Amazon Web Services announced a new low-cost storage offering today aimed at providing customers with an even cheaper way of keeping data in the cloud when they don’t need it right away. It’s based on the company’s Simple Storage Service, better known as S3.
The new S3 One Zone Infrequent Access (Z-IA) class will let customers store their data inside a single availability zone in the AWS cloud, as opposed to across multiple availability zones with other S3 offerings. While that’s less reliable than AWS’ other offerings, the single zone storage is 20 percent cheaper than S3 Infrequent Access, which replicates data across multiple availability zones.
(When used in AWS’ Oregon region, S3 Z-IA storage costs 1 cent per month per gigabyte stored, compared to 1.25 cents per month per gigabyte for Standard Infrequent Access and 2.3 cents per month per gigabyte for S3 Standard, without volume discounts.)
Low-cost storage is important as companies look to migrate increasingly large amounts of data to the cloud, but have some amount of that data they only need to access infrequently.
Savings of that caliber do provide some risks: If the availability zone (a geographically isolated group of AWS servers in a datacenter region) that’s home to the data becomes unavailable through some disaster, the data will be unavailable. In the incredibly unlikely chance the availability zone is destroyed, data would be lost.
Put numerically, AWS guarantees 99 percent availability for S3 Z-IA, compared to 99.9 percent for S3 Infrequent Access and 99.99 percent for S3 Standard. AWS still guarantees 99.999999999 percent data durability for S3 Z-IA, the same as other S3 offerings.
Amazon also launched its S3 Select offering out of beta today, which allows developers to query information stored using SQL, so they only pull out the relevant data.