Amazon has launched a hosted relational database service, Amazon RDS, as part of the suite of services available at AWS. The new service is a hosted MySQL database instance with the full capabilities and access rights as a normal self-hosted DB. As a hosted solution, instances are easily created and available almost immediately. Pricing stars at $0.11c per hour for the smallest scale specification, and is available now on the AWS site.
Unlike completely elastic hosted DB services, which abstract a large-scale cluster into a shared environment for customers, the Amazon model is to step up or down through tiers of service based on requirements. The tiers of service (with names that seem to be inspired by a fast food restaurant menu) and pricing are: