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Amazon introduces SimpleDB

TechCrunch: “[S]ince SimpleDB operates at Web scale, larger companies will wake up to the cost saving opportunities of such a service as well… If speed is of the essence, you might still want to keep your database on your own servers. But the Web is where most software will one day live, whether consumer or enterprise.”

Outside of messaging, which has intrinsic reliance on the network, we have yet to see the adoption of mainstream “infrastructure services” in enterprises. While some enterprises (most of them small) are running applications like CRM and ERP as hosted web services, most have preferred to host their own applications and databases. So now SimpleDB provides a mechanism for hosting databases in the cloud. While the SimpleDB service won’t be a likely candidate (at least initially) for high performance scenarios due to network latency and a user’s inability to “tune” the service for performance, it might be a great candidate for more mainstream applications that share data with customers and partners. In addition, since the usage is metered by processing hour, this can also create a simple way for enterprises to provide data-related services and charge their customers/business partners for the service based on utilization.

Some web startups are already using Amazon’s infrastructure for hosting their services/applications. The introduction of SimpleDB may change the paradigm from LAMP (or .NET/SQL Server) development for new services to the utilization of hosted app and data services with a small web presence to handle the direction of incoming users to those services. Looking back over the past 10 years on the Web, the times are definitely changing. Fast.

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