What is AWS RDS?

Amazon Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) is a service that provides commercial and open source database platforms as a database cloud service. AWS RDS automates many of the manual database administration tasks such as provisioning, upgrades, patching and backups.

What does AWS RDS offer?

AWS RDS provides the most popular relational database management systems as a fully managed cloud service. Amazon Aurora, Oracle Database, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB database engines are supported.

Database platforms can be provisioned quickly and simply using the AWS console. Many of the database offerings have additional scalability and availability options available to support large database workloads.

AWS RDS allows organisations to implement and run database workloads at scale, on-demand, without the cost or associated lead time of setting up an enterprise database platform.

AWS RDS is integrated with the AWS cloud ecosystem supporting the development and operational of cloud native applications. Supporting IaaS cloud services for networking, storage, compute can all be used to provide a highly robust and performant database cloud platform.

AWS RDS pricing includes licensing costs for commercial databases, and in some cases allows for a customer to bring their own license.

AWS RDS Benefits:

  1. Easy to Administer – little to no repetitive database administration tasks required.
  2. Highly Scalable – scales from the smallest instance to multi-region clusters supporting web scale workloads.
  3. Available and Durable – automatic database backups to offline storage are part of the service along with the option to provision a multi-az database environment.
  4. Fast – database storage provisioned from SSD devices with options around guaranteed bandwidth for demanding database workloads.
  5. Secure – all database data is encrypted at rest by the storage platform.
  6. Inexpensive – AWS RDS can be used as little or as much as you like with the service available on-demand or provisioned in a reserved capacity.

AWS RDS Use Cases

AWS RDS can cover most, if not all, relational database requirements for organisations of any size. There is no real limit to what applications or use cases are best suited to AWS RDS. The combination of commercial and open source database platforms makes this a very attractive option to organisations wishing to migrate on-premise databases to a cloud service.

There are some limitations with AWS RDS that may need to be considered when evaluating this platform:

Database versions available on AWS RDS can lag generally available releases.

Some of the commercial database platforms have restricted options available or do not support running certain configurations on AWS RDS.

You need to consider connectivity requirements. AWS RDS does not provide access to the database server host – only database tool client access is permitted. This may require re-engineering application processes or support procedures.

Migrating to AWS RDS

Database migration to AWS RDS is supported in a number of ways. Migrating to the same database platform on AWS RDS, for example Oracle on premise to Oracle RDS, can be done using native database tools. Alternatively AWS DMS can be used to facility on-premise to AWS RDS migration.

Migrating between database platforms, for example Oracle on-premise to AWS Aurora with the PostgreSQL engine, can be done using AWS DMS or alternatively using a migration tool along with manually exporting and importing the data.

Migrating to AWS RDS is only one part of the process. You want to take advantage of capabilities of AWS services to consume database services on-demand as needed. Using cloud services to their full potential can significantly reduce the operating costs for your database platform along with increasing your delivery capabilities.

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