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12/1/2008
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Amazon Opens SimpleDB To Unlimited Public Beta

To help entice businesses to at least try out its cloud computing-integrated database service, Amazon is offering a free tier of usage for the next six months.

Amazon.com's Web services division on Monday announced an unlimited public beta of its Amazon SimpleDB, which is the online retailer's cloud computing service for querying structured data.

Unlike other relational databases, SimpleDB automatically indexes data and provides simple APIs for storage and access. Amazon also is set to announce a sampling of software features like "Select API" and "Batch Put" to give developers a known way to integrate SimpleDB with their existing database infrastructures.

To help entice businesses to at least try out its service, Amazon is offering a free tier of usage for the next six months. During the promotional period, customers receive 25 machine hours, 1 GB of data transfer in and out, and 1 GB of storage at no charge. Amazon also said its SimpleDB customers will receive a reduced storage pricing at only 25 cents per gigabyte per month.

Customers can now also sign up for AWS Premium Support for Amazon SimpleDB. AWS Premium Support offers technical assistance from the Amazon Web Services team whenever and as frequently as customers need it.

One such customer, social networking site MyMiniLife.com, said it's having early success as a SimpleDB tester.

"MyMiniLife processes millions of transactions per day and we were looking for a highly scalable system to support the load," Joel Poloney, co-founder of MyMiniLife, said in a statement. "After looking at a couple of possibilities, we realized that the current relational database model would not be able to scale updates and inserts as well as Amazon SimpleDB."

Poloney said SimpleDB's other attractive feature is that the database software integrates seamlessly with other Amazon Web services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. Other AWS services include Amazon Simple Queue Service and Amazon Flexible Payments Service.

To help understand how other companies large and small are approaching cloud computing, InformationWeek has published an independent report on the subject. Download the report here (registration required).

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