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At its AWS Summit in New York, public cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced that it’s lowering the cost of snapshots of volumes of data stored in the Elastic Block Store (EBS) service by 47 percent.

Developers use snapshots to back up valuable data in the AWS S3 storage service and then restore their EBS volumes as necessary. It’s possible to instruct EBS to make snapshots when data on EBS gets updated. EBS volumes are typically attached to applications running inside AWS EC2 virtual machine instances and persist even after EC2 instances are terminated, unlike local EC2 instance storage.

“With this change, snapshots are even more economical!” AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post. “As a result, you can take backups more frequently in order to reduce recovery time after human errors. If you are not making backups of your EBS volumes on a regular basis, now is a good time to start!”

The change is retroactive to August 1 and is applicable in all AWS data center regions, Barr wrote. Snapshots now cost as little as 5 cents per GB per month of data stored, according to the EBS pricing page. Prices vary by AWS region.


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Price cuts represent one of a few ways in which AWS maintains its edge versus other public clouds, like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM SoftLayer. (Those other clouds also cut prices; earlier this week Google lowered the prices of Preemptible VMs.) AWS also regularly introduces new features and opens up new data center regions.

In the second quarter of this year AWS generated $2.88 billion in revenue for its parent company, Amazon.

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