Amazon Web Services Introduces Per-Second Billing to Keep Rivals at Bay

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Amazon is determined to maintain its lead over rivals in the cloud computing arena. Lately, the company’s cloud computing division Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it will be introducing a new pricing scheme by October and plans to charge clients by the second, a move seen to be financially favorable for its cloud customers.

In a recent blog post, AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr announced that the company would be changing its billing scheme to be more reflective of clients’ actual usage. Starting October 2, 2017, AWS will implement per-second billing for its EC2 and EBS services.

The billing change will be applicable to all AWS regions running Linux instances. However, instances running on Microsoft Windows as well as Linux distributions with a separate hourly charge will not be affected by the new scheme.

AWS expects that the move will be beneficial to many of its EC2 clients. However, Barr challenged companies to be more creative to take full advantage of the savings opportunities presented by the billing change.

“While this will result in a price reduction for many workloads (and you know we love price reductions), I don’t think that’s the most important aspect of this change,” Barr explained. “I believe that this change will inspire you to innovate and to think about your compute-bound problems in new ways. How can you use it to improve your support for continuous integration?”

Analysts are divided on what AWS’ decision to introduce per-second billing could mean to the cloud computing industry as a whole. For instance, there are speculations that it could become an industry-wide trend as it could trigger similar offerings by other players.

Cloudreach Europe head Chris Bunch expects it to become the industry norm in the future. “Longer term the world will get used to per-millisecond billing anyway with serverless architectures, so it's good to see this happening now, said Bunch. "I would expect other cloud companies to follow this trend.”

However, not everyone believes the hype as some analysts voiced that it could just be a PR stunt. "It's a PR stunt isn't it?” quipped UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones.  “It's trying to make something that's very expensive sound very, very cheap.”

Amazon first introduced the pay-as-you-go model in cloud computing usage when it launched EC2 in 2006. Back then, AWS charged clients on a per hour basis, a pricing scheme that was deemed revolutionary at that time.

However, its rivals challenged AWS dominance by offering a more competitive pricing structure. Google, for one, introduced a more accurate per-minute billing scheme deemed more reflective of actual usage.

[Featured Image TechRepublic]
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