Amazon DynamoDB brings speedier NoSQL to the cloud

The hosted database service builds on the strengths of SimpleDB by boosting flexibility and reducing latency

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DynamoDB differs from SimpleDB in terms of scalability in that there are no predefined limits to the amount of data a given table can store. Developers can store and retrieve any amount of data, and DynamoDB will spread that data across hundred or thousands of servers over multiple Availability Zones to meet a user's storage and throughput requirements.

DynamoDB uses a couple of techniques to deliver better, more consistent performance, according to Amazon. It has high throughput at a very low latency in part because the service is built on solid-state drives, which, according to Vogels, "helps to optimize high performance even at high scale."

Moreover, Dynamo's write operations entail updating only primary key indices. That reduces the latency of both read and write operations.

"Most importantly, DynamoDB latencies are predictable," Vogels explained "Even as data sets grow, latencies remain stable due to the distributed nature of DynamoDB's data placement and request routing algorithms."

Amazon DynamoDB also aims to give developers a high degree of flexibility in that it does not force them to use a particular data model or consistency model. Tables do not require a fixed schema; rather, each data item can have any number of attributes -- even multivalue attributes. Developers can opt for stronger consistency models when accessing the database, and they can take advantage of the atomic increment/decrement functionality of DynamoDB for counters.

DynamoDB integrates with Amazon Elastic MapReduce service, through which users can perform complex analytics of their large datasets using a hosted Hadoop framework on Amazon Web Services. Organizations can use MapReduce to analyze datasets stored in DynamoDB and archive the results in Amazon Simple Storage Service.

Pricewise, Amazon DynamoDB storage runs $1 per gigabyte per month. Requests are priced based on how much capacity is reserved: 1 cent per hour for every 10 units of write capacity and 1 cent per hour for every 50 units of read capacity.

This story, "Amazon DynamoDB brings speedier NoSQL to the cloud," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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