AWS Gains a Fifth Database Option

MySQL has taken off over the years because of its open source nature, good technology, and all the support that those characteristics have brought about.

Many MySQL implementations are low-end, aimed at small databases or serving as a way of storing data to support various applications such as management tools. Vendors love this free database as an alternative to requiring Oracle or SQL Server to support their apps.

Amazon has a higher-end view, and Aurora is designed to match high-end databases in availability and performance, but maintain the simplicity of lower-end MySQL instances.

While its claims have yet to be proven, Amazon believes it has a winner on its hands.

“Amazon Aurora provides up to five times better performance than MySQL at a price point one tenth that of a commercial database while delivering similar performance and availability. Amazon Aurora joins MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL as the fifth database engine available to customers through Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS handles routine database tasks such as provisioning, patching, backup, recovery, failure detection, and repair,” the company explained.

Amazon refers to Aurora as “MySQL-compatible” by which it means that most drivers, apps and code should work, but there is no guarantee that all work without modification. Some MySQL features, such as the MyISAM storage engine, don’t come with Aurora.

Like some other recently announced Amazon tools, Aurora is available as a preview.

For high availability, database volumes are replicated six times and distributed across three AWS availability zones. While this sounds like a lot of extra storage, and extra cost, Amazon says that is far from the case, and that it only charged for the database layers, not the replicated data.

The Cloud Connection

The beauty of the cloud really shows through when it comes time to manage and scale your database. “Amazon RDS makes it easy to manage your Amazon Aurora database by automating most of the common administrative tasks associated with running a database. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can quickly launch an Amazon Aurora database instance,” Amazon explained. “Amazon Aurora scales storage automatically, growing storage and rebalancing I/Os to provide consistent performance without the need for over-provisioning. For example, you can start with a database of 10GB and have it automatically grow up to 64TB without requiring availability disruptions to resize or restripe data.”

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