What is Amazon RDS? How does Amazon RDS work? Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a web service that makes it easier to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the AWS Cloud. It provides cost-efficient, resizable capacity for an industry-standard relational database and manages common database administration tasks.
What is Amazon RDS?
Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a managed SQL database service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon RDS supports an array of database engines to store and organize data. It also helps with relational database management tasks, such as data migration, backup, recovery and patching.
Amazon RDS facilitates the deployment and maintenance of relational databases in the cloud. A cloud administrator uses Amazon RDS to set up, operate, manage and scale a relational instance of a cloud database. Amazon RDS is not itself a database; it is a service used to manage relational databases.
How does Amazon RDS work?
Databases are used to store large quantities of data that applications can draw on to help them perform various functions. A relational database uses tables to store data. It is called relational because it organizes data points with defined relationships.
Administrators control Amazon RDS with the AWS Management Console, Amazon RDS API calls or the AWS Command Line Interface. They use these interfaces to deploy database instances to which users can apply specific settings.
Amazon provides several instance types with different combinations of resources, such as CPU, memory, storage options and networking capacity. Each type comes in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of different workloads.
RDS users can use AWS identity and access management to define and set permissions for who can access an RDS database.
Amazon RDS features
Amazon RDS features include the following:
Replication. RDS uses the Replication feature to create read replicas. These are read-only copies of database instances that applications use without altering the original production database. Administrators can also enable automatic failover across multiple availability zones through RDS Multi-AZ deployment and with synchronous data replication.
Storage. RDS provides three types of storage:
- General-purpose solid-state drive (SSD). Amazon recommends this storage as the default choice.
- Provisioned input-output operations per second (IOPS). SSD storage for I/O-intensive workloads.
- Magnetic. A lower cost option.
Monitoring. The Amazon CloudWatch service enables managed monitoring. It lets users view capacity and I/O metrics.
Patching. RDS provides patches for whichever database engine the user chooses.
Backups. Another feature is failure detection and recovery. RDS provides managed instance backups with transaction logs to enable point-in-time recovery. Users pick a retention period and restore databases to any time during that period. They also can manually take snapshots of instances that remain until they are manually deleted.
Incremental billing. Users pay a monthly fee for the instances they launch.
Encryption. RDS uses public key encryption to secure automated backups, read replicas, data snapshots and other data stored at rest.
Amazon Aurora and Amazon Aurora Serverless vs. Amazon RDS
Amazon Aurora is a database engine created by Amazon. RDS is a service used to manage database engines and instances, including Amazon Aurora databases.
Amazon Aurora Serverless can also be used to manage instances of Amazon Aurora. Its automation features relieve developers from having to manually launch servers and manage database capacity.
With RDS, servers must be manually scaled, which can result in significant downtime. Aurora Serverless’ automatic scaling capability enables faster deployment with little to no downtime.
One downside of Aurora Serverless is it only works with Amazon Aurora, MySQL and PostgreSQL. RDS is compatible with six database engines.
Organizations should assess the two database management options. Both have advantages and limitations, depending on the type of application they serve. Aurora Serverless is considered suitable for applications with unpredictable and steep spikes in usage, which need more efficient capacity adjustments. Amazon RDS is suitable for more predictable applications because capacity adjustments take more time in RDS than in Aurora Serverless.
Amazon RDS Custom for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server
Amazon RDS Custom is an RDS management type that gives you full access to your database and operating system.
You can use the control capabilities of RDS Custom to access and customize the database environment and operating system for legacy and packaged business applications. Meanwhile, Amazon RDS automates database administration tasks and operations.
In this deployment model, you can install applications and change configuration settings to suit your applications. At the same time, you can offload database administration tasks such as provisioning, scaling, upgrading, and backup to AWS. You can take advantage of the database management benefits of Amazon RDS, with more control and flexibility.
For Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server, RDS Custom combines the automation of Amazon RDS with the flexibility of Amazon EC2. For more information on RDS Custom, see Working with Amazon RDS Custom.
With the shared responsibility model of RDS Custom, you get more control than in Amazon RDS, but also more responsibility. For more information, see Shared responsibility model in RDS Custom.
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)
You can run a DB instance on a virtual private cloud (VPC) using the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) service. When you use a VPC, you have control over your virtual networking environment. You can choose your own IP address range, create subnets, and configure routing and access control lists.
The basic functionality of Amazon RDS is the same whether it’s running in a VPC or not. Amazon RDS manages backups, software patching, automatic failure detection, and recovery. There’s no additional cost to run your DB instance in a VPC. For more information on using Amazon VPC with RDS, see Amazon VPC VPCs and Amazon RDS.
Amazon RDS uses Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize the time on DB instances.
AWS Regions and Availability Zones
Amazon cloud computing resources are housed in highly available data center facilities in different areas of the world (for example, North America, Europe, or Asia). Each data center location is called an AWS Region.
Each AWS Region contains multiple distinct locations called Availability Zones, or AZs. Each Availability Zone is engineered to be isolated from failures in other Availability Zones. Each is engineered to provide inexpensive, low-latency network connectivity to other Availability Zones in the same AWS Region.
By launching instances in separate Availability Zones, you can protect your applications from the failure of a single location. For more information, see Regions, Availability Zones, and Local Zones.
You can run your DB instance in several Availability Zones, an option called a Multi-AZ deployment. When you choose this option, Amazon automatically provisions and maintains one or more secondary standby DB instances in a different Availability Zone. Your primary DB instance is replicated across Availability Zones to each secondary DB instance.
This approach helps provide data redundancy and failover support, eliminate I/O freezes, and minimize latency spikes during system backups. In a Multi-AZ DB clusters deployment, the secondary DB instances can also serve read traffic. For more information, see Configuring and managing a Multi-AZ deployment.
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