maintain complete control of their computing resources, and Amazon operates under a "pay as you go" model. It also only takes minutes to obtain and boot new server instances, so it allows for quick scaling as computing requirements change.
Pricing: New AWS customers can use Amazon EC2 free for one year. It also offers on-demand instances starting at $0.085 per hour on Linux and $0.12 per hour on Windows. Reserved instances start at $227.50 per year or $0.03 per hour.
Amazon Simple Storage Service
Simple Storage Service (S3) is an online storage service that offers unlimited data storage space in the cloud. Users are given access to a simple Web services interface that stores and retrieves data from anywhere on the Web.
Pricing: New users will receive, for free, 5 GB of S3 storage; 20,000 Get Requests; 2,000 Put Requests; 15 GB of data transfer in; and 15 GB of transfer out each month for one year. See this S3 pricing overview for costs thereafter.
Amazon Elastic MapReduce
Elastic MapReduce allows businesses and developers, among others, to process large amounts of data. Using a hosted Hadoop framework running on Amazon EC2 and S3, users can instantly take advantage of as much, or as little, capacity needed to perform data-intensive tasks like data mining and scientific simulation.
Pricing: Starts at $0.015 per hour, in addition to normal Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 prices.
CloudFront integrates with other Amazon's cloud services to provide an easy way for businesses and developers to distribute data through high-speed transfers. Optimized to work with EC2 and S3, CloudFront delivers static and streaming content using a global network of edge locations.
Pricing: Pay for only what you use. Prices start at $0.15 per GB transferred out for the first 10 TB per month. Estimate your monthly bill with the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator. Reserved capacity pricing is available upon request.
SimpleDB is an optimized non-relational data store that eliminates the need for tedious database administrative work. After items are stored and queried via Web services requests, the service creates and manages multiple replicas of said data automatically to ensure high availability and durability.
Pricing: New users get 25 Machine Hours and 1 GB of storage free each month. Costs vary thereafter.
Amazon Relational Database Service
The Relational Database Service (RDS) provides scalable relational databases in the cloud through a Web service. Database administrative tasks are managed, and all codes, applications and tools already used with MySQL databases work with Amazon RDS. It can also automatically patch database software and perform regularly scheduled backups.
Pricing: On-demand DB instances start at $0.11 per hour for standard deployment and $0.22 per hour for multi-AZ deployment. Reserved DB instances start at $227.50 per year. There is also provisioned database storage starting at $0.10 per GB per month.
Amazon Simple Queue Service
Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a hosted queue that increases the workflow between distributed components of applications that perform different tasks. SQS allows developers to easily move data without losing messages or requiring each component to always be available.
Pricing: New users receive 100,000 SQS queuing requests free each month. Afterwards, users pay $0.01 per 10,000 requests. Data transfer costs vary.
Amazon Simple Notification Service
Simple Notification Service (SNS), while still in its beta stage, is a Web service that helps set up and send notifications from the cloud through a “push" mechanism. Designed to make Web-scale computing easier for developers, SNS can be used in the monitoring of applications and for time-sensitive information updates.
Pricing: All users receive 100,000 Amazon SNS Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for free each month.
CloudWatch enables monitoring for EC2 and other Amazon cloud services. Users can choose the EC2 instances they want to watch, and CloudWatch will gather and monitor the easily accessible data. Some of the metrics that it provides visibility into include CPU utilization, disk reads and writes and network traffic.
Pricing: CloudWatch is charged by the number of EC2 instances monitored, starting at $0.015 per hour for each instance (in addition to normal EC2 charges).
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
Through a virtual private network, the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) works as a bridge between a user’s existing IT infrastructure and Amazon's cloud. The result is a safe, secure private cloud service. Still in beta, it currently integrates with only EC2 but will eventually work with other AWS services.
Pricing: Users pay only for what they use; there is a $0.05 charge per VPN Connection-hour, in addition to normal EC2 usage charges. Data transfer pricing charges can be found here.
Elastic Load Balancing
Elastic Load Balancing is a networking service that automatically spreads out incoming application traffic across several available EC2 instances. Customers have the option of enabling it within a single Availability Zone or throughout multiple zones. The service can also detect unhealthy instances and reroute traffic to healthy ones.
Pricing: Users are charged $0.025 per hour per Elastic Load Balancer and $0.008 per GB of data transferred, in addition to regular EC2 usage charges.
Amazon Elastic Block Store
Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides Amazon cloud users with off-instance block level storage volumes. They can, however, be attached to running EC2 instances and mounted as devices when necessary. The size of EBS storage volumes can vary from 1 GB to 1 TB.
Pricing: Volume storage is priced at $0.10 per allocated GB per month, and users are also charged $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests made to the volume, in addition to regular EC2 usage charges.
The AWS Import/Export tool uses the company's high-speed internal network and portable storage devices to bypass the Internet and move data onto and off of Amazon's cloud. Due to the size of the data being moved and traditional transfer speeds, Import/Export is often faster than Internet connections and more cost-effective than upgrading your organization's bandwidth.
Pricing: There is a flat rate of $80 per device handled, along with $2.49 per data-loading-hour. Additional costs can be calculated.
Alexandria Hubbard is the Assistant Editor of SearchCloudComputing.com.
This was first published in February 2011