It would appear that Amazon Web Services is not so willing to give up its share of the hosting market. After earlier announcements this month by Oracle and Microsoft regarding improvements and upgrades to their cloud platforms, Amazon has announced some changes to its own support plans!
"Amazon has been passionate about customer service since we started the company 17 years ago,” said Brent Jaye, General Manager of AWS Support. “Putting customers first is part of our DNA.”
So now Amazon will offer expanded free support for all AWS customers, reduced pricing on premium support plans and multiple new features to help customers better interact with and improve their use of AWS. These upgrades will including chat functionality and proactive alerts when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps.
The New Plan(s)
Basic AWS plan
Will include “Basic” support for free. Added features in this tier include immediate, around-the-clock access to customer service by email or phone for billing and account issues, and technical support for system health issues. Customers continue to have access to technical FAQs, best practices guides, the AWS Service Health Dashboard, and the AWS Developer Forums, which are monitored and responded to by AWS support engineers.
(editors note: If you get immediate around-the-clock access to customer service in the basic plan.. why would anyone opt for Developer plan with its 12 hour response time?)
Developer ($49/month and 1:1 customer support):
Previously called the Bronze tier, the Developer tier includes all components of the Basic tier, plus the following: 12-hour response time to support cases submitted, 1:1 customer support for any AWS-related question, and access to AWS Technical Support Engineers via email through the AWS online support center during local business hours to help configure, operate, and maintain core AWS services and features.
Previously called the Gold tier, the Business tier includes all components of the Basic and Developer tiers, plus the following: one-hour response time to support cases submitted and support engineers available 24/7 via phone, chat or email. In addition to chat capabilities, new features include access to AWS Trusted Advisor, a program that monitors AWS infrastructure services, identifies customers’ usage patterns, and notifies customers when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps. Customers also receive support for the most common third-party software running on AWS. The Business tier minimum pricing has been reduced from $400 to $100 per month and a 3% usage-based pricing tier has been added to the existing pricing tiers of 10%, 7%, and 5%.
(editors note: that sounds like the marketing spin from some phone companies I’ve used in the past!)
The press release goes on with some marketing hype from big name companies like Earth Networks, NetFlix, and the SuperBowl’s Shazam App.. It appears none of these guys use the plans listed above but have opted instead to use the Enterprise Plan (New pricing based on usage vs. flat fee), previously called the Platinum tier. (fifteen minute response times.. similar to what many of the better web hosts reviewed on HostJury have always offered!)
So while a few followers of HostJury may have a need for the Enterprise/Platinum tier, it is more likely that a larger segment will just need to settle for aspirations, and slightly longer support responses!