Amazon launches Cloud Directory, purpose-built storage for hierarchical data


Amazon’s new Cloud Directory product, announced Thursday, could bring additional flexibility and scalability to enterprise directories. The key value proposition of Cloud Directory is that it offers users the ability to create directories with hierarchies spanning multiple dimensions.

According to an Amazon press release, more traditional directory tools like Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), and LDAP-based directories, only allow for a single hierarchy. The idea is that, in allowing the management of multiple hierarchies, Cloud Directory will improve directory flexibility for enterprise users.

One example given by Amazon would be using hierarchies like reporting structure, location, and cost center to manage and navigate a directory created as an organizational chart. According to a blog post by Amazon’s Jeff Barr, the process of combining schemas and facets is what allows for the representation of multiple hierarchies in the same directory.

“For example, your first hierarchy could mirror your org chart. Later, you could add an additional facet to track some additional properties for each employee, perhaps a second phone number or a social network handle,” Barr wrote in the post. “After that, you can could create a geographically oriented hierarchy within the same data: Countries, states, buildings, floors, offices, and employees.”

Amazon also touted the scalability of Cloud Directory, saying that the new service can scale to include “hundreds of millions of objects.” The service itself is fully-managed, and the extensible schema provided can be used across multiple applications. According to the Product Details page for Cloud Directory, the applications with which the schema is shared can independently extend it, meaning they can all share the directory at the same time, while avoiding potential data duplication.

Cloud Directory also provides built-in search and data encryption. For security purposes, data is encrypted at rest and in transit, with 256-bit encryption keys managed by the AWS Key Management Service (KMS).

Cloud Directory is available for use now in the following regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Singapore). A free trial will get customers “100,000 read API calls and 10,000 write API calls per month, and 1 GB of storage for the first 12 months,” the company stated.

If users go past the 12 months, or go beyond that amount of storage or calls, they will be charged normal rates. According to the blog post, pricing is calculated as follows:

  • Storage – $0.25 / GB / month
  • Reads – $0.0040 for every 10,000 reads
  • Writes – $0.0043 for every 1,000 writes
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