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Amazon Web Services adds free version of database in the cloud

Amazon wants to make it easier for enterprises to test its relational database service

Amazon Web Services has expanded its free service tier to include its Relational Database Service (RDS), the company said on Tuesday.

The free tier was put in place to lower the bar for testing Amazon's cloud-based services.

The latest addition allows new customers to use RDS on a Micro DB Instance, along with 20GB of database storage, 10 million I/Os and 20GB of backup storage for up to a year.

The micro instance is designed for websites with very low traffic and test installations, Biswaroop Palit, senior product manager for RDS, said in an internally produced video interview.

The micro instance for RDS was announced in June with the purpose of lowering the cost of running databases in the cloud, and normally costs from US$0.025 per hour when using MySQL.

MySQL and SQL Server will be available as part of the free tier from day one, and Oracle's database will be added soon, according to Palit.

When the free usage period expires or if the application use exceeds what is included, users pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3) and a number of other services are also included in the free tier.

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