Amazon Relational Database Service

I was literally in the final stages of development to use Amazon’s SimpleDB as the storage for sipsorcery when an email drops into my inbox announcing a new Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The RDS service is basically a hosted MySQL database which is exactly what sipsorcery is using right now.

The problem the SimpleDB implementation was going to overcome is that the sipsorcery MySQL database is a single point of failure and to make it fault tolerant would require a minimum of 6 EC2 instances. With the new RDS service the MySQL single point of failure problem has been solved in one foul swoop. The same swoop has rendered nearly two months of work integrating SimpleDB into sipsorcery redundant. As Ned Kelly would say “such is life”.

Update: After looking into the RDS offering and playing around with it some more it looks like I was a bit hasty assuming it would be a better option than the SimpleDB. I was able to get a MySQL instance up and running and working with sipsorcery in no time at all. The issue though is that the MySQL instance provided by RDS looks to simply be a MySQL server hosted on a dedicated EC2 instance. That deployment model does not overcome the single point of failure limitation that currently exists. In addition the RDS documentation states that the MySQL instances will require a 4 hour window each week for maintenance downtime.

I was naively hoping that the RDS service provided database instances hosted on a MySQL cluster with five nines uptime and no single point of failure. It looks like that option may be coming but I supect the pricing will be high. The SimpleDB already provides a storage option with high uptime and no single point of failure and is cheap. It’s capabilities are less than a relational database but with a bit of wizardry that can be overcome in the sipsorcery server software. So it’s back to the SimpleDB approach.

  1. kashmiri’s avatar

    Well, but RDS is a paid only service which unlike SimpleDB offers no free quota. Don’t you think it would be fair to somehow recover the costs from the users?


    1. sipsorcery’s avatar

      To start charging would necessitate a reliable stable service. To provide a reliable stable service would mean a rigorous testing and quality assurance regime for all new development work. A rigorous test and QA regime would mean me spending 30% of my time on development and the rest on QA. Spending time on QA is not my idea of fun and would mean the service would most likely stagnate and eventually die.

      And that’s before you even open the customer service can of worms. If people are paying for the service, even just 1 cent, then they are entitled to a level of professional customer service which results in a replay of the first paragraph.

      Considering those two factors absorbing the $150 to $200 a month is a much cheaper option :).


    2. Lakshmi’s avatar


      Your reasoning is perfect… After using sipsorcery with GV for a month or so, I feel guilty about not paying anything… i guess most of us are.. How about you start some sort of contribution (for people who like to contribute only). Just a thought….

      BTW, I hardly comment on anything Internet…But this is one blog i check regularly and I have to admit, I am damn impressed with your efforts…

      Happy Halloween



    3. kashmiri’s avatar

      Yep, Lakshmi is absolutely right, that’s the feeling I have. Maybe you would allow people to contribute somehow (say, a PayPal donation or similar)? Look, finally, after many years, I have all my SIP accounts (30+) aggregated in one place, and all of them functional! Now I don’t need to invest in FritzBoxes, etc., use them all.

      Hey, giving a few bucks as a sign of gratitude would mean to me a lot!


    4. the wife’s avatar

      The wife concurs re $, there are X2 hungry mouths now.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *