|By Maureen O'Gara||
|June 2, 2009 11:45 PM EDT||
Amazon has started telling people to send in their cloud data by mail. No, really. Swear to God. It’s not just us enamored of how much better people look by candlelight. Because of dead-slow bandwidth on burgeoning datasets at the customer end Amazon Web Services (AWS) has invented a new Import/Export service that it started testing the other day in the US.
The limited beta offers to accelerate moving large amounts into S3 using portable storage devices sent back and forth by post.
Amazon gets it and uploads it, bypassing the Internet using its high-speed internal network and vetted personnel.
It intends to add an export facility and then move on to Europe.
It claims it could be more cost-effective than the user upgrading his connectivity because “It is now relatively easy to create a collection of data so large that it cannot be uploaded to offsite storage (e.g., Amazon S3) in a reasonable amount of time,” it says, particularly in the scientific space.
Amazon figures the service can be used for data migration, offsite backup, disaster recovery and direct data interchange – in other words if you regularly get content on portable storage devices from your business associates, they might as well sent it directly to Amazon.
Pricing includes an $80 fee for each storage device plus $2.49-an-hour for the time it takes to upload the data, with partial hours being billed as full hours.
Amazon says that if you’ve got a T1 line and 1TB of data you’d better use the mail otherwise it’ll take you 82 days to upload it. On a T3 connection it’d take three days. It figures the breakeven point would be 100GB and 600GB, respectively. If you’ve got a 100 Mbps connection, it suggests it would be more economical to use the Import/Export service if you’ve got 5TB. If you’re got a 1,000 Mbps connection then your breakeven would appear to be 60TB
Amazon’s very favorite device has an eSATA interface. USB2’s okay but either’s got to use the FAT32, ext2, ext3 or NTFS file system and fir an 8U rack. Otherwise you’ve got to negotiate with them. Amazon says it’ll return the device.
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