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Trying out DynamoDB

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Trying out DynamoDB

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I wrote in a previous blogpost, a few weeks ago, that we had started to migrate our MySQL databases to Amazon RDS. We have now been running this for quite a while, and so far we have not had any issues at all. The plan was to migrate even more, but this has not happened yet, as we got into another interesting migration: MongoDB to DynamoDB!

So far we have done some benchmarking, and we are pretty happy with that. DynamoDB has some interesting features, among the most interesting one is how they price it, where you pay for performance and resources used. This is not too dissimilar to what I suggested way back at a MySQL Sales conference, so maybe my head was correctly screwed on after all.

As usual, Amazon will not give much details on what they are doing, and how, but as DynamoDB is related to Cassandra, we have to assume it is an LSM-tree database. Amazon also claims that Flash / SSD storage is used for DynamoDB.

The main issue I have with DynamoDB isn't performance, I think this is an area where Amazon have done their homework. But DynamoDB is really limited in terms of functionality, there are only some simple operations available, you can have only 1 key (which may be composite, but still). There is a very limited number of datatypes, but this isn't that much of a problem for me per see (see this blog post), rather the types that are available aren't really that generic (a numeric 38-digit precsion number and a UTF-8 string), I ask where the generic variable length byte stream type is (in my mind, this is the one datatype that all databases should provide. There is hardly anything that cannot be represented as such a datatype).

Anyway, when we get furrther along with our DynamoDB testing, I'll let you know.

Cheers
/Karlsson

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