Amazon logoAmazon has launched a new web service – dubbed Amazon Relational Database Service. With it, you can easily port your MySQL databases to this service. It’s MySQL in the cloud.

From their website:

Amazon RDS gives you access to the full capabilities of a familiar MySQL database. This means the code, applications, and tools you already use today with your existing MySQL databases work seamlessly with Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS automatically patches the database software and backs up your database, storing the backups for a user-defined retention period. You also benefit from the flexibility of being able to scale the compute resources or storage capacity associated with your relational database instance via a single API call. As with all Amazon Web Services, there are no up-front investments required, and you pay only for the resources you use.

So, what about costs:

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Basically, RDS costs the same as an EC2 instance, or $0.11/hour for the smallest server. In an average month, you’d look to pay roughly $81 to keep the server up and running. Add in storage, backup and bandwidth costs, and it’s basically the same as running an EC2 instance.

Sorry, EU friends, this service hasn’t rolled out there yet and no pricing information is available for you at this time.

Amazon’s existing database service, SimpleDB, costs less than RDS, and Amazon advertises that many users don’t use enough resources to even start the meter – using the system for free. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on their SimpleDB product as well, and while it may be quicker for web developers to port their existing web databases over to RDS, the new service costs much more than SimpleDB.

So, if you want to quickly port over your web apps to store data in the cloud, check out RDS. If you want to tinker a bit, and perhaps save some money, check out SimpleDB.

I hope to get a chance to try out RDS this week and will report back.

p.s. they’ve also lowered EC2 pricing by a penny and a half an hour. Interesting.