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1/25/2011
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Amazon Cloud Gets Bulk Email Service

Simple Email Service offers AWS customers a low-cost, hosted option to on-premises or third-party email systems.

Amazon Web Services has introduced a hosted bulk email service as the latest addition to its cloud offerings.

Simple Email Service (SES) is a logical extension to AWS' application hosting service Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and its Simple Storage Service (S3). AWS, which is owned by online retailer Amazon.com, is calling SES a "highly scalable and cost-effective bulk and transactional email sending service" for businesses and developers.

Companies running Web applications through AWS can tap SES using its published API. The new service is an alternative to sending marketing and transactional messages through a homegrown on-premises email system or licensing and installing one from a third party.

Using a hosted service like SES eliminates the need for configuring networks and managing email servers, the company said. SES also reduces cost by not requiring a long-term commitment.

The service is available at no charge for customers that send no more than 2,000 emails a day from EC2 or AWS' recently announced Elastic Beanstalk, a free service to help developers deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud. While SES is free, data transfer fees may apply if customers exceed their AWS free monthly bandwidth allowance. SES customers that need to send higher volumes of emails have the option of paying 10 cents per thousand messages.

SES uses content filtering technologies to ensure that sent emails meet Internet service providers' standards. Messages are either queued for sending or routed back to the sender for corrective action. SES also provides a built-in feedback loop that includes notifications of bounce-backs, failed, and successful delivery attempts and spam complaints.

SES customers include Neustar, a network management service provider, and EyeJot, a video mail platform for consumers and businesses. Neustar uses SES for its self-service email signup process. EyeJot plans to use it for sending all transactional email.

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