DBMS in the Cloud: Amazon SimpleDB

Continuing to steadily and patiently execute on their Amazon Web Services vision, Amazon recently announced SimpleDB, a web service for running queries in real time against structured data.

It’s the first instance of which I’m aware of someone offering DBMS-level services in the cloud. Arguably, GoogleBase is a competitor, but I’ve always viewed that as more aimed at eBay and Craigslist and less about cloud computing.

While most SaaS-type applications are indeed applications (e.g., NetSuite, Salesforce), Amazon has been coming at cloud computing from an infrastructure-up, rather than an application-down, perspective. Previously Amazon launched lower-level services including EC2 (elastic compute cloud) and S3 (simple storage service) in the same “pay as you go to use our infrastructure” manner.

I’m told Amazon got into cloud computing because, due to the spikey nature of retail, they have built a massive infrastructure to handle demand peaks (e.g., Christmas) that goes largely unused most of the time. AWS is their attempt to monetize it.

For more on SimpleDB, see this post on the ProgrammableWeb blog, or check out the developer’s guide here.

Finally, here’s the pricing for SimpleDB:

Machine Utilization – $0.14 per Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hour consumed (normalized to the hourly capacity of a circa 2007 1.7 GHz Xeon processor).

Data Transfer

    $0.10 per GB – all data transfer in
    $0.18 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
    $0.16 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
    $0.13 per GB – data transfer out / month over 50 TB

Structured Data Storage – $1.50 per GB-month

2 responses to “DBMS in the Cloud: Amazon SimpleDB

  1. One might think of QuickBase as a database in the cloud. It’s fully relational, reasonably scalable and has an API, but is focused on building applications rather than raw DB service. http://www.quickbase.com

  2. Database as a service (DbaaS) offering is hosted by Amazon SimpleDB and also the high availability and flexibility are offered by the design along with Amazon SimpleDB as it reduces the database administration burden.

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