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Amazon Web Services Cuts Storage Prices Again

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Amazon Web Services storage prices have been reduced again, and more functionality added to its ElastiCache service

Amazon Web Services continues to announce enhancements and special offers to further entice customers.

This includes lowering prices for its Amazon Simple Storage Solution and Reduced Redundancy Storage, as well as the addition of auto discovery to Amazon ElastiCache.

Price Drop

In its 24th price reduction, AWS reduced Amazon S3 standard storage and Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) prices by 24 to 27 percent in the US, with similar price reductions across all other regions.

AWS made the announcements at its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, where users, developers, partners and others in the AWS ecosystem gathered to get the latest on the company’s strategy going forward.

“We are reducing our 0-1TB storage tier in the US Standard region to $0.095/GB (£0.05), a 24 percent price reduction,” AWS said in a statement announcing the news. “We are making similar reductions across all of our storage tiers for storage up to 5000TBs. The new lower prices for all regions can be found on the Amazon S3 pricing changes announcement page.”

New prices are effective 1 December and will be applied to customers for all storage on or after this date, the company said.

In addition, Amazon announced that Amazon S3 now stores 1.3 trillion objects and is regularly peaking at more than 800,000 requests per second. “We’ve often talked about the benefits of AWS’s scale,” said Jeff Barr, a Web services evangelist at Amazon, in a blog post. “This massive scale is enabling us to make these Amazon S3 price reductions across all of our nine regions worldwide.”

AWS also announced the availability of Auto Discovery, a new way to connect to your Amazon ElastiCache cluster. Auto Discovery enables automatic discovery of cache nodes by clients when the nodes are added to or removed from an ElastiCache cluster. Amazon ElastiCache is a Web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate and scale an in-memory cache in the cloud. The service improves the performance of Web applications by allowing you to retrieve information from a fast, managed, in-memory caching system, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases.

Developers today must keep track of the node endpoints of their ElastiCache clusters. Also, they must update the list of endpoints manually to handle cluster membership changes, AWS said. Depending on how the client application is architected, this might require shutting down the application and restarting it, thereby resulting in downtime.

“With Auto Discovery, we are eliminating this complexity,” AWS said in a statement. “You only need to know a single cluster configuration endpoint that is valid throughout the life of your ElastiCache cluster and never changes as you modify your cluster.”

“Our new Auto Discovery feature will allow your applications to automatically and transparently adapt to the addition or deletion of cache nodes from your cache clusters,” Barr said in a separate post. “Your applications can now react more quickly to changes in your cache cluster without downtime or manual intervention.

Protocol Compliance

As before, Amazon ElastiCache remains protocol-compliant with Memcached, a widely adopted memory object caching system, so code, applications and popular tools that you use today with existing Memcached environments will continue to work seamlessly with Auto Discovery.

“ElastiCache remains 100 percent Memcached-compatible so you can keep using your existing Memcached client libraries with new and existing clusters, but to take advantage of Auto Discovery you must use an Auto Discovery-capable client,” Barr said

To get started users will need the Amazon ElastiCache Cluster Client which will serve as their Memcached compatible client with Auto Discovery capability. The solution supports Java, but a PHP client is in the works and support for other languages will come in the near future, AWS said.

AWS also announced that Citrix NetScaler and Citrix CloudBridge are both available for purchase via AWS Marketplace. NetScaler, the company’s advanced cloud networking platform and CloudBridge, which allows enterprises to connect securely to AWS, can both be deployed directly on AWS. Together, both Citrix products enable enterprises to extend their network to AWS, making it a natural extension of their IT infrastructure and optimize deployments that are on the cloud.

Citrix NetScaler on AWS Marketplace lets customers deploy the same L4-7 services on AWS that they use on-premise, to help ensure the availability, scalability and security of large public and private clouds onto Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) within Amazon EC2. Citrix CloudBridge on AWS Marketplace allows enterprises to connect their data centers and private clouds, simplifying application migration, adding additional security layers and mitigating network latency on AWS.

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Originally published on eWeek.