Amazon introduces reservation system for databases in its cloud

Users who sign up for an Amazon Web Services database instance for one or three years get a discount on the hourly rate

Amazon Web Services has introduced Reserved Database Instances, a new way to pay for its cloud-based Relational Database Service (RDS), the company said on Monday.

With Reserved Database Instances, users can make a one-time, up-front payment to reserve a database instance in a specific region for either one or three years, according to Amazon. In return, they get a discount off the ongoing hourly usage rate. A Reserved Database Instance costs from $227.50 for one year and $350 for three years plus $0.046 per hour. That compares to the standard hourly rate that starts at $0.11, according to Amazon's price list. If the database instance is used for the entire term, the discount can amount to up to 46 percent, Amazon said.

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Users can purchase up to 20 reserved instances, without any questions asked. Users that want more than that have to fill in a request form, according to an Amazon FAQ. If users want to move the reserved instance to a higher class, which comes with more memory and processing power, the charge will revert to standard hourly rates.

Functionally, Amazon's Reserved Database Instances and On-Demand DB Instances are exactly the same, and give users access to a MySQL database. Code, applications, and tools already used today with existing MySQL databases will work with Amazon RDS, and Amazon also automatically patches the software. The service is still tagged as a beta.

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