Amazon Web Services Improves Support Offerings

Amazon Web Services on Thursday rolled out two premium support tiers and announced a 50 percent price cut on existing premium plans, heightening competition with rivals like Rackspace and making a clear overture to enterprises that wish to run their operations in the cloud.

Amazon Web Services on Thursday rolled out two premium support tiers and announced a 50 percent price cut on existing premium plans, heightening competition with rivals like Rackspace and making a clear overture to enterprises that wish to run their operations in the cloud.

A new Bronze support tier is aimed at software developers, a core constituency of AWS over the past several years. It provides business-day support with 12 hour to one-business day response times, and costs US$49 per month.

Meanwhile, a new Platinum option targets large enterprises, offering 15-minute response times on critical matters. This level also comes with an account manager "who will have broad AWS expertise, become knowledgeable about a customer's use case and needs, assist customers throughout all phases of their AWS usage, and serve as a primary point of contact for AWS," the company said in a statement. Platinum support will cost the greater of $15,000 per month or 10 percent of a customer's monthly AWS usage fees.

Silver support, which provides business-day tech support and four-hour response times for "higher severity" issues, now costs the higher of $100 per month or 5 percent of monthly AWS charges.

A Gold plan adds in 24-7 phone support and one-hour response times on pressing matters, and is now priced at the greater of $400 per month or 5 percent to 10 percent of monthly fees, with that percentage dropping depending on the usage volume.

Amazon is preserving its Basic support tier, which offers access to a resource center, FAQs, forums and a "service health dashboard" at no charge.

The new support lineup comes as enterprise software vendors such as Oracle have begun to fully support and certify some applications running on Amazon. The Platinum offering in particular seems aimed at such customers, who may be interested in the cloud deployment model to save costs and gain flexibility, but want the assurance of high-end support on the underlying infrastructure.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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