No rest for the weary: Amazon launches new SSD-backed block storage

Photo courtesy of Flickr user getinet.

A day after Google formally announced its new high I/O SSD drives, which compete with Amazon’s provisioned IOPS Elastic Block Store service, look what happens: Amazon announced a new general-purpose SSD option for EBS.

Per the AWS blog:

General Purpose (SSD) volumes take advantage of the increasing cost-effectiveness of SSD storage to offer customers 10x more IOPS, 1/10th the latency, and more bandwidth and consistent performance than offerings based on magnetic storage. With a simple pricing structure where you only pay for the storage provisioned (no need to provision IOPS or to factor in the cost of I/O operations), the new volumes are priced as low as $0.10/GB-month.

And as is its custom, Amazon also cut prices for other provisioned IOPS EBS options — by about 35 percent.

Soooo, has Amazon has wrested the low price crown for now? Yes, at least according to one cloud watcher who took a quick look and said Amazon’s new option is 3 times cheaper than Google but provides 10-times fewer IOPS per GB.

But why quibble since nothing lasts long in this sphere? AWS has cut prices for years even when it had no real competition. Now that it does have big rivals, things should get even more interesting. It’s a safe bet the whole cut-throat pricing thing is something that will be addressed with Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Google SVP Urx Hölzle and Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie (Microsoft being the other price chopper on the block) at Structure this week.

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