Amazon Introduces S3 Versioning

Today, Amazon Web Services introduced beta access to a versioning system across all S3 regions in their cloud. This means that you can now save additional copies of an object within S3, while retaining older copies behind the scenes. You can read the developer documentation about this new functionality in amongst the other Amazon Simple Storage Service docs.

I’ll be interested to see how long it takes for someone to build a Time Machine-style backup service using this new core functionality; retaining all revisions of all files stored within that volume. People are going to have to be a little careful about how much they store with this new model, because I imagine it will be very easy to start adding up a lot of space when storing duplicates of objects over time. It seems as if AWS stores full copies of objects (not partial differences between versions), so storage space should be easier to calculate/account for at least.

Versioning is enabled on a per-bucket basis, and you may also optionally require multi-factor authentication with a hardware device to delete versioned objects. The new functionality introduces a versionid concept for each object within a versioning-enabled bucket which keeps track of specific versions of an object, while a normal GET request will get the most recent version available.

It’s great to see Amazon continue innovating and listening to their customers. They are definitely not the only players in the cloud storage/computing game, but they seem to be doing a pretty good job at staying ahead of the curve.

KRead: a simple feed reader for the Kindle 2

It’s Saturday, and I just got a Kindle 2 this week. I’ve been thinking it’d be neat to be able to read feeds on the Kindle (since it has a built in Web Browser and internet connection), so I whipped up KRead. It’s a super-simple, mostly-text-only feed reader for the Kindle which just requires you to enter the URL of a single feed (or a website, it supports auto-discovery) and it’ll give you the content of the feed in a simply-formatted list so that you can read through it.

Check out the KRead project page for some more details or jump over to and try it out.

Idea: Amazon Music Exploration Application

Music is important to me. Not because I have any musical talent (at all), or because I work in the music industry (or ever have) or even have friends who are musicians (although I do have a couple). Music is important to me because I listen to it almost every waking hour, and need it to concentrate while I’m working.

According to iTunes, I have just under 6,000 “items” in my music library. That’s 16.5 days of music, playing 24/7. I like to find new music, and have pretty eclectic musical tastes (literally everything from The Corrs to korn appears in my library). I’d like a tool that helps me do a few things: (more…)

Amazon’s Start-Up Event Tour 2008: San Francisco

Amazon held another event focused on educating start-ups and existing tech companies about their web services offerings and how to integrate them into they current (or new) businesses. I attended a similar event previously at Mezzanine in SF, but this time around we’re in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (near Union Square).

So far I would estimate around 90 – 95% males, and perhaps even a higher than SF-usual ratio of about 90% Mac laptops in use. (more…)

Redundancy, Performance and Geo-Optimization with S3 and CDNs

Disclaimer: This is a theory, I haven’t tried this out (anyone at EdgeCast want to confirm/give me a free account to try it out? 🙂 )

I was looking at ways to store large volumes of user-uploaded resources (images) in a web environment tonight and had a bit of an epiphany. I had defaulted to Amazon’s S3 web service as the storage platform, since I’ve worked with it before and love the idea of an “unlimited”, fully-redundant storage device. The main problem with S3 however, is that it’s got less than stellar performance as far as latency and geographically-optimized delivery. That, and the bandwidth is relatively expensive.

So — what happens if you combine S3 with a Content Delivery Network of some sort? (more…)