There was a time when I, and by extension our club, study
nildana, was a full on Microsoft house. All of us used windows phones, windows
10 desktops, visual studio for development and Microsoft Azure for cloud and
site hosting. However, times change and study nildana has to move on with
times. Hence, we made some changes to adapt other service providers as well.
One of those decisions was to explore what Amazon Web
Services has to offer. Of course, while a decision was made to use other
service providers, there is always a trigger point that leads into actual
action. Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about servers. I know my
way around Microsoft SQL servers, but my knowledge about MySQL is extremely
limited. Back when I was Microsoft only, and Azure only, I had jump through a
lot of hoops to get MySQL.
In fact, I still do not know why Microsoft won’t give a
native cloud solution for MySQL. As of today, there are two ways to get your
own MySQL solution running.
Buy from a vendor. Microsoft has a marketplace
which is extremely useful. One of those vendors is ClearDB who provides
instances of MySQL databases. This is good for most use cases but the problem
is, this is no different than buying database from a local provider. You get
none of the obvious benefits of Azure. Heck, if you have Azure credits, it
won’t work in the marketplace, at least not with ClearDB. Further, ClearDB has
some extreme limitations which makes it next to useless for most scenarios. I
have used ClearDB and it was insanely expensive and it was extremely not
productive at all.
Build your own MySQL server. This is something
that I eventually decided to do. You see, MySQL is open source. That means, you
can install it wherever you want. That’s one piece of the puzzle. Then, there is
the fact that Microsoft provides windows server as a virtual machine, at fairly
low prices. So, you simply commission yourself a windows server virtual
machine, and install MySQL on top of it. Open up the ports and you have an
almost native solution.
The second option – using the windows sever with MySQL
running on top of it – is good. Still, it is still not as cool as the native
azure service. For instance, look at the MS Server databases that Azure
provides. All the scalability in the world, cheap prices and incredible backup
and security. You get none of that flexibility with MySQL related.
That is when, it occurred to me, Amazon provides native
MySQL services. I have been itching to try that service out. Here are some of
the stuff that impressed me.
I was able to use my existing amazon account.
Made sign up easy.
Amazon is giving a year of free cloud usage,
which is good enough for my practicing and blogging.
They of course have native MySQL solutions.
First impressions though, the Amazon ‘console’ is simply not
as good looking as the Azure management site or the management portal. Also, it
will blog as and when I do more on it right here.