'Aurora' Database Engine Unveiled by Amazon

At its recent re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Inc. announced several new products and services.

During a keynote presentation at the third annual event, AWS revealed that the new Amazon Aurora relational database engine is now in preview after being developed for the past three years. AWS is describing Aurora as its response to the traditional relational database model, which it characterized as expensive, proprietary and difficult to license.

"We think it's going to be a game-changer," said Anurag Gupta, general manager of Amazon Aurora, during the keynote.

Aurora is fully compatible with MySQL, according to AWS, which promises performance improvements of up to 5x. It integrates with multiple AWS services, including S3, and features the ability to replicate data six ways across three availability zones, continuous backup to S3 and seconds-long crash recovery.

Pricing for Aurora starts at $0.29 per hour for large R3 instances. The preview is available out of AWS' Northern Virginia datacenter. Those interested can register for the preview here.

AWS also announced three new services aimed at the application development lifecycle.

The first is AWS CodeDeploy, which is now generally available at no cost. CodeDeploy is based on Amazon Apollo, the company's internal deployment service that it used to push 50 million deployments over the last 12 months, according to Andy Jassy, senior vice president of AWS, during the keynote. CodeDeploy is capable of rolling updates, and enables users to track the health of their deployments via a centralized portal.

Two more application development lifecycle services will be released in early 2015: AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeCommit. CodePipeline automates the build-test-release process, with continuous delivery. CodeCommit is a managed, cloud-based code repository. CodePipeline and CodeCommit are designed to work together, Jassy said.

Another trio of AWS services announced Wednesday tackle security and compliance in the cloud.

The AWS Key Management Service is immediately available, and features one-click encryption, a central pane to view and manage keys, automatic key rotation and integration with other AWS services. Pricing starts at $1 per month per key, and key usage costs $0.03 per 10,000 requests.

Currently in preview is the new AWS Config, which enables organizations to manage all of their AWS resources, get information on how specific configuration changes affect resources, and troubleshoot configuration changes.

Finally, the AWS Service Catalog, described by AWS as "a service that allows administrators to create and manage approved catalogs of resources that end users can then access via a personalized portal," will become available in early 2015.

The slew of new AWS services announced at re:Invent Wednesday underscore one of the AWS factoids that Jassy shared during the keynote: Since at least 2012, the pace of innovation at the company has grown by leaps and bounds. Two years ago, the AWS team launched 159 new services and features, Jassy said. In 2013, it launched 280.

For 2014, that number currently sits at 442, with over 500 expected by year's end.

AWS currently has over 1 million active customers, Jassy said, noting that the user base for AWS S3 grew by 137 percent year over year, while EC2 usage grew by 99 percent year over year. Overall, AWS grew by more than 40 percent year over year and is the "fastest-growing multibillion dollar enterprise IT company in the world," according to Jassy.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.