Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering the open-source PostgreSQL relational database as part of its RDS (Relational Database Service).
Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels announced the new offering, which is in beta, Thursday at the AWS' re:Invent 2013 user conference in Las Vegas.
Amazon prepped the new database offering at the behest of its users, Vogels said. "This has been on the top of the RDS list that our customers have been asking about," Vogels said. "This has been requested so often in the past year and half that it is almost obvious that this is coming."
"Postgres is an amazing database and has many features that you want," Vogels told the audience, which erupted in enthusiastic applause over the news. He noted that a number of AWS customers have already been running PostgreSQL clusters on AWS's EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) service.
PostgreSQL joins MySQL, Oracle's self-named database system, and Microsoft's SQL Server in being offered as part of an RDS. Vogels pointed to a number of features where PostgreSQL excels, namely geocoding of data and full text search.
Accessing a managed edition from AWS RDS will provide customers with a number of RDS support features as well, Vogels noted. "With this launch of Postgres for RSD, we are able to take some management pain away," he said.
Customers will enjoy multizoned availability, the ability to specify IOPs (input output operations per second), automated backups, access disks up to 3TB in size, and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) support.
Although not quite as well known as the other widely used open-source database system MySQL, or even the MySQL offshoot MariaDB, PostgreSQL is "a better technology in many ways," said Curt Monash of the IT research firm Monash Research. In particular, the software has greater datatype flexibility and geospatial support, Monash said by email.
Historically though, PostgreSQL support hasn't been as strong as MySQL's, Monash said. EnterpriseDB is one company that offers commercial support for the software and cloud provider Heroku also offers a hosted version of the database system.
The PostgreSQL offering was one of a number of service announcements that Vogels made at the event. AWS also launched Automated cross-region snapshot copying for data in the Amazon Redshift data warehouse; fast solid state drive instances; new EC2 instances for compute intensive workloads; and a service called Kinesis for real-time processing of large amounts of data.