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Amazon Stretches Cloud With Elastic Storage

Amazons Web Services division has finally added "persistent storage" to its EC2 compute service in an effort to beef up its cloud storage strategy.

After weeks of speculation, the vendor took the wraps off its Elastic Block Storage (EBS) offering today, which it claims will boost its ability to offer both storage and compute power as Web services.

The vendor’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which was launched two years ago, offers users compute power as a Web service, priced from 10 cents per month for 1.7 Gbytes of memory. Previously, however, users could only allocate storage to their EC2 applications while they were actually running. As soon as the instance was shut down, so was the storage.

“What we have allowed now is that you can provision volumes independent of the instance,” says Peter De Santis, general manager for Amazon’s EC2, explaining that the storage volumes can be anything from 1 Gbyte to 1Tbyte each. “[Now], when the instance shuts down, the data on that volume will persist - additionally, we can provision and attach multiple volumes to a single instance.”

EBS is priced from 10 cents per allocated Gbyte per month and 10 cents per million I/O requests made to the volume. Users can also shift these storage instances into Amazon’s S3 storage service, according to the vendor.

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