Cloud computing, which has moved software applications onto the Internet, has become big business – and is expected to become even bigger. Forrester Research has projected that spending on cloud services and infrastructure is expected to reach $241 billion by 2020, up from “just” $40.7 billion in 2011.
As the industry grows, so will its inevitable subsectors. And while the bread and butter for cloud offerings will likely always be about day-to-day software needs of businesses, Amazon.com (AMZN) has taken the broader view, recently creating a new Glacier cloud data-archiving service that hones in on those pesky mounds of data that companies need to store – even if they don’t need to access it every day.
According to Amazon, this could mean digital media archives – such as films or TV episodes – financial and healthcare records, genome sequence data, database backups, and data that has to be held for “regulatory compliance.”
A key selling point for Glacier is its cheapness – Amazon will charge as little as a penny for each gigabyte of data — with the company claiming that businesses typically overpay for data archiving with expensive upfront payments and often over-estimate data needs.
With Glacier, Amazon says capital commitments are avoided by businesses, which can determine how much storage they need, and for how long, and budget for it.
According to the The Guardian of London, Amazon’s move into cloud computing, which began in 2001, has dramatically changed how many startup businesses operate. Rather than buying their own infrastructure such as servers, many companies now rent storage and buy computing time via Amazon’s EC2 service, where they are charged per customer and by processor use.
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