Amazon launches NoSQL service DynamoDB

Amazon has unveiled a beta of DynamoDB (opens in new tab), a "fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability". Intended for large-scale web apps, the service includes a free usage tier (100 MB of storage; five writes per second; 10 reads per second; up to 40million monthly requests), and is low-cost once said tier is breached. However, the main draw, according to Amazon, is in those using DynamoDB being able to "offload the administrative burdens of operating and scaling distributed databases to AWS, so they don't have to worry about hardware provisioning, setup and configuration, replication, software patching, or cluster scaling".

We spoke to Dan Frost, Technical Director at 3rd Eye Vision, and he was enthusiastic about the news. "For me and certainly for a few of my team, DynamoDB made us think: we can stop doing the admin and do more coding. We have several NoSQL databases running for clients. While they are like magic compared to traditional databases, they still take effort [to administer]."

However, Frost warned that the "thing that swings it with cloud technologies is always if the new gotchas have really been thought about," and he said that lots of devs rushed to EC2 but were subsequently stung by treating it like traditional hosting. "I suspect that DynamoDB, like all cloud services, requires a subtly different architecture, or else you'll get stung when you least expect it." Nonetheless, he said that his "knee-jerk reaction to DynamoDB is that it seems like yet another very cool service from Dr Vogels and his team".

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