Amazon DynamoDB: NoSQL Cloud Databases for the Masses
Earlier this week, Amazon Web Services launched yet another cloud service business with the availability of Amazon DynamoDB, a managed NoSQL database designed for large-scale web applications. Intriguingly, this non-relational database service is a public cloud adaptation of technology that the e-retail giant built for itself to power the big data-crunching for Amazon.com.
Nuts and bolts time: Amazon DynamoDB is managed, as mentioned above, which means that AWS handles “hardware provisioning, setup and configuration, replication, software patching [and] cluster scaling.” DynamoDB itself enables developers to create and store database tables of any size, and the platform automatically handles traffic distribution across servers at any demand level.
Oh, and the free Amazon Web Services usage tier includes 100MB of free storage with five writes per second and 10 reads per second of ongoing throughput capacity, according to the DynamoDB product page. After that, it’s $0.01 per hour for every 10 units of Write Capacity and $0.01 per hour for every 50 units of Read Capacity. Indexed data storage costs a flat dollar per Gigabyte per month. It also integrates with Amazon S3 cloud storage and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), the latter of which enables the analysis of large datasets on a Hadoop framework.
In a long, insightful blog entry, Amazon Web Services CTO Werner Vogels lays out the history of NoSQL at Amazon, going back 15 years. Now, Amazon SimpleDB already offers a more traditional and, well, simple database service. But Larry Dignan at ZDNet thinks that the option for enterprises to try out NoSQL databases while letting Amazon handle what have been the major hurdles — administration and scalability — is going to shake the relational database giants, including Oracle. And I’m inclined to agree.
Look at it this way: I hear that Amazon actually used DynamoDB behind the scenes to handle traffic to Amazon.com during the Christmas shopping rush. If it can survive that, then, well, maybe it’s good to give customers the choice.