Amazon strikes back
The collection of products and services offered by Amazon Web Services would fill a small book, from a broad range of EC2 instance types to NoSQL databases to Hadoop/MapReduce services to virtual private cloud capability and a vast software marketplace. And the leader is not standing still.
In March 2012, Amazon struck a preemptive blow by dropping prices on both its EC2 service and its hourly rates for long-term contract customers. The prices for Reserved Instances, which involve a one-year contract, were sliced by up to a third. Even bigger volume discounts are available, but most of the cuts are intended to entice entry-level customers who could be lured by competitors. As before, you can take advantage of a year-long free trial.