In February, Amazon will significantly reduce the prices of its Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Store (EBS). Two new M3 instance sizes are already available, and M3 instance types now come with SSD-based internal storage.

EBS prices will be lowered by up to 50 percent for storage and I/O requests and S3 storage prices will be reduced by up to 22 percent.

The new M3 instance sizes are m3.medium and m3.large. The m3.medium instance type has 1vCPU, 3.75GiB RAM, and a 6 GB SDD. The m3.large instance type comes with 2vCPUs, 7.5GiB RAM, and a 32GB SSD.

Most interesting for me is that Amazon has added SSDs to all M3 instance types, and this also includes existing M3 instances. Amazon's announcement only mentions instance-stores instances, but according to my test you can also add the new SSDs to EBS instances. M3 instances are general purpose virtual machines, and I guess most EC2 instances use this type. Thus, you can imagine that Amazon had to install quite a few SSDs to make this possible.

4sysops runs on an M3 instance, so I am quite happy about this announcement. Actually, a few days ago, an Amazon employee informed me about this change via e-mail. I will post more about this soon, and I will also explain how you can add the SSDs to your existing M3 instances.

Amazon reduces their cloud pricing frequently, and I think this demonstrates another big advantage of the cloud. That hardware prices are falling is nothing new; however, once you buy an on-prem server, you will hardly get a price reduction a few months later for this piece of hardware. All you can do is to get annoyed that you didn’t wait a little longer, especially if you hadn’t the time to even unpack the server.

I have rented hardware from services providers since the early days of the Internet, and I don’t remember ever receiving a free upgrade. So, yeah, once again, Amazon turned me into a happy customer.

More information about the announcement can be found here:

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