12/17/2007

Amazon SimpleDB: a database server for the internet

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 3:39 pm

Amazon has announced SimpleDB, the latest addition to what is becoming an extensive suite of web services aimed at developers. It is now in beta.

Why bother with SimpleDB, when seemingly every web server on the planet already has access to a free instance of MySQL?

Perhaps the main reason is scalability. If demand spikes, Amazon handles the load. Second, SimpleDB is universally accessible, whereas your MySQL may well be configured for local access on the web server only. If you want an online database to use from a desktop application, this could be suitable. It should work well with Adobe AIR once someone figures out an ActionScript library. That said, MySQL and the like work fine for most web applications, my blog being one example. SimpleDB meets different needs.

This is utility computing, and prices look relatively modest to me, though you pay for three separate things:

Machine utilization - $0.14 per Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hour consumed.

Data transfer - $0.10 per GB - all data transfer in. From $0.18 per GB - data transfer out.

Structured data storage - $1.50 per GB-month.

In other words, a processing time fee, a data transfer fee, and a data storage fee. That’s reasonable, since each of these incurs a cost. The great thing about Amazon’s services is that there are no minimum costs or standing fees.

 

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