Helping Apps Hum Along in the Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-01-07 Print this article Print


4. Load Balancing, Auto Scaling and CloudWatch-to help applications hum along in the cloud 

AWS offers Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring AWS cloud resources, Auto Scaling for automatically growing and shrinking capacity based on demand, and Elastic Load Balancing for distributing incoming traffic across Amazon EC2 compute instances. Together, these capabilities provide businesses and developers with greater visibility into the health and usage of AWS compute resources, and allow them to further improve performance of their applications and operate more efficiently, Selipsky said.

5. Database solutions-because one size does not fit all 

There is an ever growing array of structured storage (database) solutions for today's application developer, AWS officials said. Relational databases are traditionally feature-rich. Many applications, however, do not need the rich programming model (and some would say complexity) of relational systems. These applications are better served by lighter-weight, easier-to-administer and easier-to-scale solutions. Both relational and nonrelational structured storage systems are important, and no single solution is appropriate for all applications. AWS takes a one-size-does-not-fit-all approach, offering Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon SimpleDB, and enabling purpose-built database deployments on Amazon EC2.

If a user's application requires relational storage, but they want to reduce the time they spend on database management, Amazon RDS automates common administrative tasks to reduce their complexity and total cost of ownership, Selipsky said. Amazon RDS automatically backs up users' database and maintains their database software, allowing them to spend more time on application development. With the native database access Amazon RDS provides, users get the programmatic familiarity, and tooling and application compatibility, of a traditional relational database. They also benefit from the flexibility of being able to scale the compute resources or storage capacity associated with their relational database instance via a single API call.

For database implementations that do not require a relational model, and that principally demand index and query capabilities, Amazon SimpleDB eliminates the administrative overhead of running a highly available production database, and is unbound by the strict requirements of an RDBMS, Selipsky said. With Amazon SimpleDB, users store and query data items via simple Web services requests, and Amazon SimpleDB does the rest. In addition to handling infrastructure provisioning, software installation and maintenance, Amazon SimpleDB automatically indexes users' data, creates geo-redundant replicas of the data to ensure high availability and performs database tuning on customers' behalf.

Finally, with Amazon EC2 and Elastic Block Storage (EBS), customers can take a "do-it-yourself" approach to deploying and managing any number of databases, including specialized data warehouse solutions. 


Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel