Aurora amazona

Red_and_green_aurorasAs the dawn rises on Las Vegas and AWS re:Invent, the twittosphere is abuzz with the latest market disruptor from Amazon: Aurora. I first heard about if from TechCrunch, with Silicon Angle following suit, and I am sure numerous other outlets that I simply did not read yet.

And I am not even in Las Vegas – re:Invent is one several high quality events I am not attending this week – but just keeping up with the tweetstream. It’s probably better anyway, since I doubt I would be writing this post that early in the morning after a long night of attempting to defeat the odds at the tables.

So, a few years after going head to head with data warehouse vendors, Amazon is unveiling another major milestone in their strategy to take over enterprise IT. Redshift’s promise, when it was announced in 2012 (at re:Invent, if memory serves me right), was to democratize analytical databases and decrease the cost of BI to $1000 per terabyte per year – one tenth of what enterprise vendors such as Teradata would cost. One year later, Teradata launched their own cloud-based Data Warehouse as a Service. Unsurprisingly, they are still in business and doing OK (if anything, Teradata is probably more concerned with Hadoop than Redshift).

Yet, Redshift is a successful platform. It has been adopted by many typical cloud adopters, for prototyping or for fast deployment. BI vendors such as Jaspersoft (and others) have launched a Redshift-targeted offering. At Talend, we did release connectors for both Redshift and Teradata DWaaS, inked partnerships and issued announcements with both vendors.

However, in the transactional DBMS world, Amazon was reliant on Oracle or Microsoft to provide their enterprise-grade engines. For many users, the MySQL or PostgreSQL options did not cut it. It was only a matter of time before they decided they should control this part of the stack too – and cut down on royalties to Oracle on Microsoft.

And the result is: Amazon RDS for Aurora (probably soon to be called Amazon Aurora by most). In their blog (Amazon’s typical way of announcing new technology), the AWS team summarizes it well:

Today we are launching Aurora, is a fully-managed, MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.

And of course the punch line is at the end:

Amazon Aurora was designed to provide you with a price to performance ratio that is more than 4 times better than previously available.

Enough said. Let the migrations begin.

Digitally yours,

PS: an aurora is a natural light display in the sky (says Wikipedia). And what is commonly known in English as northern lights has a scientific name: aurora borealis. I had to review my Latin declensions to get the adjective right for its IT counterpart the aurora amazona.

(photo credit: Frank Olsen, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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