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Discover How to Use Amazon S3 As a Remote Storage, Backup Drive Or File Sharing Server

 


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The Amazon S3 storage device is great for a number of reasons. It is flexible-you can use it as a remote storage device or a backup server, and it is perfect for large media files, housing business files, and storing personal files. But guess what else? It is cheap.

SIMPLICITY ITSELF

"S3" stands for Simple Storage Service, and simple it is. This very user friendly web services interface can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time, from any Web location. It gives any developer access to the highly scalable, reliable, fast, and inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon.com uses to for running its global network of websites. S3 was developed with the objective of maximizing benefits of scale and passing those benefits on to developers.

You can have the Amazon S3 up and running on your computer in about 15 minutes. You just hop online and take a few minutes to create a free Amazon S3 account. Next, you download and configure Jungle Disk. Lastly, you download and configure Net Drive. With this, you will create a “New Site" and set the Site Address/URL to: http://localhost:2667/ (or the value configured in Jungle Disk). Then set the Server Type as “WebDav". Choose a drive letter for accessing your new remote storage-and you are set up.

Amazon S3 allows you to write, read, and delete objects containing anywhere from 1 byte to 5 GB of data each, with the number of possible stored items unlimited and with each item stored in a bucket in either the United States or Europe and retrieved by a unique, developer-assigned key. Any of your items can be made public, private, or shared with only specified users. In addition, standards-based REST and SOAP interfaces that work with any Internet-development toolkit are built in. Amazon S3 is compatible with any platform that can run Firefox, which includes Mac.

Just think what this might mean for you if you want to do away with limits on your storage capacity on a portable music player device, be able to get your music no matter where on the planet you are, and get it with direct access to download to your laptop. Store all of your music on Amazon S3 and your troubles are over.

COUNTING THE COST

What is really exciting is, you only pay for what you use. There is no minimum fee, and there is no start-up fee. Amazon's fee scale lists like this for the United States:

STORAGE
$0.15 per GB-Month of storage used

DATA TRANSFER
$0.100 per GB - all data transfer in

$0.170 per GB - first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.130 per GB - next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.110 per GB - next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.100 per GB - data transfer out / month over 150 TB

If you've got a ton of data in storage and you're using external hard drives and RAID configurations, and you plan to keep on using that kind of backup and storage, calculate your server costs, disk costs, hard drive upgrade costs, and let's not forget your electricity costs, along with the non-financial costs such as Amazon's speed and availability, and you'll likely find the Amazon S3 to be a money saver for you.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

How does Amazon S3 compare to other popular personal tools? If you got Jungle Disk alone, the one-time cost would be $20, you are limited to Mac, Windows, or Linux, and it acts like a mountable disk drive for ease of upload and download rather than giving you bazoonga storage and backup power. You can get Transmit 3.6 for your Mac with its OS X system for about 30 bucks. This is easy to use and allows you to copy files between your local system and any system that you can reach on your network, and it can support S3. There is also an S3 Beta out there that you can get free-for now (it will expire) and it works only with a Windows operating system. It is a user-friendly upload and download utility with an interface that operates a lot like any other FTP software (like the Transmit 3.6).

For your storage, security, and remote accessibility needs, Amazon's S3 is probably the most cost effective and comprehensive solution to be found.

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