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Denis Gobo

Would You Put Your Database In The Cloud?

Amazon launched a database in the cloud.

Amazon SimpleDB is a web service for running queries on structured data in real time. This service works in close conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), collectively providing the ability to store, process and query data sets in the cloud. These services are designed to make web-scale computing easier and more cost-effective for developers.

Traditionally, this type of functionality has been accomplished with a clustered relational database that requires a sizable upfront investment, brings more complexity than is typically needed, and often requires a DBA to maintain and administer. In contrast, Amazon SimpleDB is easy to use and provides the core functionality of a database - real-time lookup and simple querying of structured data - without the operational complexity.  Amazon SimpleDB requires no schema, automatically indexes your data and provides a simple API for storage and access.  This eliminates the administrative burden of data modeling, index maintenance, and performance tuning. Developers gain access to this functionality within Amazon's proven computing environment, are able to scale instantly, and pay only for what they use.

Amazon Simple Storage Service is a pretty nice service they provide. But would you move your database to Amazon?


You can read more about Amazon SimpleDB here:

They also have a developer guide, getting started guide, FAQs and pricing. What do you think about this idea?

Published Friday, December 14, 2007 12:54 PM by Denis Gobo

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jerryhung said:

I don't see anybody jumping to Amazon anytime soon

it is rather an interesting idea.

December 14, 2007 1:46 PM

Adam Machanic said:

It's certainly an interesting idea; I wonder how the performance is?  I know for a fact that Amazon is not the only company working on this kind of technology.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing a LOT more of this in the coming years... Which begs the question, what is the future of the DBA?

December 14, 2007 2:07 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Robert Scoble wrote about it too

Is MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server dead?

December 14, 2007 3:09 PM

Linchi Shea said:

We surely will see a lot of this sooner than you may think. This will push into the enterprise space internally as well, adn that will have a huge impact on the traditional DBA function. For now, if performance is a concerned, this will not cut it. But then you have numerous applications that would be okay with the performance of having their databases in the cloud.

Persoanlly, I think the computer centric paradigm is finally coming to an end, and the network centric paradigm is truly coming near.

December 14, 2007 6:42 PM

david wei said:

Adam: Amazon will hire more DBAs :-)

December 14, 2007 7:25 PM

Denis Gobo said:

Here is a link with some more details about how SimpleDB is built; they have used Erlang

December 16, 2007 7:54 AM

Denis Gobo said:

Of course one DDOS attack against SimpleDB, S3 etc by a hacker group and those companies whose content is hosted there have no content left And then what? The big empty?

December 16, 2007 8:37 PM

Adam Machanic said:

Same could be said for an attack against any company that hosts its own data.  A consumer of such a cloud-based system has to either assume or be assured that the host is following necessary DR/HA best practices.  We can also fairly safely assume that Amazon is a huge target for these kinds of attacks and probably has learned to deal with them pretty well at this point--so in that respect I think it's pretty safe...

December 16, 2007 10:55 PM

Joe E O said:

This is the future....not so much a database cloud - but virtual machines running in a cloud.

The idea of the vast majority of companies owning computing resources (machines and software) is outdated. It harkens back to the industrial revolution when companies produced the power, designed the machines, manufactured the machines, and used the machines to make the product.

I grew up in a classic New England mill town and this most certainly was the case.

Eventually third parties started to produce power, structure business process analysis, and supply chain analysis and the desire for greater profits found the efficiency of specialization.

In the information age we are processing data making it into information.

The tools (computers and software) that have allowed the unprecedented increases in the productivity of individuals in our economy - will be brought to bear on the SDLC and computer operations.

I think that computing as a commodity - will be the model. Companies will be purchasing CPU cycles, IO bandwidth and network bandwidth.

The machines and database we administer will be no longer be physical, but virtual.

We see it happening now

1) Database software companies offering preconfigured images (aka an appliance) that will run in a virtual machine.

Oracle is already doing it:

Here's where you can get some other database related images (Sql Server is in this list)

2) Now you need companies to build gigantic computing data centers (aka grids) that will host the virtual machines. I think we have all seen the news story of Google, Microsoft and Amazon building gigantic data centers. Amazon is already offering virtual machines running in their cloud

All that is needed is a company or industry to gain a competitive advantage through its use of virtualization and you will see this model become the norm


Joe E O

December 20, 2007 11:37 AM

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About Denis Gobo

I was born in Croatia in 1970, when I was one I moved to Amsterdam (and yes Ajax is THE team in Holland) and finally in 1993 I came to the US. I have lived in New York City for a bunch of years and currently live in Princeton, New Jersey with my wife and 3 kids. I work for Dow Jones as a Database architect in the indexes department, one drawback: since our data goes back all the way to May 1896 I cannot use smalldates ;-( I have been working with SQL server since version 6.5 and compared to all the other bloggers here I am a n00b. Some of you might know me from or even from some of the newsgroups where I go by the name Denis the SQL Menace If you are a Tek-Tips user then you might know me by the name SQLDenis, I am one of the guys answering SQL Questions in the SQL Programming forum.

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