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SQL Server on RDS Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:12 AM


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"...And they'll even handle the backups automatically for your new database. "

making backups is only 1 tenth of the infrastructure involved with hot standby-failover or DR procedures which typically have a lot more to it than just the database server itself. In our case it is dozens of database servers (some with dozens of databases on them), webservers, process servers, file servers, mail servers, FTP servers, routers and switches (off the top of my head).

If RDS is guaranteeing 100% uptime for your data you could cut out the 10% but I don't see where this allows you to eliminate the person (or persons) that will get everything else up and running if you have major equipment failure outside of the cloud.

But actually I do like the idea and I think has long legs. There will always be certain sectors (like banking or anything that involves personal information) that will could probably never just live out in a cloud somewhere.




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Post #1297081
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:15 AM


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I think it's great that Amazon is doing this. It may not be for everybody, it may not provide the level of control and security that financial or healthcare data require, but for many smaller businesses dealing with less sensitive data and not enough resources to maintain their own database servers, this is a good option to have. As is Microsoft's SQL Azure.

Which brings me to my point: any word on how the two compare? Amazon RDS vs SQL Azure.


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Post #1297082
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:44 AM


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IceDread (5/9/2012)
Steve, you don't get sponsored by companies for posting this or do you?

I do not mean to question your integrity but you seam so positive about it. However that could be because I feel quite negative about it, thou I have my reasons.
[\quote]

Seems like you just did. I was told about this a few weeks ago and that we had the chance to participate in the launch if we wanted to. I liked the idea and service, and decided to write something and take advantage of the opportunity. If you don't like or trust my opinion, you are welcome to stop reading.

[quote]
You've missed nothing, it's a sales hype. Virtualized server services in a new package is all it is, but with more limitations.

I would say that this far, the gain is not worth the loss. The loss would be the cost as well as the problem with performance, reliability and also the legal issues of where the data is stored and who has access to the data and who can demand access to the data. It's not legal to export Swedish personal information about customers etc to third parties like some agency in usa for instance which could happen.


There's value in it, and it works for lots of applications. Many applications don't have PII, medical, or financial information in them. Plenty of people have a use for it, even if you do not.







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Post #1297101
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:46 AM


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mhotek-836094 (5/8/2012)
Um...the big deal is....what? I connect remotely to every production SQL Server instance that I've worked with for over 2 decades. I rarely have to manage the OS on anything that my SQL Servers are running on.
...

All Amazon has done is say "we'll provide the DBA".


You just admitted you do sometimes. This makes sense for some applications and cases. There one (or 100) less system(s) for your Windows admins to manage. Production quality uptime is handled, backups, networking. There's a lot here, and if it makes financial sense for your situation, use it.

If not, don't.







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Post #1297102
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:47 AM


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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that with this service Amazon is providing the hosting service with network and system administration such that they stand up the instance and manage the administration of it allowing us to focus on the database stuff. Does it have the same physical limitations as SQL Azure? If so, then what's the advantage of their approach?

Several people have questioned the security aspect wondering if Amazon would just help themselves to the code or data in the instance. It seems to me that this could be a potential issue for any hosted system regardless of the level of administration. For example, many organizations pay hosting services to host a server and a NAS but do the bulk of administration themselves. Personally, I would love to have the same level of support without the O/S administration so all I needed to focus on was the database but I'd make certain that the contract protected my intellectual property!



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Post #1297103
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:49 AM


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sku370870 (5/9/2012)
You've spend hundreds of hours developing. A lot of your business logic is in your stored procedures and functions. You can't afford SQL Server hosting of your own. You use this service - your web site gets popular ... what's to stop someone at Amazon ripping off your code?


That's just silly. I'm sure it happens, but when you have Netflix, AirBnB, Active.com, Ericsson, The Guardian, and more up there, all of whom have code worth stealing and are popular enough services to warrant it, your fears don't make any sense.

I've written it before, and I'll write it again. Almost everything you write in code is not some IP that's worth stealing or protecting. The integration of it all with your service is what your business sells. Worrying about anything else is naive, IMHO.







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Post #1297105
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:49 AM
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SQL Server Central is "a community service from redgate" as such it seems entirely reasonable for us to deal with an occasional marketing related blog post here for a redgate product or service.

As someone who does web development and thus often uses third party hosting where I control neither the web or database servers, this new service sounds like it could be useful.
Post #1297106
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:52 AM


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Markus (5/9/2012)
Do you control the backups/restores? Is SQL Server patched automatically if a service pack or security patch comes out? If so, and it causes issues with your application how do your roll it back?

I just do NOT like the thought of all of my data in the cloud where I have no idea if anyone else has access to it and I have no way of knowing this.


You can specify if you want patches applied automatically, and you can specify a backup window. They do a quiesce of writes and a snapshot of the server. They also do log backups and point in time recovery is available. Jeremiah Peschka wrote on it here: http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2012/05/sql-server-rds/

Please don't worry about someone in Amazon accessing your data among their thousands of virtual machines. It's much more likely a co-worker or friend gets access to your machine and takes the code/data if you get popular.

Plenty of companies, popular ones, have code and data in the cloud. I would not put financial, medical, PII info up there, mostly because of liability, but there are lots of apps where it would work fine. Like SQLServerCentral.







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Post #1297107
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:53 AM
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i think it would be a good location for general developer databases. less server maintenance. also good for putting databases on the web that you have no care to maintain. other than that, production should be served internally or your own managed DMZ server and maintained properly where you KNOW it will be backed up, updated, etc.

could be a great way to test which platform to use for a project. databases will be trashable with great cost to it especially man-hours cleaning it up.
Post #1297108
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:59 AM


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george 86905 (5/9/2012)
First of all, I love this site, and therefore, by extension, I love Steve Jones, I suppose. You guys have saved me many hours of deadends and the hours some of you spend on editing your posts and example code is amazing.


Thanks, and glad we could help you.


I have to say this post really does read like marketing copy and to my mind that makes the poster pretty much a shill. I wonder if I'm going to see Amazon RDS banner ads on my Google search pages now? This press release-like post does not note a single negative aspect of Amazon's new product--and if course it is just another product. One would think that an actual informative post might also mention the costs or at least provide a link to a menu of cost options.

It's an opinion piece. I like the idea of the service and highlighted those things that I see. I think I wrote "There are a few restrictions at the instance level since you don't have access to the underlying host OS". My intention was not to provide a complete review of the service, but talk about what it does.

Cost wasn't finalized when I wrote this, so I left it out. It is up now: http://aws.amazon.com/rds/#pricing


Not trying to be totally negative without offering an alternative. What about this? Now that this 'news' is out there, what about an objective product comparision showing the other main players in this space and how they all rank along the most important decision vectors?


Not a bad idea. Though hard to compare services that aren't the same. SQL Azure doesn't offer SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012. It's some weird hybrid superset/subset combination. We could compare EC2 and a few other providers that let you see costs and capacities. I'll look into it, but it's challenging as the costs and services are evolving so rapidly.







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