Lots of talk this week about Amazon's latest database-on-demand offering. Here's some of what's being said:
One of the worries in this model for business is building everything on Amazon without any backstop. I think Amazon would benefit from some competition in this space so that people knew there were alternatives.
Even so, the model is compelling. When you can build large, distributed systems and avoid pouring precious dollars into fixed capital assets, startups can do things that just weren’t possible before.
If you are in the business of managing massive amounts of distributed data, you cannot gloss over the Amazon WS trifecta — data-in-the-cloud is the future and with WS, Amazon is way ahead of the pack.What about the offerings of other vendors? Google, for example, has BigTable, and truth be told, SimpleDB has a distinctly BigTable-ish feel to it.
AWS filled a major gap in their offering with the addition of SimpleDB. Two things jumped out at me, the first being that it’s optimized for very large datasets and the second, more important as well, observation is that it’s designed around search indexes instead of schemas.
There’s a lot more to be said about SimpleDB, most of it beyond my technical capabilities but it is safe to say that just as was the case when AWS first launched, the impact it would have was underestimated at the time.
Today, when a company raises VC, it's probably because their app has achieved a certain amount of success and to get to the next level of users they need to spend serious money on infrastructure. There's a serious economic and human wall here. You need to buy hardware and find the people who know how to make a database scale. The latter is the hard problem, the people are scarce and the big companies are bidding up the price for their time. Now Amazon is willing to sell you that, to turn this scarce thing into a commodity, at what likely is a very reasonable price. (Haven't had time to analyze this yet, but the other services are.) Key point, the wall is gone, replaced with a ramp. If you coded your database in Amazon to begin with you will never see the wall. As you need more capacity you have to do nothing, other than pay your bill.