Amazon puts SQL in the cloud

The company has made MySQL available on demand, going head-to-head with Microsoft's Azure
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

Amazon announced on Tuesday the Amazon Relational Database Service, a full MySQL 5.1 database available on demand in a number of configurations on its EC2 cloud system.

Claiming full compatibility with existing code, applications and tools for local MySQL installations, the company said the service automatically handles setup, provisioning, patch management and backups. Scaling is handled through a single API call.

The beta of the service is available now in the US, with European release due in a few months, according to the company. At the time of writing, no information was available about any restrictions or service-level implications due to the beta status of the service.

"For almost two years, many AWS [Amazon Web Services] 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.

"That's why we built Amazon RDS [Relational Database Service], which combines a familiar relational database with automated management and the instant scalability of the AWS cloud," Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services, said in a statement.

Amazon RDS is priced along the same lines as the Amazon EC2 cloud services, with separate charges for database instances, persistent storage up to 1TB, I/O requests, backup storage and data-transfer costs. The smallest instance costs 11 cents (7p) per hour, with 10 cents per GB per month storage and 10 cents per million I/O requests.

Microsoft's comparable cloud relational database, Microsoft SQL Azure, has been available for testing online since the summer, and is scheduled for launch at the company's Professional Developers Conference on 17-19 November.

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