AWS plans April price cuts, maintains rapid pace

The cloud-computing giant held one of its regular summit events, announcing product releases and price cuts.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Amazon Web Services is just past its eighth birthday, but the cloud-computing giant has maintained an accelerated pace of services and features that have a bevy of rivals gunning for it. AWS' response is to keep on the gas on the product and pricing fronts. 

During Wednesday's AWS Summit 2014 keynote, Andy Jassy, head of the AWS business and the Technology Infrastructure organization for Amazon.com, touted AWS' computing power and outlined new service offerings, upgrades and his take on the top four reasons why businesses are rapidly making the move to the cloud. 

Highlighting AWS' tendency to lower prices, a pat on the back that Google gave itself Tuesday by slashing its on-demand rates by as much as 85 percent, Jassy said AWS will mark its 42nd price reduction in April, when it cuts its prices by 51 percent on average.

"How many companies call customers and ask them to spend less money with them?" Jassy asked. "Not many."

More: AWS adds peering to Virtual Private Clouds | Amazon Web Services lands DoD security authorization | Infor moves its CloudSuite to AWS | Google's new cloud strategy: Apply Moore's Law to prices | Infrastructure as a service price cuts accelerate 

In the end, the race on cloud infrastructure pricing is headed to zero. AWS apparently plans to outrun Google there first. 

Among the more notable announcements was word that AWS' desktop virtualization platform WorkSpaces has moved out of limited testing and is now openly available to all AWS customers. Jassy said WorkSpaces is half the price of typical virtual desktop infrastructure options out there and will free users from the need to manage the various IT components as separate pieces.

The GM of Amazon WorkSpaces Gene Farrell took to the AWS Summit stage to offer a use case scenario that highlights the mobility benefits provided by the platform: Given the ease of transferring a desktop from a Mac to an iPad, if a user is called off to a meeting midway through a task, they can quickly go from one device to the other while maintaining the same desktop. The user can grab their tablet and head off and everything on their desktop is with them in that meeting, Farrell said.



Jassy also announced a refresh of HS1 instances, which provide very high storage density and high sequential read-and-write performance per instance, and the launch of a new memory optimization family, R3, which Jassy said is the best place to run memory-optimized workloads.

The news out of the AWS Summit comes on the heels of even more milestones for the company. Early Wednesday morning AWS announced that Infor, the third-largest ERP in the world, would move its CloudSuit to AWS; that the DoD granted AWS its coveted security authorization; and the AWS platform has added peering to Virtual Private Clouds.

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