|Matthew Dublin is a senior writer at Genome Technology.|
The first trillion objects are always the hardest.
Amazon Web Services has announced that their S3 cloud computing storage service is now storing one trillion objects (1,000,000,000,000 or 1012) — that's 142 objects for every person on the the planet or 3.3 objects for every star in our Galaxy.
Basically, it would take you 31,710 years to count them all, says Amazon's blog, so just to reiterate, the idea is: Their cloud stores a lot of data.
Amazon attributes this growth to customers' use of the S3 object expiration feature, which allows users to specify an expiration date on their data. So far, S3 users have used this feature to delete over 125 billion objects since its release last year.
The two things about this announcement that are notable: Amazon's cloud as a storage solution is here to stay; the days of the cloud as an IT novelty or fad to be viewed with suspicion are clearly over.
The other noteworthy take away is that the object expiration feature.
This new feature might come in handy for small labs or individual investigators if they have an informatics pipeline that connects a sequencing platform directly to the cloud, a model currently being pursued by Illumina in the form of their BaseSpace cloud service.