The size of Amazon’s cloud storage business is reflected today in new statistics released by the company which show that the number of objects stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) has nearly doubled during 2011 so far.

At the end of Q4 2010, Amazon says that it held 262 billion objects on S3. As of the end of Q3 2011, that figure stands at 566 billion, according to information sent to us by the company today. That figure is 117 billion up on last quarter, and as Amazon puts it, means it stores the equivalent of around 82 objects for every person on the planet.

Amazon has hundreds of thousands of S3 customers in 190 countries and its cloud services products are particularly popular with Web and app developers who can store data and run processes on Amazon’s servers quickly and easily, rather than having to hire and configure space on specific servers themselves. However, the reliability of this practice was called into question earlier this year when an outage of Amazon’s EC2 cloud service affected services such as Foursquare, Quora and Hootsuite for up to 48 hours.

Still, with S3 storage figures growing quickly, Amazon’s cloud services business is far from a pet side project alongside its more widely known retail operation.

Screen Shot 2011 10 05 at 09.28.38 520x389 Objects stored on Amazon S3 have almost doubled this year