Cloud computing has emerged as a pervasive platform for deploying scalable and highly available Internet applications. To facilitate the migration of data-driven applications to the cloud: elasticity, scalability, fault-tolerance, and self-manageability (henceforth referred to as cloud features) are fundamental requirements for database management systems (DBMS) driving such applications. Even though extremely successful in the traditional enterprise setting – the high cost of commercial relational database software, and the lack of the desired cloud features in the open source counterparts – relational databases (RDBMS) are not a competitive choice for cloud-bound applications. As a result, Key-Value stores have emerged as a preferred choice for scalable and fault tolerant data management, but lack the rich functionality, and transactional guarantees of RDBMS. We present ElasTraS, an Elastic TranSactional relational database, designed to scale out using a cluster of commodity machines while being fault-tolerant and self managing. ElasTraS is designed to support both classes of database needs for the cloud: (i) large databases partitioned across a set of nodes, and (ii) a large number of small and independent databases common in multi-tenant databases. ElasTraS borrows from the design philosophy of scalable Key-Value stores to minimize distributed synchronization and remove scalability bottlenecks, while leveraging decades of research on transaction processing, concurrency control, and recovery to support rich functionality and transactional guarantees. We present the design of ElasTraS, implementation details of our initial prototype system, and experimental results executing the TPC-C benchmark.