Oh MySQL: Amazon Launches Cloud Database Service

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In addition, Amazon Web Services said it plans to drop prices beginning Nov. 1 on all on-demand compute instances it offers through its Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) services.

The new Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) targets customers who require relational database storage capacity but want to reduce the amount of time they spend on database management chores, the company said. The service handles database administration tasks such as setup, provisioning, patch management and data backup. Amazon RDS is a fully featured MySQL database that works with tools and applications businesses use with their existing MySQL implementations, according to Amazon Web Services.

Customers can scale the database service's compute and storage capacities to match their needs, Amazon Web Services said. Customers control such database settings as the system's schema, indices and performance tuning.

Sun's MySQL database is emerging as a critical technology in Oracle's efforts to acquire Sun for $7.4 billion. The European Commission, the European Union's governing body, is investigating whether Oracle's acquisition of MySQL would violate EU antitrust rules. Last week several open-source software organizations said they oppose Oracle acquiring MySQL, but Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has publicly said his company has no intention of selling off MySQL.

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Amazon Web Services already offers the Amazon SimpleDB database service for customers who do not require a relational database. The new Amazon RDS is geared toward businesses that have new or existing applications or tools that require a relational database, and who want native access to a MySQL database without the accompanying infrastructure management and database administration expenses.

The new High-Memory Instances for Amazon EC2 services expands the selection of computing configurations for cloud computing customers, letting them choose CPU capacity, memory resources and networking based on their needs. High-Memory Instances are designed for applications that require fast throughput of large volumes of data.

On the price cuts, Amazon Web Services said it would lower prices on all Amazon EC2 On-Demand compute instances effective Nov. 1. Charges for Linux-based instances will drop 15 percent with a small Linux instance now priced at 8.5 cents per hour, down from 10 cents per hour, the company said.