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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Amazon SimpleDB is an awesome metadata repository

Amazon recently announced their new SimpleDB web service. SimpleDB is a revolutionary new "hosted" database service that offers performance, reliability and scalability based on Amazon's work over the past ten years perfecting non-stop, 24x7 IT operations.

Sonian has been under non-disclosure about SimpleDB, but now that the service is publicly announced we can finally talk about how we use it to manage the metadata for our hosted archive.

Historically, managing the object metadata for an email archive has always been the Achilles heel for many archive solutions. In the past, typically a SQL database is paired with a file storage system to create the archive data storage system. But SQL is not the best place to store message metadata considering the semi-structured nature of the email data type. SimpleDB allows us to solve the metadata problem more elegantly and efficiently than current archive vendors can with their SQL server designs.

I will post more information about Sonian inner-workings over the next few weeks.

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