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Amazon Expands Elastic Computing With New Storage Service

Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web Services has released a new storage service that, at first, may look a lot like their S3 offering. The new service, Elastic Block Storage (EBS), is meant to increase the usefulness of their EC2 computing cloud.

In case you’re confused by all these services, here’s how Amazon describes their latest addition:

EBS gives you persistent, high-performance, high-availability block-level storage which you can attach to a running instance of EC2. You can format it and mount it as a file system, or you can access the raw storage directly. You can, of course, host a database on an EBS volume.

While S3 is great for storage, EBS is more flexible with its uses. EBS is used in tandem with EC2 instances. But normally, when an EC2 instance goes away, its storage disappears, too. EBS is, as Amazon says, persistent. It sticks around.

Cloud Computing providers RightScale say EBS opens up Amazon’s services to many new customers. Applications not written directly for Amazon’s other offerings are easier to incorporate with EBS. Amazon even points to a tutorial for running MySQL on EBS.

The costs are similar to other Amazon Web Services, which charge by usage. Storage is 10 cents a GB per month. I/O requests are 10 cents per million. There’s a AWS calculator to help you figure out your own costs.

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