In the past few months Amazon and Google decided to offer their computer centers and databases to the public.
At first Amazon declared that customers should stop worrying about how to buy more computers and how to run huge database applications. They should simply use Amazon's SimpleDB – "web service for running queries on structured data in real time. This service works in close conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), collectively providing the ability to store, process and query data sets in the cloud. These services are designed to make web-scale computing easier and more cost-effective for developers."
Later Google also opened their Google Application Engine that "enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications." Every user is allowed "500MB of persistent storage and enough bandwidth and CPU for 5 million monthly page views."
Take a look at the video below for more details.
For Amazon and Google this is a step in a different direction and it shows a current trend: development of big databases will become cheaper with the advancement of computer technology. What programmers and developers need to worry is how popular, current, and accessible the content of their databases is, so they can be used by more and more customers.