Amazon launches relational database service: Think MySQL in the cloud

Amazon on Tuesday launched a public beta of a service dubbed the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The main appeal: Allow customers to operate and scale database clusters while leaving pesky tasks like patching and administration to Amazon Web Services.

Amazon on Tuesday launched a public beta of a service dubbed the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The main appeal: Allow customers to operate and scale database clusters while leaving pesky tasks like patching and administration to Amazon Web Services.

Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS), said the goal was to make it easy to scale MySQL clusters. He noted that "MySQL code and developer tools today will work with RDS."

The RDS will round out Amazon's SimpleDB service and other plans where you bring your own database to the company's cloud (AWS blog, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels). What remains to be seen is the level of data that gets pumped into Amazon's RDS. Selipsky said the service is "suited for anything you'd put into a MySQL database" and that Amazon has "taken great pains to make sure it is highly secure."

Selipsky said that RDS came about because Amazon's SimpleDB is optimized for index and query functions not relational functions. Most enterprises mix and match these database types.  Adobe is one of the customers taking RDS for a spin. Nevertheless, enterprise customers are likely to take their time moving sensitive data into Amazon's RDS effort. "We're highly confident that RDS can hold a wide range of data sensitive or otherwise," said Selipsky.

To ride shotgun with the RDS rollout, Amazon also unveiled a new family of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) services. The latest family is for high CPU and memory usage. Things like running demanding databases, rendering and caching will operate better with a high-memory EC2 service. Selipsky noted that EC2 has three EC2 families in multiple sizes.

And finally, Amazon is dropping prices across all of its EC2 instances. For instance, the smallest Linux-based EC2 instance runs 10 cents an hour, but will now go for 8.5 cents. In general, the price cut is 15 percent across Linux instances. Microsoft is also dropping the price of Windows EC2 instances.

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