Amazon S3 is a cloud storage service provided by Amazon. It has a simple web-service interface that allows data, of any volume, to be stored and accessed, at any instance from anywhere in the world. It provides users with highly scalable solutions, reliability, security and efficiency. The service is especially important for web developers or organizations who want to develop their own applications because it is designed to simplify web-scale computing. Other than storage and development, Amazon S3 provides data transfer service such as AWS Govcloud Region for USA government.
The pricing model for Amazon’s S3 is pay as you use. The prices are computed on a monthly basis based on the services provided and the location of S3 bucket. It attracts no minimum fee, hence a favourable option for many organizations.
As shown in the figure below, the storage pricing are based on consumption
The second cloud vendor is Microsoft through its Azure service offering. Microsoft Azure provides a range of services from storage, application development, service provisioning and integration with existing applications through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centres. Azure is scalable and highly flexible empowering users to explore their capabilities to their advantage. The pricing model is sub-divided into four areas of specialty – compute, data services, app services and network services. The costs for initial setup is eliminated. It allows the client to pay what they demand. For instance, block binary large object charges is charged as below.
The school stands to benefit from cloud computing. Talking on availability of the network, for instance, cloud computing provides the best availability compared to contemporary computing systems. Since the cloud service provider has the infrastructural capability and technical expertise to maintain the systems on a 24 hour basis, downtime is not encountered. Service availability will be guaranteed as required and access to the school resources can be achieved at any time from any location hence collaborative learning can become a reality.
Lorna Uden, Francisco Herrera, Javier Bajo Pérez. 7th International Conference on Knowledge Management in Organizations: Service and Cloud Computing. Springer, 2012.