I was not expecting this at re:Invent

There was a lot to absorb during the jam packed week in Las Vegas but there were a number of things that I was truly surprised about during the conference..

It was clear that AWS is going after the Enterprise market and are accommodating the on-prem / legacy / old-school way of thinking. This is the first re:Invent that you could really feel the change.

Here are a few of them:

AWS Outposts

AWS Well Architected

Lake Formation

Security Hub

Control Tower


Next was containers or the lack of containers actually. There were no significant container announcements. ECS and EKS - were not mentioned once during the keynote. No new functionality, no new features. For the product that was probably the most demanded release that everyone wanted last year at re:Invent - this year - it was crickets all the way down. I was thinking that AWS was saving some glory and glitters for the Kubecon conference the week after - but all that really came out of there was the Containers Roadmap (which is actually amazing - because AWS never disclose what their roadmap is - at least not publicly. I suppose it is expected of them as their keeping up the image of Opensource contribution and championship).

And the last shocker was the fact that inbound traffic to S3 is now going to cost you money.. 

Wait, What? You are now charged for uploads to S3????
Well that is not entirely true. Traditionally - you do not pay for incoming traffic into S3 - it says that black on white.  

s3 Pricing

So no you are not charged for direct uploads to S3. But if you do it through another service that acts as a proxy to S3 - then that’s different.

Storage Gateway was one such a service.

Storage Gateway

Here you are allowed 100GB for free each month and capped at a maximum of $125 / month. For a company that transfers hundreds and thousands of TB a month - the $125 is chump change which essentially makes it pretty much free.

And then came AWS Transfer for SFTP and the change that no-one really noticed.

SFTP Pricing

Whoa!! Not only are you being charged for 4x the amount of any other service,  you are not capped at a maximum monthly spend, and you get no free monthly uploads either.

You use it - you pay (and pay for it you will).

Next up was DataSync

Datasync Pricing

Again - same new price of $0.04/GB for transfer traffic into S3.

Pricing example

Their pricing example as well

If you were to do the exact same thing - but with regular S3 upload. 

If you perform a one-time migration of 50 TB of 16 MB files into Amazon S3 in US East (Ohio), it costs you the following to use S3 cli

(50 TB copied into S3 * 1024 GB * $0.00 / GB) + (1 S3 LIST request * $0.005 / 1000) + (50 TB / 16 MB S3 PUT requests * $0.005 / 1000)
= $0 + $0 + $16.38
= $16.38

That is one heck of a difference. Now I have not tested the difference in speed, or throughput you can get from Datasync - I am sure there is a difference in the data transfer speeds.

But for me this is troubling. The whole bloody world uses S3 (granted most of the traffic is going from S3 out of AWS). Are AWS planning a change in their pricing model? Even if it is $0.04/GB - this would be a huge channel of additional revenue for them. Something to ponder on.

The pricing model that is now attached to S3 uploads seems strange to me - especially if you are receiving the exact same thing through another route for free. If it would have been network traffic through the service - I would have easily been able to accept.

And last but not least, Werner Vogels finished his keynote on time this year. Well done and thank you for assisting in the effort of improving our experience at re:Invent this year.

Thoughts? Comments? 

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@maishsk)