Amazon just announced that they are offering a new service as a part of their AWS offering called AWS Import/Export. This service will help users move large amounts of data on to or out of Amazon S3. Even though we are in an era of Cloud Computing, our infrastructure is broken. The broadband speeds in US are abysmal in most of the cases. If you ask Greg Ness of Archimedius fame, he will tell you about how badly the infrastructure is broken and about the importance of Infrastructure 2.0, a term he uses for next-gen internet infrastructure. With such an infrastructure, moving large volumes of data becomes an impossible task.
In fact, Amazon gives an idea of how much time it takes to move data through broadband in their website. Depending on the speed of the broadband connection, it could take anything from 1 day (with 1000 Mbps connection) to 82 days (with 1.54 Mbps T1 connection) to migrate one terabyte of data with 80% network utilization. In this era of abundant data, many users have more than one terabytes of data to store. If we consider enterprise customers, the number can easily skyrocket.
To solve this internet infrastructure problem in this Cloud era, Amazon has resorted to old fashioned approach from the previous eras. Users can mail Amazon their data in one of the supported portable storage devices and Amazon will transfer it to users’ AWS account from within Amazon’s high speed internal network.
The pricing is pretty simple. Users pay $8 for each portable device handled and they pay $2.49 per data loading hours (with partial hours rounded to full hours) and the regular Amazon S3 request and storage pricing. This can save users time and money for migrating their data in and out of Amazon Web Services. This service will come particularly handy for cases like data migration, offsite backup, disaster recovery, etc..