Amazon Photos: Amazon Photos offers unlimited, full-resolution photo storage, plus 5 GB video storage for Prime members. All other customers get 5 GB photo and video storage. If Amazon, one of the largest “cloud” storage providers there is, gives users unlimited space, then you have any right as a user to make use of that offer. If Amazon would have done any research on the topic, it would probably stumble upon Microsoft starting to offer unlimited storage, and then later on canceling that option again.
Amazon on Thursday ended its policy of providing free unlimited cloud storage via Amazon Drive, opting instead to give its consumer and business users a smaller amount of free capacity in the Amazon cloud and charging for capacity beyond that.
Amazon Drive is a service that allows users to store photos, videos, and documents in the Amazon cloud. It provides secure and private access to those items on any connected devices or Web browsers.
Amazon Drive had let users store unlimited data and unlimited photos in its cloud. However, according to an Amazon FAQ, users will now be limited to 5 GBs of free cloud storage capacity.
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Amazon Unlimited Everything Cloud Storage
Starting Thursday, customers will be charged $11.99 for between 5 GBs and 100 GBs, and $59.99 for up to 1 TB of capacity. Customers requiring over 1 TB will pay an additional $59.99 per TB up to 30 TBs, Amazon said.
Amazon Prime members will also be limited to 5 GBs of free cloud storage capacity, but capacity required for storing photos will not count against that limit, essentially allowing them to store an unlimited amount of photos in the Amazon Cloud.
'Amazon’s unlimited cloud storage plan was absurdly cheap compared to the market,' said David Lucky, director of product management at Datapipe, a Jersey City, N.J.-based MSP and AWS partner.
Amazon Prime Backup Storage
With Amazon no longer giving away the retail cloud, more customers could potentially turn to the channel to implement storage on native AWS solutions, he said.
The price hike from the consumer division could ultimately benefit some customers and partners who offer their own consumer-facing storage built on AWS services like S3, Lucky added.
Customers will have 180 days to transition their Amazon Drive to their choice of plan. Amazon suggests downloading the data to a PC or mobile device, deleting data over 5 GBs, and then uploading to Amazon Drive.
Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited Storage
After the 180-day grace period, any data more than 5 GBs that has not been moved to a new plan will be deleted starting with the most recent uploads until the excess capacity has been eliminated, Amazon said.
Joseph Tsidulko contributed to this story.
Amazon Cloud Storage Plans
AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid cloud storage service that gives you on-premises access to virtually unlimited cloud storage. Customers use Storage Gateway to simplify storage management and reduce costs for key hybrid cloud storage use cases. These include moving backups to the cloud, using on-premises file shares backed by cloud storage, and providing low latency access to data in AWS for on-premises applications.
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Amazon Unlimited Cloud Storage
To support these use cases, Storage Gateway offers four different types of gateways – Amazon S3 File Gateway, Amazon FSx File Gateway, Tape Gateway, and Volume Gateway – that seamlessly connect on-premises applications to cloud storage, caching data locally for low-latency access. Your applications connect to the service through a virtual machine or gateway hardware appliance using standard storage protocols, such as NFS, SMB, and iSCSI. The gateway connects to AWS storage services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon S3 Glacier, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, Amazon EBS, and AWS Backup, providing storage for files, volumes, snapshots, and virtual tapes in AWS. The service includes a highly-optimized and efficient data transfer mechanism, with bandwidth management and automated network resilience.