Amazon Offers MySQL in the Cloud

Amazon Web Services has added a service to host MySQL databases in the cloud. Here's a roundup of notable analysis and commentary on Amazon RDS and its competitive impact on the cloud ecosystem.

Rich Miller

October 27, 2009

3 Min Read
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added a relational database service (Amazon RDS) to host MySQL databases in the cloud. The company also said it will lower prices on its Amazon EC2 compute service by as much as 15 percent, and introduced new high-memory instances to offer additional scalability for large user apps.

Amazon says the new service provides a fully featured MySQL 5.1 database, so any code, applications, and tools that developers use today with their existing MySQL databases will work with Amazon RDS. The service will automatically handle administration, patch management, and backups.

"Many (AWS) customers have told us that their applications require a relational database," said Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services. "That’s why we built Amazon RDS, which combines a familiar relational database with automated management and the instant scalability of the AWS cloud."

Here's a roundup of notable resources, analysis and commentary on Amazon RDS and its competitive impact on the cloud ecosystem: 

  • Amazon CTO Werner Vogels discusses Amazon RDS in a post at All Things Distributed. "The service takes much of the hassle out of setting up and managing relational databases, such as backups and code patching, freeing up its users to focus on their applications and business," Werner writes.

  • AWS evangelist Jeff Barr provides examples of how to get started with Amazon RDS, saying it "enables a lot of really enticing development and test scenarios. You can set up a separate database instance for each developer on a project without making a big investment in hardware. Once you've deployed RDS for production use, you can easily scale up to larger instance sizes, add additional storage space and make backups with ease. You can easily snapshot a production database and then bring it back to the lab to dig in to a problem."

  • At TechCrunch, Nik Cubrilovic writes that Amazon RDS "makes the task of creating and starting new DB instances easier, but does not mean that your resource allocation will automatically grow and scale with resource requirements. There are existing third-party services, such as Fathom, that are built on AWS and use EC2 to create and manage DB instances."

  • Krishnan at Cloud Ave says the announcement of RDS preempts Microsoft's rollout of a hosted SQL service for its Azure developer cloud. But he also predicted that Amazon RDS will "crush the Y-Combinator startup FathomDB that offers database as a service that is run on top of Amazon EC2. ... Probably, this announcement should also serve as a warning bell for the companies that build their entire business on Amazon ecosystem. They are just one announcement away from complete destruction."

  • Cloud management specialist Rightscale addresses how the new offering relates to its services. "If you run three XL RDS instances the extra cost is already more than a RightScale subscription," it notes, adding that its "interesting to see how the per-hour price surcharge compares with a more flat-fee subscription to a broad management service. But our core conviction is that we want to offer our customers the broadest choice possible and we’ll support RDS instances in the RightScale dashboard."

  • Mark Bao writes that Amazon RDS "could be very disruptive" but raises questions on performance. "RDS opens an important question while on the topic of database speed optimization: it scales up well, great: but how is the performance between webservers and the new RDS storage location?," Bao writes. "It’s an open question and we’ll see how it plays out when people mess around with it."

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