Amazon's MySQL database challenger Aurora exits preview

AWS sys its Aurora database engine provides up to five times better performance than the typical MySQL database.

Following three years of development and nine months of testing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Tuesday announced that its Aurora database engine is now generally available to customers.

AWS first debuted Aurora during its re:Invent conference in November 2014, positioning the database as a lower cost, higher performance alternative to the widely used open source MySQL database and other similar commercial offerings.

Aurora is managed through the Amazon Relational Database Service (DRS) -- where AWS also offers a hosted version of MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL -- but going forward the company will nudge new users toward Aurora instead.

AWS says existing users of the RDS MySQL instance can convert to Aurora via a tool in the AWS Management Console. AWS partners MariaDB, Tableau, Toad, Webyog, Navicat, and Talend, have certified their products with Amazon Aurora, the company said.

By making Aurora available as part of its own product portfolio, Amazon is keeping with its tradition of developing in-house products and marketing them as alternatives to tools already commercially available on AWS.

Pricing is also in line with Amazon's previous strategy with AWS. Aurora is a pay-as-you-go, proprietary service with an open source price point starting at 29 cents per hour. All of that feeds the AWS cost reduction mantra while also funneling more revenue into the $6 billion cloud infrastructure juggernaut.

If Aurora can successfully commoditize databases, the benefits also could be big for enterprise buyers, but the key will be whether AWS can make a database move seamlessly for customers.

Aurora is now available in the US East, US West, and EU regions, expanding to the more regions in the next few months.

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