As I’m sure many of you know, Amazon announced its Reliable Database Service today. Frankly, it seems strange to me. After all these years aiding the adoption of alternatives to the stale old RDBMS, why change course now? The obvious explanation is that demand for RDBMSes still persists. People are still – often against all reason, considering the availability of alternatives – running them inside their EC2 instances. This is Amazon’s way of monetizing that demand, and along the way making things a little easier/nicer for users. Kudos to them. There’s nothing wrong with satisfying the customers, I always say. On the other hand, though, I wonder if there might be another little secret lurking in there. People running MySQL (or similar) inside their EC2 instances probably generates quite a bit of load on the network, and on EBS particularly. Could this be a way to shift that load a bit? Even if it doesn’t actually reduce total bandwidth consumption, separating the database load from everything else might allow for more predictable behavior and simplify provisioning. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging people to use resources more efficiently, either.

Either way, this is a welcome addition to the AWS arsenal. I don’t think it makes much of a statement about how people should design applications for the cloud (WV oh-so-diplomatically seems to discourage it without actually saying it’s wrong) but maybe it says something about how people are actually using the cloud to deploy existing applications with little or no change. Anything we can do to encourage cloud adoption is good, I guess, even if we’ll eventually have to wean them away from technologies that are no longer appropriate.