- This uses MySQL 5.1.38
- I did not see an option to enable SSH connections to MySQL. I think that is required for this to be a great way to run MySQL.
- This supports MyISAM and InnoDB. They don't give you command line access to the machines, so you cannot run myisamchk to recover corrupt MyISAM tables, nor can you run myisampack to compress them. I think it is a good idea to stick with InnoDB and then ask Amazon to upgrade to the InnoDB 1.0.4+ plugin.
- This appears to use network attached storage for most data. For example, innodb_data_home_dir=/rdsdbdata/db/innodb. I am not sure whether this buffers data in the OS buffer cache and if it does not, that will hurt MyISAM performance as it does not buffer table data.
- Replication is disabled. That makes it much easier to run many instances of MySQL in the environment. Replication state is not crash proof and Amazon probably does not want to spend their days recovering/replacing/rebuilding slaves. But that also limits the use of this for read scale out. Maybe Amazon and RightScale have something in progress to change that without introducing manageability overhead.
- The master user does not have SHUTDOWN, SUPER or replication privileges.
- Binlogs are enabled, but the master user does not have privileges to run SHOW MASTER STATUS. The documents state that databases can be recovered up to the last 5 minutes. I assume this means that any writes done are guaranteed to be archived somewhere after 5 minutes. If there were an option to archive the binlogs, then that would provide an extra degree of safety.