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Amazon Cloud Adds Hosted MySQL

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the toss-your-data-here dept.

Databases 173

1sockchuck writes "Amazon Web Services has added a relational database service to host MySQL databases in the cloud, and is also dropping prices on its Amazon EC2 compute service by as much as 15 percent. Amazon says the new service lets users focus on development rather than maintenance, but it will probably be bad news for startups offering database services built atop Amazon's cloud. Cloud Avenue warns that Amazon RDS should serve as 'a warning bell for the companies that build their entire business on Amazon ecosystem. ... They are just one announcement away from complete destruction.' Data Center Knowledge has a roundup of analysis and commentary on Amazon RDS and its impact on the cloud ecosystem."

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Showing their cards at last (3, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882753)

Turns out "the cloud" is just another name for "datacenter". Who knew?

Re:Showing their cards at last (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882873)

I'm getting increasingly fed up of every cloud story getting piles of comments deriding cloud as "just" something else.

- "The Cloud is just another name for datacenter"
- "The Cloud is just another name for distributed computing"
- "The Cloud is just another name for thin-client computing"
- etc.

In this particular case, yes, the backend of the Amazon cloud is a bunch of datacentres.
And you could build a virtual datacentre in the Amazon cloud.

But that doesn't mean that every datacentre is a cloud, because a cloud has properties that most datacentres do not.

Re:Showing their cards at last (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882959)

The Cloud is just a buzz word. It makes non-techies feel clued in without having to understand the differences among a handful of technologies and how they work together.

Re:Showing their cards at last (5, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882975)

And he forgot "The cloud is just another name for timesharing." The 1960s called; it wants it glass house computing model back.

Re:Showing their cards at last (5, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883081)

The Cloud is just a buzz word. It makes non-techies feel clued in without having to understand the differences among a handful of technologies and how they work together.

At first I thought you were contradicting me. But you're not, necessarily.

"Cake is just a buzz word. It makes non-bakers feel clued in without having to understand the differences among a handful of ingredients and how they work together."

Combine eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar, flavourings, in just the right recipe, you get a cake.
Combine datacenter technogolies, virtualisation, parallelisation, timesharing, web based management, in just the right recipe, and you get a cloud.

This doesn't mean that "cake" or "cloud" aren't useful shorthands.

Re:Showing their cards at last (2, Funny)

fucket (1256188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883625)

So you're saying... the cake is a lie?

Re:Showing their cards at last (2, Funny)

MaerD (954222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884919)

No, he's saying the cloud is a a pie.

Re:Showing their cards at last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883809)

"Combine datacenter technogolies, virtualisation, parallelisation, timesharing, web based management, in just the right recipe, and you get a cloud."

Let me strip out some of the buzz words and add in some truth:

Combine servers, virtualisation and web based management...sounds an aweful lot like a datacenter that anyone can go rent (as opposed to my company's datacenter, which has servers, virtualisation and web based management, that no-one outside of my company can use)

parallelisation and timesharing are 2 things any decent OS do anyways, and have done for a long time

Re:Showing their cards at last (3, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884303)

There is a pretty big difference however.

In your companies case, you are not paying for what you use, you are paying for everything, in a lot of cases up front instead of over time.

You need to buy servers, their resources (memory, storage, backup media, interconnect system, etc), as well as the datacenter itself (power, cooling, arrangement, management, staff maintenance, bandwidth, etc), and then once everything is up and running functionally, you still have paid for all of those things like servers storage bandwidth and power, no matter if you are using 100% or 1% of your system.

In amazons case, you don't. You pay for what you use, as you use it, no more no less.
You don't need to pay upfront costs for servers, the infrastructure to support them, and the people to run them. You DO pay for those things, but only a very tiny percentage of, which happens to be the percentage of their resources or skills you use.

At least for the moment, it is much cheaper to buy these resources from amazon, than to pay to build up a datacenter to start with 1 or 2 machines, but be able to scale up to millions. That would have such a huge up front cost that it is not even an option for most small businesses.

There will always be situations where the obvious answer is doing it yourself. This will never change.
That does not exclude the fact there are other situations where using cloud time sharing is the better answer.

Re:Showing their cards at last (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884931)

What you don't mention is that you pay a premium for using only what you need instead of building out your own infrastructure. In some cases, the premium is upwards of 100% (have had to run the numbers for several clients, for some it works out well, for some it's grossly more expensive).

Re:Showing their cards at last (2, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885133)

What you don't mention is that you pay a premium for using only what you need instead of building out your own infrastructure. In some cases, the premium is upwards of 100% (have had to run the numbers for several clients, for some it works out well, for some it's grossly more expensive).

I think that's fair. It would be pretty amazing if it worked out cheaper in all cases, and everyone should run the numbers and evaluate the benefits before going into it.

I know Smugmug.com believe they're $500K by using S3 instead of their own storage servers. http://blogs.smugmug.com/don/2006/11/10/amazon-s3-show-me-the-money/ [smugmug.com]

But, there are plenty of scenarios where due to predictable loads (or simply low loads), or simple requirements Amazon's pricing model is a bad fit.

I would be most tempted by Amazon's model if I was starting up a service, was hoping for huge sudden growth, but didn't have the confidence to invest upfront in my own hardware for that capacity.

Re:Showing their cards at last (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885205)

I would be most tempted by Amazon's model if I was starting up a service, was hoping for huge sudden growth, but didn't have the confidence to invest upfront in my own hardware for that capacity.

This is the best example in which you'd want to use Amazon's cloud computing services.

Re:Showing their cards at last (1)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883725)

But that doesn't mean that every datacentre is a cloud, because a cloud has properties that most datacentres do not.

Maybe not, but that is besides the point. The "cloud" is just a fancy way of saying "other peoples servers" (OPS).

Re:Showing their cards at last (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883859)

It might be beside your point, but it's my point precisely.

To paraphrase myself, replacing "datacentre" with your phrase "other people's servers":

"Other peoples servers" is not always a cloud, because a cloud has properties that "other people's servers" don't always have.

My web site runs on my ISP's server: OPS. But my ISP's hosting is not in a cloud.

Saying "Cloud is just a fancy way of saying OPS" is along the lines of saying "Oak is just a fancy way of saying tree".

Re:Showing their cards at last (1)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883969)

Saying "Cloud is just a fancy way of saying OPS" is along the lines of saying "Oak is just a fancy way of saying tree".

Yup, you are 100% correct, "other people's servers" is a nebulous, non-accurate, gaseous term that doesn't quite hit the nail on the head (just like "clould computing"). On the other hand, it doesn't make me feel like a pointy-haired boss when I use it in conversation with others.

Who wants to play buzz-word bingo?

Re:Showing their cards at last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884003)

[cue Mad Evil Genius Laugh ] Mu wah HA HA. My server your data.
Mine all mine Preciouss!

Re:Showing their cards at last (1, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885097)

a cloud has properties that most datacentres do not.

Like what?

OPS (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884389)

"The cloud" is simply Other People's Servers. Not too buzzwordy. Of course, buzzwords' only real use to to make people think you understand things you don't, so since people are starting to understand what "the cloud" is, you can use the new acronym "OPS". If they ask what "OPS" is you can tell them, but they won't ask because they'll be afraid you'll think they're stupid.

A Little Disappointed (3, Interesting)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882761)

I was a little disappointed that MySQL was the only choice offered. I was hoping for Postgres to be offered along side. It's strange to me that most ISPs/hosting companies still don't offer Postgres. MySQL is prevalent but its future is a bit shaky at the moment. Postgres is open source and offers some great features.

Re:A Little Disappointed (3, Insightful)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882805)

For a first step, MySQL was the obvious choice and it shows a move in the right direction.

I do enjoy how everyone is trying to beat down Cloud Computing. It's basically a new technology, and just like every other new technology there are going to be bugs and issues that affect SLA right away. If you are putting all your eggs in the Cloud basket, it's the same as using that brand new bleeding-edge Cisco product or virtualization platform. You have to expect some pain until they hone the "technology".

Sure there's no good overall definition, and it's become kind of a joke in certain circles, but there are some solid ideas behind clouds. Sometimes I think it's because engineers are more worried about their jobs five years from now, because if clouds do catch on their jobs will be in jeopardy.

Re:A Little Disappointed (3, Interesting)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882867)

well i am not IT pro or something, but what exactly is "new" on this cloud? I mean i have been clouding my websites, databases and file storage for years, they are called ISP. My provides, virtual or physical PC, SMB host, or full windows host, managed. Storage as much as one can pay for business and home users...?

Re:A Little Disappointed (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882889)

In the context you speak of, the new thing is the billing.

(The ability to use automated systems to quickly add and remove virtual machines is also an advancement from traditional virtual hosting)

Re:A Little Disappointed (4, Interesting)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884899)

Very true. Hourly billing and the ability to quickly provision systems is what makes these services. For our newest application, we only purchased enough equipment to handle the application base load. Our application then monitors the acceleration of system response times, load, and requests to automatically provision cloud servers. Essentially, we'll transfer messaging servers to the cloud, then internally re-provision to handle the new application loads, depending on what the actual load looks like. When the load falls, we'll transition back.

The benefit of cloud computing is that for a few dollars a month, we can provision a few extra servers for the relatively few hours of peak load. This allows us to reduce our upfront cash outlay, while also allowing us to maximize our server usage.

Re:A Little Disappointed (4, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882921)

well i am not IT pro or something, but what exactly is "new" on this cloud?

The fact that you pay only for what you actually use and the services scales automatically to fit your needs.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883129)

And that's different from Software As A Service how?

Re:A Little Disappointed (0, Troll)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883159)

And that's different from Software As A Service how?

The set "cloud computing" is a subset of "software as a service". HTH.

Re:A Little Disappointed (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883227)

Pretend that I don't work in marketing, and thus don't enjoy the frisson of hearing new terms for old rope. If one provider offers me "cloud computing" and the other offers "software as a service", what does that tell me about the likely functional differences in their offerings?

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883297)

what does that tell me about the likely functional differences in their offerings?

Probably very little. It will give you clues about what price/performance/reliability to expect.

If you were buying a business-critical web hosting service, you'd likely be asking the company questions about their setup. Do you have RAID? What's your disaster recovery procedure? How do you achieve high-availability on the database server? How long can you run on UPS? What's your SLA?

"Cloud" is a shorthand answer to many of these questions. The fine details are there for the reading, too.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883497)

You're among friends here: it's OK to say "I have no idea".

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883581)

I'll try again then.

If one provider offers me "cloud computing" and the other offers "software as a service", what does that tell me about the likely functional differences in their offerings?

Firstly, the provider that offers you "software as a service" has not told you that his SaaS offering isn't cloud hosted. That's an implementation detail.

The provider that offers you "cloud computing" has given you a bit of extra information, about the infrastructure they plan to use to offer you your service.

Your end users needn't know or care whether they're interacting with a physical server, a virtual server in a cloud, or a man in a box.

But being told it's a cloud implementation gives you clues that it'll be cheap, that it'll be fault-tolerant, that (assuming you program for it), adding or removing capacity will be instantly available.

Re:A Little Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883637)

If you were going to end up trolling, why not start with a troll from the beginning?

If I look back at this little exchange above, you ask a question (probably rhetorical and trolling, but a valid question no less) and someone helpfully answers. You answer back with a snide trolling remark, but end with a question. Again, someone helpfully answers. And then you end up with a snide trolling remark, with no question at the end.

You could have saved us all a lot of trouble and just trolled from the beginning (without a valid question attached). In fact you could save us all an enormous amount of trouble and go troll somewhere else. I hear that sort of thing is big on 4chan or SA forums. You might friends there.

Re:A Little Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884821)

BITER!

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

raylu (914970) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883845)

Your question actually doesn't make much sense.

What software are they offering as a service?

Re:A Little Disappointed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885211)

Amazon provides "Hardware as a Service". Much more useful (to me) than SaaS.

That seems to me like less vendor lock-in. You can move your software and data to your own servers and datacenter if you are dissatisfied. You just have to pay for the hardware you need at peak load rather than paying for what amounts to average load.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883245)

And that's different from Software As A Service how?

It isn't different. SaaS is one of the ways of delivering things in a cloudy way (particularly when selling direct to end users) but there's also I(nfrastructure)aaS (where Amazon's strength has been for a good while now) and P(latform)aaS, which is where a good number of companies are getting excited (new ways to lock customers in, I suppose...)

If you find it surprising that businesses and media are getting excited over a rebrand of what was there before, you've not been watching this industry for nearly long enough. It happens again and again, over and over. The trick is to spot what will be the next hot BS buzzword ahead of time (and to remember that sometimes the underlying technology can actually be worthwhile).

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883385)

I always though "software as a service" as a design principle for software development and "cloud computing" as a form of hosting.

So you could, for example, create software as a service by using cloud computing. You could also choose another form of hosting for your SaaS. Or provide something else using cloud computing.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

snaz555 (903274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884173)

With cloud computing you lease virtual servers to host YOUR software. It doesn't have to be web services, you could run DNS or host NFS servers, or your own custom Unix daemons (or WIndows Services) to do whatever you want. If you're a developer you can use it to host svn, trac, and build server. Unlike a colo it's a virtual machine instance. In a cloud you install all your stuff on an instance, then take a snapshot. You can then automatically spin up additional instances in response to load, according to your metrics of load. So if you build the right tools you could have a build server that scales dynamically - more checkins could spin up more instances to run more builds in parallel. When you lease storage you can have it shared across your instances.

Clearly, with EC2, one of the most installed software is mysql. You run it in one or more instances and put the db on S3. With Amazon offering mysql as SaaS you no longer have to deal with provisioning and sizing - it adapts to your usage. I think it sounds like a brilliant time saver and my company will take a close look at it for sure. (We run a lot of backend infrastructure on EC3.)

With SaaS you lease services not servers. Like collaboration tools, web hosting, etc. You don't know what the provider runs the software on - and don't care. You pay for the use of their software, not your own. I get the impression Amazon didn't want to get involved with SaaS for various reasons previously. (There are others who sell SaaS that's hosted on EC2, perhaps Amazon didn't want to compete with their own customers.)

Re:A Little Disappointed (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882967)

If you're buying a physical server from your ISP, that's not a cloud. If you're buying a virtual server, is it hosted dynamically across hundreds or thousands of physical machines? If not, that's not a cloud.

Now, this probably doesn't matter to you. What you actually care about is price, performance, capacity, availability, resilience, flexibility etc.

Many believe that running a cloud is the easiest, cheapest way to sell fast, reliable hosting services, which can be commissioned and decommissioned in a very flexible manner. You can buy a VM from Amazon in seconds, and have it running instantly. You can close it down and stop paying just as fast.

One open question is, should the marketing use the buzzword? You don't actually care that it's in a cloud. You just care about its cost and features. But then again, being told it's in a cloud gives you clues about its features.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883011)

question is, does it support basic needs (like protected encrypted storage, web and SFTP up and downloads), DVD send-ins uploads, VPN...? from their website it looks rather simple and need another service provider to build a solution over it.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883135)

Well, I was talking about generalities - what "cloud computing" means.

In the case of Amazon EC2, you get a virtual Linux server, on which you can run whatever services you like - VPN, SSH, WWW, whatever. It's simple, in so far as it gives you pretty much total flexibility.

I'm not sure about sending them DVD uploads. If they don't, a third party with lots of bandwidth could offer that service.

What is new about "cloud computing" (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884147)

IT develops in a spiral, with old ideas being re-introduced in new and better ways every few years. Sure, remote hosting has existed a long time, and virtualization was invented more than 40 years ago.

So what is new about cloud computing? The idea that a virtualized guest can run on any server, anywhere in the cloud. If you boot up an EC2 instance, you neither know nor care what the underlying hardware is, or whether it is in California or Timbuktu. In fact, one day your instance may be in one data center, and another day somewhere else entirely. With live migration, it is even possible for an instance to move from one host to another while running.

This degree of dynamic resource allocation is entirely new. It is made possible by (a) some pretty snazzy virtualization technology (Xen & co), plus (b) the hardware support (virtualization extensions) built into Intel and AMD processors since 2006.

Re:A Little Disappointed (0, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883571)

For a first step, MySQL was the obvious choice and it shows a move in the right direction.

How? MySql is barely a database, and certainly not one I'd trust with anything important.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883721)

Flickr, Facebook, Wikipedia, Google, Nokia and YouTube seem to disagree.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884235)

Remind me, which of those companies is hosting anything on MySQL that is actually important (i.e. people would care if it's lost)?

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884493)

It doesn't really matter what they use it for, now does it? The fact that they choose to use MySQL at all shows they put an amount of faith into it. You don't store data in a database because you want to lose it, right?

But, to answer your question, a quick Google learns Facebook [gigaom.com] , YouTube [umbc.edu] and Wikipedia [wikimedia.org] store all of their important data in MySQL databases. I know Google doesn't use MySQL for searches, but they do store other stuff [bytebot.net] . I'm not sure what Nokia does, but they do seem to like MySQL a lot [mysql.com] .

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884801)

People usually use MySQL because it is fast for simple queries. Wikipedia uses it because they can run a lot of queries against it, and if it loses the occasional set of edits no one is really going to care. Same with YouTube - who cares if a few comments get lost? I tried to read the link about Google, but it was a page of sentence fragments with no overall coherency, so I've no idea what it was trying to say, but last time I visited Google they had posters up everywhere encouraging their employees to use BigTable for all of their storage needs.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884911)

I find it very hard to believe the folks running Wikipedia, YouTube or Facebook wouldn't care if some of their content would disappear every once in a while, just for the sake of a little speed.

Either there is another great benefit about using MySQL, or it doesn't really lose data all that often, if ever. Either way, it's clearly not as worthless as the GP suggests.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884915)

Remind me, which of those companies is hosting anything on MySQL that is actually important (i.e. people would care if it's lost)?

Let's take "important" as meaning "of monetary value", just to simplify the question. Facebook's data is valuable for two reasons:

1. The users treasure it. Their goodwill is vital, if Facebook is to keep them coming back to be served adverts
2. It's a treasure trove of minable information about demographics and connections between people's consumer preferences. Facebook makes money by selling that info.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883319)

> It's strange to me that most ISPs/hosting
> companies still don't offer Postgres.

Heroku [heroku.com] offers Rails application hosting on PostgreSQL only. 38K apps and growing... their setup is very slick.

Then again, I'm a big fan of Rails on PostgreSQL [railsonpostgresql.com] .

Re:A Little Disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883657)

Just a tip, about 10 years ago when MySQL started, PostGRES had been abandoned for several years with no maintenance.

I run a hosting ISP, I receive requests about once every 2 years for PostGRES, I always say no, go to a specialized service.

My question for you is, why don't you just give up and use what the entire world is using? It would be better for your employer/client if they could run your code on a larger set of suppliers.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883763)

My question for you is, why don't you just give up and use what the entire world is using

Mr Ballmer? Is that you?

Postgres scales worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884477)

I was a little disappointed that MySQL was the only choice offered. I was hoping for Postgres to be offered along side. It's strange to me that most ISPs/hosting companies still don't offer Postgres. MySQL is prevalent but its future is a bit shaky at the moment. Postgres is open source and offers some great features.

I was a little disappointed that MySQL was the only choice offered. I was hoping for Postgres to be offered along side. It's strange to me that most ISPs/hosting companies still don't offer Postgres. MySQL is prevalent but its future is a bit shaky at the moment. Postgres is open source and offers some great features.

Unfortunately Postgres still scales out very poorly compared to MySQL - apparently performance of a Sloany cluster degrades very quickly with each node added (resulting with unacceptable performance for more than 4 nodes). Which is contrasted to scaling up - MySQL doesn't make such a good use of multicores as Postgres. But scaling out is what you want up there in the cloud.

Re:A Little Disappointed (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884863)

I'm sure this has been in the planning long before the Oracle business was announced. Amazon can't predict the future any better than anyone else.

Warning Bell (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882797)

I guess the warning bell is, if your business model is to host something simple and obvious on EC2, then resell it, you can expect direct competition - in this case from Amazon themselves.

To be sustainable, you need to add something difficult, or non-obvious, or that fills a niche, or stands out in some other way.

Cloud Avenue could still do OK, if they can make their offering better than Amazon's, by whatever means - a nicer UI, better management tools, better customer support, etc.

Re:Warning Bell (3, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883229)

I guess the warning bell is, if your business model is to host something simple and obvious on EC2, then resell it, you can expect direct competition - in this case from Amazon themselves.

To be sustainable, you need to add something difficult, or non-obvious, or that fills a niche, or stands out in some other way.

Cloud Avenue could still do OK, if they can make their offering better than Amazon's, by whatever means - a nicer UI, better management tools, better customer support, etc.

If you base your business model on using the services of a bigger company to offer services to your customers, it is just a matter of time until that bigger company decides that they would rather get the money you are making than the money you are paying them. The only exception to that is if the service you are providing is a lot of work on a day to day basis (as opposed to being very difficult to develop, but then it basically runs itself), and is only of interest to a small niche market.

Re:Warning Bell (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883461)

If you base your business model on using the services of a bigger company to offer services to your customers, it is just a matter of time until that bigger company decides that they would rather get the money you are making than the money you are paying them.

There's quite a lot of precedent for smaller companies reselling services from larger companies.

IBM used to offer EDI interchange services. A lot of the sales were through industry specific resellers. So company X knows about, say, the insurance industry, and sells EDI services to insurers. Company X has its own helpdesk, and only refers the harder questions to IBM. IBM is very happy with this arrangement. The subs roll in month after month. IBM doesn't need to train anyone in the foibles of the insurance industry. Company Y, meanwhile, is reselling the same service to the automotive industry.

Then there's the thousands of gambling websites that are merely thin rebrandings of the same few underlying sites, which get referral fees. The larger company that writes the software and runs the service is effectively outsourcing consumer marketing, while also protecting themselves from risk.

Re:Warning Bell (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883669)

Same goes for all those people who develop plugins for VS.Net. Eventually all those plugins, if remotely popular, will become core features of VS.Net, putting you completely out of business. I still don't understand why MS hasn't built a PDF converter into MS Word. If they did, they would probable wipe out half of acrobats user base.

Re:Warning Bell (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883761)

I still don't understand why MS hasn't built a PDF converter into MS Word. If they did, they would probable wipe out half of acrobats user base.

I don't understand why they don't have print-to-PDF as a core part of the Windows OS like MacOS. It's awfully nice to be able to print anything and everything from any app directly out to a PDF as a basic feature of the OS.

Re:Warning Bell (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884245)

Because that would encourage people to share PDFs, rather than proprietary format documents, and would make it much easier for people using other software stacks to interoperate with those people. Print to XPS will probably be a standard Windows feature soon enough though...

Re:Warning Bell (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883313)

It really depends what kind of service(s) you're launching on the cloud. If you're building generic infrastructure to cover some area of the market that AWS doesn't cover well or at all, then you may be in for a rude awakening in the future. This doesn't mean that such a service should not be built, it's just that one should realize what kind of risks are involved when developing something like that.

There are plenty of services that build on top of AWS that will probably be safe from competition well into the future. Those include services that are very specific such as Heroku's Rails app hosting, which will actually benefit from additions such as this MySQL instance type and the price cuts of EC2.

Also, when building apps that essentially turn you into a reseller of AWS services, although there may come a time when amazon starts competing directly with you, you've got your app built. If you built it properly, it should not be difficult to re-wire your backend to utilize some other service or build your own cloud infrastructure. If you're big enough and have the necessary capital, it may actually be a cost savings to do such a thing.

Re:Warning Bell (0, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883649)

Accidentally modded down, posting to remove my mod points from this thread (ignore this post)

Re:Warning Bell (3, Insightful)

Full Metal Jackass (998734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883747)

So, would Cloud Avenue's business model not be threatened if they hosted the databases on their own physical servers?

Re:Warning Bell (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883887)

Excellent point. And by hosting on EC2, at least they haven't spent a fortune on hardware, should Amazon drive them out of the market.

Goodie (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882893)

Do they offer any good databases?

Quadruple Extra Large (3, Funny)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883145)

With the two new types, their instance list [amazon.com] looks like the McDonalds menu.

I'd like a Quadruple Extra Large with cheese please.

Re:Quadruple Extra Large (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884117)

Don't forget the Diet Coke.

I did some maths (0, Flamebait)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883449)

I run a site larger than slashdot

it costs 150 euro a month for an 8core xeon server with 16GB ram

it would cost me well over 1500 dollars for same to be hosted on Amazon

lol!

Re:I did some maths (2, Insightful)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883613)

If you run your site on a single server then it's much smaller than slashdot, no matter how many cores or ram you have. Also, it means that your site is down much more often than it should. If you want a serious infrastructure with redundancy, EC2 is a quite cheap solution, with many advantages in terms of maintenance and scaling.

Re:I did some maths (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883927)

actually i had 0 downtime this year

i dont see how amazon can justify and order of magnitude difference in costs

Re:I did some maths (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883619)

Are you taking into account what the 8core xeon server with 16 GB RAM costed you and what it will cost in the future to replace it?

Re:I did some maths (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883781)

Are you taking into account what the 8core xeon server with 16 GB RAM costed you and what it will cost in the future to replace it?

its rented, no upfront costs, no setup costs

and it runs an nginx web server and php-fpm instances running the site as well as the DB

cpu: E5410 8x @ 2.33GHz
ram: 16GB DDR2-667 ECC Registered
disk: 32GB SSD (OCZ-VERTEX)
bandwidth: 10TB/month

google analytics visitors/month: 7,026,784
google analytics pageviews/month: 27,389,317

mysql queries/month: 2,149,784,446

alexa ~1000 (/. is ~1100)

Re:I did some maths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884209)

So you're serving a constant 10 pages a second and running 800 queries a second (assuming completely flat traffic, no spikes!!) off a single server, and you're that popular? Serving what exactly, adverts? And you suffer zero downtime when backing up your MySQL databases, despite having to lock tables for a coherent dump? Or do you just copy the files on disk?

Re:I did some maths (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884383)

theres 745 Queries per second avg (see http://pastebin.com/m7f6415a1 [pastebin.com] )

there are many background tasks running all the time, crunching alot of data, beside serving pages

most of the data fits nicely into the RAM (database is 12GB, most of that is log data) and the SSD drive helps alot, average loads are 2.5 @ 50% idle

also the application/site is highly tweaked and designed from the ground up

backups are done to another server on local network and to backup server on another continent which is configured to take over if theres hardware failure

Re:I did some maths (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884591)

forgot to mention, the site makes heavy use of javascript/ajax so the pageview figures are deceptive, considering there are alot of asynch requests

Re:I did some maths (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883711)

This surprises me. Even if you go for "Extra Large" at 80c/hour that would only account for $584/month. And it's much cheaper if you go for a reserved instance.

So you must be using $1000/month worth of bandwidth and storage: wow.

If you've done your sums right, though, I'd take it as a sign that you've got a fairly unique set of requirements, that are a bad fit for the Amazon billing model.

What happens when your Xeam server with 16GB of RAM develops a hardware fault, incidentally?

Re:I did some maths (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883905)

see my reply before yours:

http://aws.amazon.com/rds/#pricing [amazon.com]

Extra Large DB Instance 15 GB 8 ECUs $0.88 USD / hour

thats $642.4 / month

2,149,784,446 queries/ month @ $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests

thats another $214.9

data transfer is about 5-10mbit month between database and php/server @ First 10 TB per Month $0.17 per GB

thats another $800 or so

this amazon thing is an absolute ripoff

and so far i have had no downtime this year, compare that to the much publicized amazon downtimes ;)

Re:I did some maths (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884197)

data transfer is about 5-10mbit month between database and php/server @ First 10 TB per Month $0.17 per GB

It's $0.00 (per GB) if it's within the same availability zone, and $0.01 (per GB) between zones. If you're using AWS for the database, you should probably be using it for the php/server too, and you can control the zone your instances are launched in, so you can get the $0.00.

Not sure if the rest is accurate, but I (hopefully) just cut your bill in half.

Re:I did some maths (0, Flamebait)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884237)

interesting thanks @ac, anyone else feel to correct my back of napkin calculations

Not competitive enough (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883561)

While not directly comparable, the Azure platform being launched next month by Microsoft includes two relational database options:

1. Small database (1GB)- $9.99/month
2. Large database (10GB) - $99.99/month

Each SQL Azure database is triple redundant automatically, and you do not pay for storage or load balancing. The Amazon model has you paying for the instance ($81 per 31 days for the small instance) plus storage charges and other costs.

Not too impressed at the moment.

Re:Not competitive enough (4, Informative)

raylu (914970) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884291)

What?

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/pricing/ [microsoft.com]

# Web Edition: Up to 1 GB relational database = $9.99 / month
# Business Edition: Up to 10 GB relational database = $99.99 / month
# Bandwidth = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB

Web Edition Relational Database includes:

        * Up to 1 GB of T-SQL based relational database
        * Self-managed DB, auto high availability
        * Best suited for Web application, Departmental custom apps.

Business Edition DB includes:

        * Up to 10 GB of T-SQL based relational database
        * Self-managed DB, auto high availability
        * Additional features in the future like auto-partition, CLR, fanouts etc.
        * Best suited for ISVs packaged LOB apps, Department custom apps

http://aws.amazon.com/rds/ [amazon.com]

# Small DB Instance: 1.7 GB memory, 1 ECU (1 virtual core with 1 ECU), 64-bit platform.
# Large DB Instance: 7.5 GB memory, 4 ECUs (2 virtual cores with 2 ECUs each), 64-bit platform
# Extra Large DB Instance: 15 GB of memory, 8 ECUs (4 virtual cores with 2 ECUs each), 64-bit platform
# Double Extra Large DB Instance: 34 GB of memory, 13 ECUs (4 virtual cores with 3,25 ECUs each), 64-bit platform
# Quadruple Extra Large DB Instance: 68 GB of memory, 26 ECUs (8 virtual cores with 3.25 ECUs each), 64-bit platform

(Price per hour)
Small DB Instance $0.11
Large DB Instance $0.44
Extra Large DB Instance $0.88
Double Extra Large DB Instance $1.55
Quadruple Extra Large DB Instance $3.10

Provisioned Database Storage

For each DB Instance class, Amazon RDS provides you the ability to select from 5 GB to 1 TB of associated storage capacity for your primary data set.

        * $0.10 per GB-month of provisioned storage
        * $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests

                Data Transfer In

                        * All Data Transfer $0.10 per GB

                Data Transfer Out

                        * First 10 TB per Month $0.17 per GB
                        * Next 40 TB per Month $0.13 per GB
                        * Next 100TB per Month $0.11 per GB
                        * Over 150 TB per Month $0.10 per GB

Data transferred between two Amazon Web Services within the same region (e.g. between Amazon RDS US and Amazon EC2 US) is free of charge.

The minimum on Amazon is 5GB, so let's compare 10GB. For Amazon at 1 month, you're paying $0.10 * 10 = $1 for storage and your $81.84 is about right. Note that this $82.84 is not comparable to the "Web Edition" offering from Microsoft, as that's for 1GB of storage. The "Small DB Instance" offering from Amazon is for an instance, not for storage, which you pay for completely separately.

So this $82.84 figure is really only comparable to Microsoft's "Business Edition" offering at $99.99, both before bandwidth costs. Bandwidth costs apply to Azure too under a different pricing model. The data in cost is exactly the same and the data out cost is $0.02/GB more expensive for Amazon for the first 10 TB and cheaper after that. You do have to pay Amazon an additional $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests, though.

On the other hand, Amazon allows you to buy way more than 10GB of storage, different instances, and did I mention they were using MySQL?

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/sqlazure/ [microsoft.com]

SQL Azure Database supports Transact-SQL (T-SQL). Customers can use existing knowledge in T-SQL development and a familiar relational data model for symmetry with existing on-premises databases. SQL Azure Database can help reduce costs by integrating with existing toolsets and providing symmetry with on-premises and cloud databases.

Right...

Re:Not competitive enough (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884385)

You entirely miss the point that the Azure offering is fully redundant and highly available (each database has two redundant hot copies, and you don't care about managing that or handling the load balancing), while the Amazon offering is .... not, so you triple the costs for the same redundancy.

Re:Not competitive enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885165)

Exactly right -- it's thoroughly balanced and redundant. In fact, Microsoft is using the Azure platform to manage their Sidekick customer data.

Oh wait...

Re:Not competitive enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885179)

You know, unless you are hosting Sidekick data. That reminds me. I know people who use the Recycle Bin as a folder for storing files. Just sayin'

Cost (2, Insightful)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883577)

The smallest instance is 11 cents an hour or ~$80 a month. That just seems like a lot to me, atleast for a personal DB. That $80 only gets you a virtual box with "1.7 GB memory, 1 ECU (1 virtual core with 1 ECU), 64-bit platform." with a max of 1 TB storage (also an additional cost). It just doesn't seem worth it, tbh.

I guess if a company is counting hardware costs, payroll, electricity, and stuff like that.. $80 might be a good deal. But i think most people would rather have a normal server hosted for $10-20 a month.

Re:Cost (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883633)

The smallest instance is 11 cents an hour or ~$80 a month.

That's assuming the database is used every hour of every day. For a website that is only accessed occassionally, you pay a lot less of course.

Re:Cost (2, Informative)

JPDeckers (559434) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883785)

No, you don't.

You pay on run-time, not CPU time consumed, so pay 0.11*24*31 for a month, regardless of usage.

Unless ofcourse you have a script that fires up an instance on the moment your website is accessed, and shuts it down afterward, but that might be sub-optimal in responsetime :)

Re:Cost (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883955)

It all depends on what sort of site you're talking about.

I have several apps at work that are only used maybe 3 or 4 days a month.

They could be cloud based and called from an internal portal as needed.

That would make it 0.11*8*6 for me.

$5.28 per month.

To get an annoying app up out of my way.

Gotta think about that

Re:Cost (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883901)

Nope, thats the instance cost - the instance is up all the time. The storage and transfer costs depend on traffic.

Re:Cost (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883971)

Well... that's just stupid. What's the benefit of running your database in a cloud if you don't pay for just how much you use it? Isn't that the whole point to begin with?

Re:Cost (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884035)

No, the point of running it in the cloud is to remove the question of the infrastructure. Amazons offering isn't really 'cloud' imho, its more hosted infrastructure but you still care about the infrastructure. Note how you still need to build in redundancy and availability yourself with the Amazon offering, which means multiple instances and other systems to handle the load balancing/clustering/whatever - a true cloud option will 'just be' fully redundant and highly available.

Re:Cost (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883783)

If it's a personal DB, you'd probably not want to run it 24/7. Remember Amazon VMs are trivial to bring up and down, and you only pay while they're up.

If you're thinking about the backend for a personal Wordpress page (etc) this probably isn't the right platform.

Optimization (4, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883593)

I wonder if programming for cloud services will bring back the need for code that is optimized for speed (or using as little resources as possible), since you pay for the actual usage of these resources.

Re:Optimization (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883749)

I wonder if programming for cloud services will bring back the need for code that is optimized for speed (or using as little resources as possible), since you pay for the actual usage of these resources.

In server land, if you've got lots of clients, you were always paying for those resources. You max out a server, you have to buy another, or code something more efficient.

Usually, the cost of more computer resource is vastly lower than the cost of a programmer doing optimisation. Jeff Atwood has written frequently on the subject.

Re:Optimization (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883825)

Is that still true for cloud computing? Because you don't just "get a new server" when your code is a bit bloated. Instead, you pay too much every single day your service is online. This could really add up over time.

Re:Optimization (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883979)

For non-cloud computing, you pay too much every single day, until you reach optimum usage level. Then you exceed the optimum usage level, and have to buy another server, and pay too much again. So it's a series of server-sized steps, approximating a curve.

If you were paying by the timeslice, the cloud equivalent would show a smooth curve, matching the growth in usage.

OTOH with EC2 you pay by the hour of uptime, rather than by processor usage, so CPU usage isn't of the essence for many applications.

You might well optimise to minimise the stuff you really are paying for. Web designers already try to minimise download bandwidth. You might also strive to compress data before storing it -- but as always, it's a tradeoff between how much it saves, and how much it costs to do.

Re:Optimization (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884175)

OTOH with EC2 you pay by the hour of uptime, rather than by processor usage, so CPU usage isn't of the essence for many applications.

Ah, right. It seems I understood incorrectly how Amazon's service works.

I'm not sure what's so compelling (2, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883835)

It rids the customers of any need for time consuming database administration tasks.

I'm sorry but administering a db just isn't that difficult or time-consuming. It takes a certain level of technical knowledge to write good SQL. If you can do that, usually you have enough skill to handle the little bit of maintenance MySQL requires. This isn't like running an Exchange or SQL Server with a ton of overhead, licensing fees, and required add-ons. You can scale MySQL for the cost of hardware. I'm not seeing a compelling reason to let Amazon run my databases.

And then there's no question of who owns the data, who has access to it, and what happens to your data if you can't pay the hosting bill? If your application or web site is so wildly successful that you have to manage failover and load balancing, then you can afford to hire people to solve those happy problems.

Re:I'm not sure what's so compelling (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884955)

You could just not use it, you realize. Or is an Amazon rep in your office with a gun to your head?

I'm sorry but administering a db just isn't that difficult or time-consuming. It takes a certain level of technical knowledge to write good SQL. If you can do that, usually you have enough skill to handle the little bit of maintenance MySQL requires.

Then...

This isn't like running an Exchange or SQL Server with a ton of overhead, licensing fees, and required add-ons.

WTF, man? Administering MS SQL Server is tons easier than MySQL. You've got this exactly backwards.

Calling all attorneys (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883909)

There needs to be a 5 year "promise" of service by Amazon. I for one wouldn't move my junk to them without a 5 year "community pledge" or something. When a big company starts providing everything, it scares me. The only way I would sleep at night using them is if/when my servers were burning up.

wikispeedia [wikispeedia.org]

Why the confusion? (3, Insightful)

Maudib (223520) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884315)

I am not sure why people are so confused about what cloud computing means in this context. It is pretty straightforward-

(1) Yes, the underlying technology is "just" a data-center that you could provision through standard channels.
(2) Yes, it is "just" a normal MySQL server that you could manage and scale through normal means.

Now take those above functions, and put them behind an API that we can call into from our software. Could you manage the same things directly? Of course! However there are use cases where being able to control these functions through is very desirable.

Now take a bunch of other infrastructure resources and put control of them all behind APIs too. One ends up with a very different thing then traditional hosting. You can't provision 100x servers/databases/hadoop nodes for a single hour or night at a traditional host based on some event your software manages, and then pay less then $100. Sure the underlying tools are the same, and there are many traditional use cases where AWS is actually more expensive. However there are an equal number of situations where the reverse is also true.

As for who owns the data, thats just FUD resulting from an unfortunate overlap in terms with things like Facebook. The AWS TOS and contract is quite clear on who owns the data. Just like any other data center, if you don't secure/encrypt your stuff it is possible for the host to look into it, but this is no more likely in AWS then at Rack Space or Data Pipe.

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