I have been away for a week due to some server issues. Now that those are resolved I am back with the post on latest announcement from Amazon. As you know Amazon has been pushing the web-services agenda for quite some time now. By enabling S3 and EC2 among other services they have had significant success in this space. On Friday they added a powerful weapon in their armory.
SimpleDB, the latest entrant into the AWS portfolio is a web-services database for structured storage. Typical databases use SQL type query language to add, modify and delete data in a structured fashion. SimpleDB simplifies this by enabling a web-services interface on top of such a “cloud-based” database.
Setting up a database could be a costly operation for many early stage start-ups. There are free solutions out there such as MySQL, in addition to the expensive ones like Oracle or IBM. However one needs an experienced DBA to manage the database to ensure optimal performance and scalability. In addition the actual infrastructure required to deliver the best experience becomes a very costly proposition. For most services, the database is a critical element of their infrastructure and hence most expensive (after labor of course).
SimpleDB dumbs down all that by moving that part of the infrastructure to the cloud. This allows start-ups and anyone else using this service to focus on the application and not worry about infrastructure and optimization issues. They can avoid software, DBA and infrastructure costs by writing applications, which use the web-services API supported by SimpleDB. In turn they have to pay for the service in a “Pay Per Use” model.
Along with the storage service and elastic computing, the database service completes the triumvirate of key web services. This portfolio is very valuable for any new start-up who want to defer any and all infrastructure headaches. They can start moving towards a “server-less” environment, where they focus all their energies on the application at the core of their business.
Bob Warfield and GigaOm also have good analysis on the subject. I do expect lot of positive feedback from the industry. Frankly I would like to see someone perform a cost comparison for a real service and publish their percentage savings.
In conclusion, I believe this is a great move from Amazon and I would like them keep adding new services to this portfolio. Preferably the ones from my list.