“Our customers have asked us for a lower priced instance type that could satisfy the needs of their less demanding applications,” Jeff Barr, Web services evangelist at Amazon, wrote in a June 11 posting on the Amazon Web Services Blog. “The micro RDS instance allows you to run a fully-featured relational database, starting at just $19 a month.”
Micro RDS instances apparently support Multi-AZ deployments—that is, deployments that take advantage of Amazon’s multiple “Availability Zones,” which feature independent power and network connectivity—and Read Replicas.
“Micro DB instances provide a small amount of consistent CPU resources, and also allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available,” Barr added. “The Micro DB instance type is available now in all AWS regions.”
Although Amazon has long held a significant presence in the cloud, it faces increased competition from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, and other major IT vendors. Microsoft in particular has targeted both enterprises and smaller companies with its cloud offerings, which include development environments and cloud-based productivity software.
Oracle is also targeting the Amazon audience with its newly announced public cloud. “Our cloud is elastic like Amazon’s cloud is elastic,” Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told the audience during a June 6 presentation, in which he described the platform as home to more than 100 enterprise-grade applications.
“Who are we most like? I guess at the platform level we’re kind of similar to Amazon,” he said, adding that when an Oracle client needs more capacity, “we spool up another virtual machine; most of our competitors don’t give you additional capacity as you need it.” However, Oracle has also proven reluctant to share details about pricing at this point, which could give Amazon an advantage once the two tech titans go more toe-to-toe in the cloud.
Micro instances for Amazon RDS for the MySQL database engine could attract those smaller developers in need of instances for lower-traffic applications and tiny cloud projects—and onramp them for larger Web services should those cloud projects grow to something much larger. That alone might not be enough for Amazon to push its rivals from the space, but it shows the online retailer/cloud provider is thinking broad when it comes to its cloud-platform offerings.