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These five web services—S3, EC2, SQS, FPS, and SimpleDB—share the same fundamental characteristics. They are pay-as-you-go, meaning you pay predictable fees based on how much or how little you use the service. There are no initial costs to join, no long-term subscription payments, and the usage fees are attractively low. The services are highly scalable, performing equally well in modest or massively demanding usage scenarios. This means that the applications built on them can be similarly scalable and are able to grow rapidly at short notice without hitting limits imposed by insufficient infrastructure. One significant feature is that all the services are designed to b...

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