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New in Amazon's Cloud: MySQL Hosted Service

10.27.2009
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Today Amazon Web Services introduced Amazon Relational Database Services (RDS), a new hosted relational database service currently in beta.  The new service allows you to create a DB instance of MySQL 5.1 in Amazon's cloud.  With a single API call, the service lets you scale the processing power and storage space as needed.

The AWS suite already includes SimpleDB, a basic database option, but Amazon RDS uses the more standard interface of MySQL.  Amazon RDS enables a variety of development and test scenarios, says Jeff Barr, in the AWS blog. "You can set up a separate database instance for each developer on a project without making a big investment in hardware," Barr says.

The offering has prices for five server instance classes:
  • db.m1.small (1.7 GB of RAM, $0.11 per hour)
  • db.m1.large (7.5 GB of RAM, $0.44 per hour)
  • db.m1.xlarge (15 GB of RAM, $0.88 per hour)
  • db.m2.2xlarge (34 GB of RAM, $1.55 per hour)
  • db.m2.4xlarge (68 GB of RAM, $3.10 per hour)

Barr also explains some of the other costs in the blog:
"You'll also pay 10 cents per GB per month for your provisioned storage and 10 cents for every million I/O requests. You get backup space to store 100% of your provisioned storage at no additional charge, with additional space priced at 15 cents per GB per month. The usual AWS charges for data transferred in and out of the cloud also apply."  Databases using this service will have to be efficient, otherwise the cost per CPU hour could get expensive.  

This announcement comes just before the November release of Windows Azure, a windows-based cloud competitor.  Amazon is ratcheting up its game to stay on top of competitors like Azure and the Google App Engine.  There are even third-party services built on AWS, Fathom is one example, that can also run a MySQL database on EC2, meaning the new Amazon RDS beta has some competition too.

Amazon RDS has several enhancements planned for the coming months.  There will be reserved DB instances so that users only have to pay a low one-time fee with discounts on CPU hourly charges.  A high availability offering will also be available.
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