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2/1/2011
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Amazon Web Services Will Offer Oracle 11g

Amazon's EC2 cloud will no longer depend exclusively on the MySQL open source database system.

Amazon Web Services will add an Oracle 11g option to its EC2’s Relational Database Service in the second quarter. The RDS service has previously been based on services supplied by the open source MySQL system. The service was first launched in October 2009.

But EC2 users requirements appear to be outgrowing the capabilities of MySQL. The open source system can handle large quantities of read only data, and when combined with the InnoDB or other storage engine addition, can store and retrieve large amounts of data. But many modern business management features, including using a SQL event to trigger a stored business procedure, require a larger commercial system.

By turning to a database system in the cloud, a medium sized company or one with a small IT staff effectively outsource infrastructure issues, such as scaling the database and backing it up, to the cloud infrastructure provider.

In addition, existing Oracle customers will have a BYOL or bring your own license option that lets them run an Oracle 11g instance in Amazon’s EC2 cloud at no additional licensing or technical support charge.

Potential 11g users who are not current Oracle customers will be able to select the on-demand version with its hourly use charges. A license charge will be included in the hourly fee. Actual fees are based on the size of the server instance used and edition of 11g used (it comes in Express, Standard, and Enterprise editions) as well as hours run.

A third option will be to adopt a reserved instance, where the customer makes an upfront payment to Amazon for the right to use a database instance for a certain number of hours a month at a reduced hourly rate. Database instances may be reserved for use for a one-year or three-year period.

Actual pricing has not been set, or at least not posted, to the AWS Relational Database Service listings. No examples of pricing were included in the announcement.

Customers learned they could offload operational responsibility to AWS for MySQL when it was the available system, noted Raju Galabani, VP of database services at AWS. “Enterprises have asked when we’d offer the same functionality for Oracle Databases,” said Gulabani. Amazon takes responsibility for maintaining the database software, not the user. No particular date for the launch of the service in the second quarter has been announced.

Oracle 11g was already offered in EC2’s catalogue of applications and databases, but provisioning and activation will be more automated through the Relational Database Services console that an RDS customer gets from AWS to manage his database instance.

“We are working with AWS to make sure the ease of fulfillment and platform agility of Amazon RDS is available for the Oracle database . . . Amazon continues to be a pioneer in cloud computing,” said Mark Townsend, VP, Oracle database server technologies.

Operation of on-demand and reserved instances of Oracle will be given technical support, first, by Amazon Web Services and, secondarily, from Oracle.

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