Amazon Brings Relational DB to the Cloud
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Amazon Web Services unveiled the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) today, a Web-based service that helps customers set up, operate and augment relational databases in the cloud.
As corporate customers are increasingly turning to cloud-based applications for storage, security and a variety of business applications, this aggregated content requires a degree of database sophistication that's typically only found with on-premise offerings from the likes of Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) or IBM (NYSE: IBM).
Amazon Web Services officials said the new RDS service provides "cost-efficient and resizable capacity" while automating time-consuming database administration tasks and -- especially in these tight budgetary times -- lets companies pay as they go for the service rather than paying upfront to get started.
"For almost two years, many AWS customers have taken advantage of the simplicity, reliability, and seamless scalability that Amazon SimpleDB provides; however, many customers have told us that their applications require a relational database," Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services, said in a statement.
"Thats why we built Amazon RDS, which combines a familiar relational database with automated management and the instant scalability of the AWS cloud," he added.
Company officials said Amazon RDS serves up a fully featured MySQL database, ensuring that all the code, applications and tools that developers are using with their ubiquitous MySQL databases will easily integrate with the cloud-based relational database.
The competitive challenge
The RDS offering better positions AWS to better compete with the likes of Google App Engine, Oracle -- particularly once its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems and its MySQL products is completed -- and Microsoft's Azure suite set for release in November.
The on-demand RDS automatically handles all database administration tasks including provisioning, patch management and backup -- storing the retained data for however long the user determines. With a single API call, database managers can expand their compute and storage resources through the core RDS remotely.
"We started using Amazon RDS to store metadata for each and every publisher, advertiser and creative we serve through the system," said Michael Lugassy, CEO of Kehalim, an advertising optimization and monetization platform. "[The] results were amazing and freed us from the need to run our own MySQL instances. Amazon RDS allows us to focus on frontend features, rather than backend database complexity."
Separately, Amazon Web Services announced it will lower the prices on all Amazon EC2 On-Demand compute services as of Nov. 1. Charges for Linux-based instances will drop 15 percent, with a small Linux instance costing just $0.085 per hour rather than $0.10 an hour.