Amazon Web Services is releasing a tool that enables companies to migrate databases into Amazon’s cloud computing ecosystem relatively cheaply and with “virtually no downtime.”

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Amazon Web Services is widely releasing a tool that enables companies to migrate databases into Amazon’s cloud computing ecosystem relatively cheaply and with “virtually no downtime.”

The move comes as more enterprises ponder abandoning their own data centers for virtual enclosures operated by Amazon.com, Microsoft and Google. It’s big business — and the competition is stiff, although Amazon, which helped invent the business a decade ago, remains ahead, according to experts.

But moving databases traditionally is a cumbersome process that can either mean being offline for a while or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for pricey migration tools. Amazon says its process is much simpler and cheaper.

Amazon says that more than 1,000 databases from companies using a preview of the service have been migrated to its cloud since January.

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