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MySQL in Amazon Web Services

Running a Free MySQL Database in the Cloud

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MySQL in Amazon Web Services
Looking for a free or very low-cost way to host your MySQL databases in the cloud? You may wish to consider hosting your database in Amazon Web Services. This platform leverages the massive technology infrastructure of Amazon.com to provide you with an extremely low-cost, resilient and scalable way to host your databases in the cloud.

Getting Started with Amazon Web Services

You can be up and running with AWS in a matter of minutes. Simply log on to Amazon Web Services using your Amazon.com account and choose the services you would like to use. Amazon provides new users with one year of limited free service under the AWS Free Tier. You'll need to provide a credit card number to cover any services you use that fall outside the free tier limits.

What's Free?

The Free Tier of Amazon Web Services provides you with two ways to run a MySQL database within AWS for one year at no cost. The first option, Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), allows you to provision your own server that you manage and maintain. Here's what you get for free in EC2:
  • 750 hours of running an Amazon EC2 micro instance. You can choose the specific operating system you wish to run from the list of those available on the free tier and those supported by MySQL
  • 30GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage
  • 15GB of data transfer
Alternatively, you may also choose to run your database in Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS). Under this model, you only manage the database and Amazon takes care of server management tasks. Here's what the free tier of RDS provides:
  • 750 hours of an Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Single-AZ Micro DB instance running MySQL
  • 20GB of database storage
  • 10 million database I/O operations
  • 20 GB of backup storage
  • 15 GB of data transfer
This is just a summary of the full Amazon Free Tier details. Be sure to read the Free Tier description for more details before creating an account.

Creating a MySQL EC2 Instance in AWS

Once you've created your AWS account, it's very simple to get a MySQL instance up and running in EC2. Here's how you can get started quickly:
  1. Log on to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Select the EC2 option

  3. Click the Launch Instance button
  4. Choose the Quick Launch wizard and provide an instance name and keypair

  5. Select the launch configuration for the operating system of your choice

  6. Verify that the option you selected has a star icon marked "Free Tier Eligible" and press the Continue button

  7. Click Launch to launch the instance
You will then be able to see the instance and initiate a connection to it using the AWS Management Console. Simply return to the console's Instances view and locate the name of your AWS instance. Assuming the instance is already started, right click on the instance and choose Connect from the pop-up menu. AWS will then provide instructions on directly connecting to your server instance.

Once you connect, you will need to install MySQL on your server following the operating-system specific process.

If you want your server up and running 24x7, simply leave it running. If you don't need your server on a continuous basis, you may also use the AWS console to start and stop the instance on an as-needed basis.

MySQL Enterprise in AWS

MySQL recently announced that MySQL Enterprise subscriptions now cover Amazon EC2 instances. If your organization already subscribes to MySQL Enterprise, those benefits extend into the EC2 environment.
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