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4/17/2008
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Amazon Launches Premium Support For EC2 Developers

The service covers an unlimited number of support cases and is available through a monthly subscription with no long-term contracts.

Amazon.com on Thursday launched a premium support program for developers using the online retailer's cloud-computing platform.

Customers of Amazon Web Services can signup to get questions answered or to receive technical assistance for operational issues during development, testing or integration of applications running on Amazon's infrastructure. The service covers an unlimited number of support cases and is available through a monthly subscription with no long-term contracts.

Amazon leases processing power and storage on its giant data center over the Web. The retailer's Elastic Computer Cloud is the development and deployment environment; storage is through its Simple Storage Service, or S3; and the Simple Queue Service, or SQS, covers storage, computing and query processing. The new support plans cover all of those services.

Amazon is offering two premium support plans, a Silver and Gold. The former offers response times ranging from four business hours for high severity issues to two business days for less serious problems. The cost is the greater of $100 a month or 10% of total monthly usage of the applicable Amazon services.

The Gold plan provides 24-hour phone support and response times of one hour for urgent issues. Pricing is the greater of $400 per month or 10% to 20% of total monthly usage of the applicable services.

In addition to the support plans, Amazon launched a Web-based dashboard that provides information on the operational status of each of its services. The dashboard uses green, yellow or red indicators to display the health of services with additional information "provided as relevant," Amazon said. Customers have access to this service at no charge either through the status page on the Web or via an RSS feed.

For developers who don't want to pay for support, Amazon offers online forums, technical FAQs and a resource center. Amazon has launched a site for customers who want to sign up for the premium service.

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