Public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a lot of services — 83 by my count. Some of them are more popular than others. Without question, the core EC2 computing service and S3 storage service are among the most popular. But then what?

AWS’ parent company,, doesn’t break out sales numbers for all of the AWS services. So instead AWS spectators have to lean on occasionally released, typically non-financial figures to get a feel for what’s being used.

On Friday AWS chief executive Andy Jassy shared new data on increasing use of the Database Migration Service (DMS), which lets organizations quickly and easily move databases from on-premises data centers onto AWS’ data center infrastructure. AWS first introduced it at its re:Invent conference in October 2015.

Since re:Invent 2016 at the end of November, customers have migrated 2,000 databases with DMS, and in all of 2016 there were 16,000 migrations, Jassy claimed in a tweet.

“DB [database] freedom is a powerful thing,” he wrote.

The numbers — which follow Amazon’s April 28 disclosure that in the year to date “more than 2,000 databases” had been migrated with DMS — show a clear spike, and they don’t appear to be directly attributable to any one enhancement announced at re:Invent 2016.

But Jassy’s comment about “freedom” is a bit more complex. With the help of the free Schema Conversion Tool, customers can use the Database Migration Service to take data from existing databases — SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL — that cost lots of money and push their data into cloud-hosted versions. While AWS offers cloud implementations of all of those, AWS also runs its own Aurora managed relational database.

While adopting Aurora might mean freedom from Oracle and Microsoft databases, customers can simultaneously become shackled to Aurora, because, although it’s advertised as being 1/10 the price of “commercial databases,” it’s not open source, even if it is compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL.

In any event, leaving aside the “freedom” bit, what we do know today is that usage of the Database Migration Service is increasing.


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member