Amazon just added a new cloud computing service to its suite of Amazon Web Services, a distributed database called DynamoDB. Web applications can spike suddenly in demand or grow so big that they tax traditional databases, or even clusters of traditional databases, which are hard to maintain, especially for smaller companies. With DynamoDB, Amazon offers and on-demand web-scale distrubted database to the tens of thousands of customers who already use other cloud computing services from Amazon.
DynamoDB is a “a fully managed NoSQL database” that can be scaled up or down according to demand. Amazon takes care of all the provisioning and management of the database. The whole service takes advantage of solid-state drives, greatly speeding up the transfer of data from the database (which is often a bottleneck).
Three years ago, Amazon Web Services launched a much simpler database, SimpleDB. With DynamoDB, Amazon is moving up the stack and competing more directly with traditional databases from Oracle and IBM.
Here is a video explaining the basic concept: