The Blog

What Would AWS Prime Look Like?

Calendar Icon 09.04.2019
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Amazon.com launched in 1994, and Amazon Prime came online in 2005. Today, upwards of 101 million U.S. customers are Amazon Prime subscribers. All of these people pay $119 a year to take advantage of things like free two-day shipping, whatever the hell their Netflix clone is called, and all sorts of other bells and whistles you’ve probably never used.

AWS launched in 2006, just one year after Amazon Prime. Unless I’ve been living under a rock—or in the cloud, which I suppose is more apropos—AWS Prime has not yet come online.

According to some quick back-of-the-napkin math, it appears we’re about two years overdue for an AWS Prime offering. Naturally, that got me thinking: what could be included, if Amazon were to do it?

If 100 million consumers are willing to pay $119 a year for the privilege of being able to get a pair of socks delivered to their doorstep within 48 hours, I’d bet that any organization with any sort of sizeable AWS presence would pay $119/month for these 10 benefits of AWS Prime.

1. Enterprise support

Yes, AWS Enterprise Support is a thing. It has a website, and there’s even some pricing data on it. I’ve shared my thoughts on it before.

Stroll on over to the AWS forums, though, and you find some gems. People complain about a lack of responsiveness and how support engineers are “terrible.” Not my words, that’s why they’re in quotes.

These aren’t my words either: “The support is flat out terrible, as bad as it gets. Even though my organization spends thousands every month on AWS, I would never consider paying for AWS support.”

AWS Prime members would get access to an exclusive AWS Prime Enterprise Support service that couldn’t possibly warrant any such criticism.

2. Free cross-AZ data transfer

Google returns 598,000 results for “aws cross az data transfer.” So, for some reason, it seems that people are interested in this topic. Maybe it’s because of that pesky per-GB charge we pay when data crosses AZ boundaries.

AWS Prime members will never Google such things because cross-AZ data transfer is free for them. It’s a win for customers and a loss for Google’s ad revenue.

3. A free tier that’s actually free

We’ve all heard the horror stories. You think you’re in the free tier. But you actually wind up in this awful place where you’re staring at a $300 bill—if you’re lucky.

When AWS Prime subscribers use something that’s advertised as being in the free tier, they don’t get billed for those services in some roundabout way.

4. Prioritized queuing service

The Amazon Simple Queue Service offers FIFO Queues, or “first in, first out.”

As an AWS Prime subscriber, you get access to a brand-new queue type, WIYF Queues, or “whenever in, you first.” You jump to the front of the line because you’re an AWS Prime member—not some kind of medieval peasant.

5. Free pass to Certification Lounge at AWS Events

This one’s a no-brainer.

Amazon Prime members get free shipping, so AWS Prime members get free access to Certification Lounges at AWS events—even if they’re not certified.

6. Hold music while CloudFront Distributions update

Whether you need to wait 20 or 45 or 600 minutes while your CloudFront distribution updates, who wants to wait in silence?

AWS Prime members also get to listen to hold music for free while their instances spin up. Amazon Prime members don’t have to pay for access to 2 million songs, so it’s only fair.

For a small additional fee, you can turn this carefully selected music off.

7. Discounts on instances

If an Amazon Prime customer doesn’t have to pay to ship a 6,700-pound lathe spindle bore, AWS Prime members should get pretty serious discounts on instances. Let’s be serious here.

Picture Reserved Instance pricing, but without the commitment. With over 190 instance types in us-east-1 alone, why on earth would you want to pay more for what’s almost certainly the wrong instance type in the first place?

With AWS Prime, you’re no longer locked in to your previous poor decision.

8. A status page that works

Remember going to the AWS status page and thinking that it relayed accurate information? Me neither. I’ve struck some of the cruft out with https://stop.lying.cloud, but that’s a half-measure.

To be fair, the AWS status page is great for relaying information that becomes accurate. It just might take a wee bit of time.

Fear not: As an AWS Prime subscriber, you’ll get access to a super-secret, legitimately real-time status page.

9. A bill you can understand

Why is my $12.04 AWS bill 17 pages long and exactly which 0.000002 GB of data transfer happened in Paris?

I’m not sure anyone can explain that.

AWS Prime subscribers won’t have to deal with such petty things. Sufficiently complicated bills get escalated to me. For a small additional surcharge, I’ll even withhold from being snarky while resolving your complaint.

10. The ability to view your AWS bill on your complimentary Kindle

Because why the hell not?

All of this: wishful thinking, I know. But maybe if enough of us complain about it…

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