May 2008

Newsletter #37

Greetings AWS Developers,

No shortage of exciting news items this past month! Customers of AWS Infrastructure Services are now benefiting from lower data transfer costs and AWS Support services. Amazon EC2 has announced the upcoming availability of persistent storage, and for those of you who are both merchants and developers, make sure you read about the Amazon Fulfillment Web Service to learn how you can integrate even more closely with the Fulfillment By Amazon program.

Kathrin Jackson
Amazon Web Services

  • Lower Data Transfer Costs for AWS Infrastructure Services
  • AWS Support Now Available
  • Amazon EC2 Upcoming Feature: Persistent Storage
  • Recently Launched: Amazon Fulfillment Web Service
  • Developer Resources
  • Solutions Catalog Highlights: What Your Peers Are Building
  • In The News…
  • Upcoming Events
  • Lower Data Transfer Costs for AWS Infrastructure Services

    We’ve often told you that one of our goals is to drive down costs continuously and to pass those savings on to you. We have been able to reduce our costs for data transfer, so we’re pleased to lower our pricing for data transfer, effective May 1, 2008. We’ve reduced prices at every existing usage tier of transfer out, as well as added an additional tier for the heaviest users. Please see the full announcement for more details.

    AWS Support Now Available

    In mid-April, we were pleased to announce the availability of AWS Support. Customers who sign up for AWS Support will receive personalized technical assistance from the Amazon Web Services team, whenever and as frequently as their business demands. Customers can contact AWS developer support engineers and count on fast, predictable response times and personalized support for operational issues or technical questions associated with AWS Infrastructure Services. In addition to the launch of AWS Support, we also announced a Service Health Dashboard, which reports the status of our services and is available free-of-charge to all AWS customers.

    Amazon EC2 Upcoming Feature: Persistent Storage

    Last month, we announced a major upcoming feature that many of you have requested – persistent storage for Amazon EC2. This new feature provides reliable, persistent storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances. These volumes exist independently from any Amazon EC2 instances, and will behave like raw, unformatted hard drives or block devices, which may then be formatted and configured based on the needs of your application. The volumes will be significantly more durable than the local disks within an Amazon EC2 instance. Additionally, our persistent storage feature will enable you to automatically create snapshots of your volumes and back them up to Amazon S3 for even greater reliability. We expect to make persistent storage for Amazon EC2 publicly available later this year. To learn more about persistent storage and how to sign up for a spot in the private beta program, please see the full announcement.

    Recently Launched: Amazon Fulfillment Web Service

    Amazon Fulfillment Web Service (Amazon FWS) allows merchants to access’s world-class fulfillment capabilities through a simple web services interface. Amazon FWS makes it easy for merchants and developers to programmatically integrate the benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) into their own web sites or other sales channels. With FBA, merchants can store inventory in Amazon’s warehouses and Amazon will pick, pack, and ship products directly to merchant’s customers. If you’re a developer and a merchant, read on.

    Developer Resources

    Son of Monster Muck Mashup
    Mitch Garnaat boosts his massively scalable Monster Muck video conversion service by ripping out complexity and plugging in a turbo-charged logging feature, powered by Amazon SimpleDB.

    Patching AMI Instances with Updates on Amazon S3
    Making a new AMI is time consuming and requires significant temporary storage space and CPU cycles. This article shows you how updating your AMI’s content at startup from Amazon S3 is a cost-effective way to maintain web sites and other services on Amazon EC2.

    Mobile Monitoring and Administration of Amazon Web Services: Developing an iPhone-Optimized Web Application
    John Fronckowiak provides the framework for iPhone-based monitoring and administration of Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.

    Solutions Catalog Highlights: What Your Peers Are Building

    Integrify Workflow for Amazon S3
    Integrify is the leading provider of BPM/Workflow OnDemand. This plugin allows you to build workflow processes that store files on Amazon S3.

    SearchBlox Content Search
    Software designed to provide search functionality to your websites/applications in a matter of minutes. Built using Amazon EC2.

    A service for writers that takes the pain out of the process of publishing. Offering a database of over 3,000 writing opportunities including publishers, agents, contests and more, WordHustler will print, ship, and track your manuscript so you can get back to what you are supposed to be doing: writing. Built using Amazon S3 and EC2.

    In The News…

    We usually don’t like to talk about other people talking about us, but we thought these two articles were pretty cool, so we’re making a rare exception. The article in Wired Magazine gives a great overview of cloud computing and web services as a key part of Amazon’s business. The BusinessWeek piece is an interview with Jeff Bezos that discusses innovation at Amazon. Good reads!

    Upcoming Events

    Here’s just a sampling of the trips that our evangelists will be taking in May. Click on the links to see more details about the events during each trip. Also, don’t forget to let the AWS evangelists know where you’d like them to visit by contributing to the master scheduling page.

    Silicon Valley – San Francisco, CA
    May 4-6, 2008
    Jeff Barr

    Silicon Valley – San Jose / Santa Clara, CA
    May 15-18, 2008
    Jeff Barr

    Silicon Valley – San Jose, CA
    May 28-29, 2008
    Jeff Barr

    India – Bangalore / Chennai / Delhi / Mumbai
    May 21-June 3, 2008
    Jinesh Varia

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