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AWS Unveils Cloud Directory for Hierarchical Data

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) yesterday announced a new managed service called Amazon Cloud Directory for storing strongly typed hierarchical data.

Examples of hierarchically organized data -- which can include many kinds of relationships between data objects -- include device registries, course catalogs, network configurations, file systems, project tasks, language taxonomy, user directories and so on.

AWS spokesperson Jeff Barr said such data is typically handled by directory software such as Active Directory Lightweight Directory Service or others based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

"For example, a user directory could have one hierarchy based on physical location (country, state, city, building, floor, and office), a second one based on projects and billing codes, and a third based on the management chain," Barr said in a blog post yesterday. "However, traditional directory technologies do not support the use of multiple relationships in a single directory; you'd have to create and maintain additional directories if you needed to do this."

Barr said traditional directories have also struggled with scale, at which cloud services such as AWS excel. "With the ability to scale to hundreds of millions of objects while remaining cost-effective, Cloud Directory is a great fit for all sorts of cloud and mobile applications," he said.

As a managed service, Cloud Directory doesn't require users to install anything or keep up with software patches. Users simply use a provided API to call into the data, which requires the setup of schemas and directories that are populated with customer data.

Now available in several regions around the world, Cloud Directory has different pricing rates based on the amount of data stored and the number of reads and writes to that data.

Barr said more work is planned for the service. "While the priorities can change due to customer feedback, we are working on cross-region replication, AWS Lambda integration, and the ability to create new directories via AWS CloudFormation," he said.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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