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Amazon rains MySQL on Europe

Floating relational database crosses Atlantic

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Amazon has floated its MySQL cloud across the Atlantic.

Early Wednesday European time, the mega-retailer turned virtual-infrastructure-maven announced that its Amazon Relational Database Service - a version of MySQL running atop the its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - can now be launched on server instances based in the EU.

EC2 serves up on-demand processing power from two separate geographic locations - the US and Europe - and each geographic region is split into multiple zones designed never to disappear at the same time. In the fall, Amazon announced that the service will also be available in Asia sometime in the first half of this year.

For those in Europe, the EU incarnation of Amazon RDS not only provides lower latency, it can satisfy EU legal requirements for data storage. Obeying the law is important.

The online service offers complete access to the same MySQL you've grown to love down here on earth. Using Amazon's RDS APIs - or its command-line tools - you can tap a self-contained MySQL database instances whenever you feel the urge, and the service handles such admin tasks as setup and provisioning, patch management, and backup. With an API call, you can also scale up additional instances as needed.

Amazon also offers the proprietary SimpleDB database atop EC2. This is, well, simpler, but it means facing what the world insists on calling vendor lock-in.

Yes, you can load your own MySQL onto EC2, but RDS saves you hassle. ®

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