Amazon Relational Database Service

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Amazon Relational Database Service
Initial releaseOctober 26, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-10-26)[1]
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inEnglish
Typerelational database SaaS

Amazon Relational Database Service (or Amazon RDS) is a distributed relational database service by Amazon Web Services (AWS).[2] It is a web service running "in the cloud" designed to simplify the setup, operation, and scaling of a relational database for use in applications.[3] Administration processes like patching the database software, backing up databases and enabling point-in-time recovery are managed automatically.[4] Scaling storage and compute resources can be performed by a single API call as AWS does not offer an ssh connection to RDS instances.[5]


Amazon RDS was first released on 22 October 2009, supporting MySQL databases.[1][6][7] This was followed by support for Oracle Database in June 2011,[8][9] Microsoft SQL Server in May 2012,[10] PostgreSQL in November 2013,[11] and MariaDB (a fork of MySQL) in October 2015,[12] and an additional 80 features during 2017.[13]

In November 2014 AWS announced Amazon Aurora, a MySQL-compatible database offering enhanced high availability and performance,[14] and in October 2017 a PostgreSQL-compatible database offering[15][13] was launched.[16]

In March 2019 AWS announced support of PostgreSQL 11 in RDS,[17] five months after official release.


New database instances can be launched from the AWS Management Console or using the Amazon RDS APIs.[18] Amazon RDS offers different features to support different use cases. Some of the major features are:

Multi-Availability Zone (AZ) deployment[edit]

In May 2010 Amazon announced Multi-Availability Zone deployment support.[19] Amazon RDS Multi-Availability Zone (AZ) allows users to automatically provision and maintain a synchronous physical or logical “standby” replica, depending on database engine, in a different Availability Zone[20] (independent infrastructure in a physically separate location). Multi-AZ database instance can be developed at creation time or modified to run as a Multi-AZ deployment later. Multi-AZ deployments aim to provide enhanced availability and data durability for MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQL Server[21] instances and are targeted for production environments.[22] In the event of planned database maintenance or unplanned service disruption, Amazon RDS automatically fails over to the up-to-date standby, allowing database operations to resume without administrative intervention.

Multi-AZ RDS instances are optional and have a cost associated with them. When creating a RDS instance, the user is asked if they would like to use a Multi-AZ RDS instance. In Multi-AZ RDS deployments backups are done in the standby instance so I/O activity is not suspended any time but you may experience elevated latencies for a few minutes during backups.[23]

Read replicas[edit]

Read replicas allow different uses case such as to scale in for read-heavy database workloads. Available are up to five replicas for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL instances use the native, asynchronous replication functionality of their respective database engines,[24] have no backups configured by default and are accessible and can be used for read scaling.[25] MySQL and MariaDB read replicas can be made writeable again since October 2012;[26] PostgreSQL read replicas do not support it.[25] Replicas are done at database server level and do not support replication at database instance or table level.[27]

Performance metrics and monitoring[edit]

Performance metrics for Amazon RDS are available from the AWS Management Console or the Amazon CloudWatch API. In December 2015, Amazon announced an optional enhanced monitoring feature that provides an expanded set of metrics for the MySQL, MariaDB, and Aurora database engines.[28]

RDS costs[edit]

Amazon RDS instances are priced very similarly to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). RDS is charged per hour and comes in two packages: On-Demand DB Instances[29] and Reserved DB Instances.[29] On-Demand Instances are at an ongoing hourly usage rate. Reserved DB Instances require an up-front, one-time fee and in turn provide a discount on the hourly usage charge for that instance.

Apart from the hourly cost of running the RDS instance, users are charged for the amount of storage provisioned, data transfers and input and output operations performed. AWS have introduced Provisioned Input and Output Operations, in which the user can define how many IO per second are required by their application. IOPS can contribute significantly to the total cost of running the RDS instance.[30]

As part of the AWS Free Tier, the Amazon RDS Free Tier helps new AWS customers get started with a managed database service in the cloud for free. You can use the Amazon RDS Free Tier to develop new applications, test existing applications, or simply gain hands-on experience with Amazon RDS.[31]

Automatic backups[edit]

Amazon RDS creates and saves automated backups of RDS DB instances.[23] The first snapshot of a DB instance contains the data for the full DB instance and subsequent snapshots are incremental, maximum retention period is 35 days. In Multi-AZ RDS deployments backups are done in the standby instance so I/O activity is not suspended for any amount of time but you may experience elevated latencies for a few minutes during backups.[23]


Database instances can be managed from the AWS Management Console, using the Amazon RDS APIs and using aws cli.[18] Since 1 June 2017,[32] you can stop AWS RDS instances from AWS Management Console or AWS CLI for 7 days at a time. After 7 days, it will be automatically started,[32][33] and since September 2018 RDS instances can be protected from accidental deletion.[34] Increase DB space is supported, but not decrease allocated space.[35] Additionally there is at least a six-hour period where new allocation cannot be done.

Database instance types[edit]

As of December 2017, Amazon RDS supports 36 DB instance types, 27 of which are the latest generation, to support different types of workloads:[36][37][38]

Current generation[edit]

Instance type Memory EBS optimized / throughput Cores Network performance
db.t2.micro 1 GB N/A 1 cores Low to moderate
db.t2.small 2 GB N/A 1 cores Low to moderate
db.t2.medium 4 GB N/A 2 cores Low to moderate
db.t2.large 8 GB N/A 2 cores Moderate
db.t2.xlarge 16 GB N/A 4 cores Moderate
db.t2.2xlarge 32 GB N/A 8 cores High
db.r3.large 15.25 GB N/A 2 cores Moderate
db.r3.xlarge 30.5 GB N/A 4 cores Moderate
db.r3.2xlarge 61 GB N/A 8 cores High
db.r3.4xlarge 122 GB N/A 16 cores High
db.r3.8xlarge 244 GB N/A 32 cores 10 Gigabit
db.r4.large 15.25 GB 437 Mbit/s 2 cores Up to 10 Gbps
db.r4.xlarge 30.5 GB 875 Mbit/s 4 cores Up to 10 Gbps
db.r4.2xlarge 61 GB 1750 Mbit/s 8 cores Up to 10 Gbps
db.r4.4xlarge 122 GB 3500 Mbit/s 16 cores Up to 10 Gbps
db.r4.8xlarge 244 GB 7000 Mbit/s 32 cores 10 Gbps
db.r4.16xlarge 488 GB 14000 Mbit/s 64 cores 25 Gbps
db.m4.large 8 GB 450 Mbit/s 2 cores Moderate
db.m4.xlarge 16 GB 750 Mbit/s 4 cores High
db.m4.2xlarge 32 GB 1000 Mbit/s 8 cores High
db.m4.4xlarge 64 GB 2000 Mbit/s 16 cores High
db.m4.10xlarge 160 GB 4000 Mbit/s 40 cores 10 Gigabit
db.m4.16xlarge 256 GB 10000 Mbit/s 64 cores 25 Gigabit
db.m3.medium 3.75 GB N/A 1 cores Moderate
db.m3.large 7.5 GB N/A 2 cores Moderate
db.m3.xlarge 15 GB 500 Mbit/s 4 cores High
db.m3.2xlarge 30 GB 10000 Mbit/s 8 cores High

Previous generation[edit]

Instance Type Memory EBS optimized / throughput Cores Network performance
db.t1.micro 0.613 GB N/A 1 cores Very low
db.m1.small 1.7 GB N/A 1 cores Low
db.m1.medium 3.75 GB N/A 1 cores Moderate
db.m1.large 7.5 GB N/A 2 cores Moderate
db.m1.xlarge 15 GB N/A 4 cores High
db.m2.xlarge 17.1 GB N/A 2 cores Moderate
db.m2.2xlarge 34.2 GB N/A 4 cores Moderate
db.m2.4xlarge 68.4 GB N/A 8 cores High
db.cr1.8xl 244 GB N/A 32 cores 10 Gigabit

Competitors and alternatives[edit]

Several other vendors provide cloud database services similar to Amazon RDS. Oracle offers Oracle Cloud,[39] a database service supporting Oracle's database technology. Microsoft offers Windows Azure SQL,[40] a service supporting the Microsoft SQL and other relational databases. Competitors supporting MySQL include RackSpace Cloud Databases,[41] Google Cloud SQL,[42] HP Cloud for MySQL,[43] Xeround Cloud Database,[44] and ClearDB.[45]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Introducing Amazon RDS – The Amazon Relational Database Service". Amazon Web Services. October 26, 2009.
  2. ^ Amazon RDS, Cloud Relational Database Service: MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server. (2010-07-28). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  3. ^ MySQL in the cloud at Airbnb - Airbnb Engineering. (2010-11-15). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  4. ^ Amazon RDS, Introduced Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. (2010-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  5. ^ "ssh - How do you access an Amazon RDS instance from a chromebook?". Stack Overflow.
  6. ^ Release: Amazon Relational Database Service : Release Notes : Amazon Web Services[permanent dead link]. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  7. ^ Vogels, Werner. (2009-10-26) Expanding the Cloud: The Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). All Things Distributed. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  8. ^ "Oracle database available as a service on Amazon AWS (RDS)". 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  9. ^ "AWS Announces Relational Database Service For Oracle". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  10. ^ Amazon Web Services Blog: Amazon RDS for SQL Server and .NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk Archived 2013-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. (2012-05-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  11. ^ Alex Williams (14 November 2013). "PostgreSQL Now Available On Amazon's Relational Database Service". TechCrunch.
  12. ^ "Amazon Web Services Announces Two New Database Services – AWS Database Migration Service and Amazon RDS for MariaDB". MarketWatch, Inc. 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  13. ^ a b "Amazon Relational Database Service – Looking Back at 2017". Amazon Web Services. February 12, 2018.
  14. ^ "Amazon Aurora – New Cost-Effective MySQL-Compatible Database Engine for Amazon RDS". Amazon Web Services. November 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Now Available – Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility". Amazon Web Services. October 24, 2017.
  16. ^ "Amazon Aurora – Relational Database Built for the Cloud - AWS". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  17. ^ "PostgreSQL 11 now Supported in Amazon RDS". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  18. ^ a b "Amazon Relational Database Service".
  19. ^ "Announcing Multi-AZ Deployments for Amazon RDS". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  20. ^ "Amazon RDS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Amazon Web Services (AWS)". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  21. ^ "Amazon RDS Multi-AZ Deployments". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  22. ^ Replication for Availability & Durability with MySQL and Amazon RDS: O'Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo 2011 - O'Reilly Conferences, April 11 - 14, 2011, Santa Clara, CA. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  23. ^ a b c "Working With Backups - Amazon Relational Database Service".
  24. ^ "Working with PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB Read Replicas". Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  25. ^ a b "Amazon RDS Read Replicas". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  26. ^ "Amazon RDS for MySQL – Promote Read Replica". Amazon Web Services. October 11, 2012.
  27. ^ "mysql - Can you replicate a specific database or table using Amazon's RDS". Stack Overflow.
  28. ^ Barr, Jeff. "New – Enhanced Monitoring for Amazon RDS (MySQL 5.6, MariaDB, and Aurora)". AWS Blog. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Amazon RDS Pricing - Amazon Web Services". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  30. ^ "Pricing". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  31. ^ "Amazon RDS Free Tier – Amazon Web Services (AWS)". Amazon Web Services, Inc. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  32. ^ a b "Amazon RDS Supports Stopping and Starting of Database Instances". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  33. ^ "Stopping an Amazon RDS DB Instance Temporarily - Amazon Relational Database Service".
  34. ^ "Amazon RDS Now Provides Database Deletion Protection". Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  35. ^ "Working with Storage for Amazon RDS DB Instances - Amazon Relational Database Service".
  36. ^ "Amazon RDS Instance Comparison". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  37. ^ "Amazon RDS Instances". []. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  38. ^ "Amazon RDS Previous Instances". []. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  39. ^ Frequently Asked Question, Oracle Cloud, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  40. ^ Data Management Archived 2012-12-27 at the Wayback Machine, Windows Azure, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  41. ^ Learn how Cloud Databases delivers faster performance, RackSpace, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  42. ^ About Google Cloud SQL, Google Developers, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  43. ^ HP Cloud Relational Database for MySQL – FAQ Archived 2013-01-23 at the Wayback Machine, HP Cloud Archived 2013-01-03 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  44. ^ FAQ – Xeround Cloud DBaaS Archived 2013-01-14 at the Wayback Machine, Xeround Cloud Database Archived 2017-07-06 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 31-12-2012
  45. ^ Frequently Asked Question, ClearDB, Retrieved 31-12-2012

External links[edit]