Amazon Web Services launches NoSQL effort: Here comes some disruption

Amazon's DynamoDB is a big data enabler that will give enterprises an avenue to try non-traditional databases.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Amazon Web Services has launched DynamoDB, a NoSQL database that the e-commerce giant uses to crunch its big data, in a move that's likely to entice enterprises to try out alternatives to relational databases.

According to Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, the company has been refining its DynamoDB for the last 15 years. Amazon used AWS's NoSQL as a service effort during the recent peak holiday season. In other words, the service is battle tested.

"The DynamoDB is designed for seamless scalability with no database administration," said Vogels in an interview.

The specifics of the Amazon DynamoDB service break down like this:

  • Amazon manages the NoSQL database and scales it up and down without downtime or performance degradation.
  • Admin responsibilities are handled by Amazon.
  • Hardware provisioning, replication, setup, patching and scaling are also handled by Amazon.
  • The service automatically partitions and re-partitions data based on applications.
  • Pricing starts with a free tier with 100MB of storage, five writes and 10 reads per second (40 million requests per month). Further pricing is based on the number of requests and provision and 10,000 reads per second will run you $1 an hour. Other pricing depends on how much data is used per month.
  • The service integrates Amazon Elastic MapReduce, which allows for the analysis for large datasets on a Hadoop framework. The service is also integrated with Amazon's S3 storage service.
  • Amazon's Cloud Drive, advertising platform and Kindle are powered by the NoSQL service.

How's this disruptive? Amazon's DynamoDB effort is going to allow many companies to take big data for a spin. One key hurdle for companies interested in NoSQL databases was the administration and hardware requirements. With Amazon's NoSQL service it's more likely that enterprises will try out big data. As a result, relational databases could take a hit.

Also: Big data and the disruption curve

Oracle and others have seen the threat from NoSQL efforts and have been working to become big data players. Vogels noted that many customers have been asking for a NoSQL service. Elsevier, Amazon and SmugMug are customers of the DynamoDB.

"Quite a few customers have been asking for NoSQL because there are no admin requirements," said Vogels. There is interest across the board. We expect a significant pickup in the enterprise."

Bottom line: Amazon's DynamoDB is a big data enabler that will give enterprises an avenue to try non-traditional databases.


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