Amazon Aurora was designed to overcome the performance, availability, and scalability limitations of traditional database systems. In this tutorial, you will learn what Amazon Aurora is, the benefits of using it, its pricing and more.
What is Amazon Aurora in AWS?
Amazon provides various database services and Amazon Aurora is one of them. But, what is Amazon Aurora, and why is it used? Well, Amazon Aurora is a relational database engine that provides the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of an open-source database combined with the power, performance, and reliability of a high-end commercial database.
When MySQL and PostgreSQL are available, what is the use of Amazon Aurora?
Aurora provides performance that is five times better than a traditional MySQL and three times better than PostgreSQL. Amazon RDS manages tasks such as provisioning, backup, recovery for you. You also only have to pay a monthly charge; there is no upfront cost.
Amazon Aurora is compatible with all versions of MySQL and PostgreSQL. Let us take a look at the features of Amazon Aurora.
Amazon Aurora Features
Now that you understand what Amazon Aurora is and what its use is, let us discuss the features of Aurora. The features of Aurora remain the same for both MySQL-compatible and PostgreSQL-compatible.
Scalability: This is probably one of the most amazing features of Amazon Aurora. It automatically grows the size of database volume as per the storage requirements. The volume grows in increments of 10 GB and can go up to a maximum of 128 TB. This helps to seamlessly fulfill the required storage needs.
High throughput: Testing on standards benchmarks, such as SysBench, has shown an increase of 5x in throughput performance. Amazon Aurora uses a variety of software and hardware techniques to ensure that the database engine is able to fully leverage available compute, memory, and networking. Input or output operations use distributed systems techniques, such as quorums, to improve performance consistency.
Instance monitoring and repair: Amazon RDS continuously monitors the health of the Amazon Aurora database and underlying EC2 instances. In case of database failure, Amazon RDS automatically restarts the database and associated processes. Amazon Aurora does not, at any point, require crash recovery reply of database redo logs, greatly reducing restart times. Not only this, Amazon Aurora also isolates the database buffer cache from database processes, allowing the cache to survive a database restart.
Encryption: Amazon Aurora offers high security as it allows you to encrypt your database by using keys that you create and control through AWS Key Management Service (KMS.) On a database instance running with Amazon Aurora encryption, data stored at rest in the underlying storage is encrypted. Amazon Aurora uses SSL to secure data in transit.
Easy to use: Amazon Aurora is easy to use. The new Amazon Aurora DB Instance uses Amazon RDS Management Console, a single API call, or CLI. Amazon Aurora DB Instances are pre-configured with parameters and settings appropriate for the selected DB Instance class. Further, DB Instance can also be launched and connected to your application without configuring it.
Cost-effective: You only pay for the storage space and processing power that is used by you. There are no upfront or other costs. It is just simple monthly payments.
Migration support: You can use pg-dump and MySQL dump commands to migrate your local database to Aurora.
Fully managed: It is very easy to start with Aurora. You just have to start an instance with the AWS RDS console or call an API in your code. Aurora provides monitoring by using Amazon Cloudwatch for no additional cost. You do not need to worry about updating, upgrading, or provisioning. Everything is under Amazon’s control and, when required, it does all the software patching.
Amazon Aurora Architecture
In this section of the blog, we will understand how Aurora Database extends the functionalities of a traditional database to compensate for the issues pertaining to performance, reliability, and scalability.
Let us see what the architectural structure of Amazon Aurora looks like:
The entire architecture of the Aurora Database is built on top of traditional DBMS, reusing the majority of components of DBMS such as query execution engine, transaction manager, and recovery manager.
In order to better understand the architecture of Amazon Aurora, you should first have comprehensive knowledge about traditional architecture.
Upping the game of traditional DBMS, Amazon Aurora makes several improvements to traditional DBMS to improve its availability, reliability, and scalability.
This is why we spent some time on the architecture of traditional DBMS in the previous section.
Amazon Aurora, however, makes several improvements to traditional DBMS to improve its availability, reliability, and scalability.
Those changes are:
- Employing a primary-replica setup
- Replicating the data to remote storage
- Storing only changelog to the remote disk
MySQL Compatibility on Amazon Aurora
MySQL compatibility means that the applications, drivers, code, tools, and features that you use in your MySQL databases are already available on Amazon Aurora with little or no change. Certain features of MySQL, such as the MyISAM storage engine, are not available. Both Version 5.6 and 5.7 of MySQL are available on Amazon Aurora.
PostgreSQL Compatibility on Amazon Aurora
The same goes for MySQL’s compatibility on Aurora. The code, drivers, applications, tools, and features that PostgreSQL provides are already available on Aurora with little or no change. PostgreSQL 9.6 and PostgreSQL10 are available on Aurora, and you can establish connections between them and move databases across Aurora and your local engine by using extensions.
But what to do to connect and configure an Aurora relational database?
To configure an Aurora relational database, you just have to follow the same steps as the hands-on in the Amazon RDS blog but you just have to change the database engine to Aurora.
There is no free tier eligibility for Aurora right now like other RDS engines. This is because Aurora does not provide micro instances.
Benefits of Amazon Aurora
Now that you understand what is Amazon Aurora and what is the use of Aurora, let’s discuss the benefits of Aurora. The benefits of Aurora remain the same for both MySQL compatible and PostgreSQL compatible.
- Autoscaling features can be enabled. Whenever your storage needs are increasing, it will automatically increase your database size and decreases the size when there is a major decrease in the need for storage space.
- You only pay for the storage space and processing power you use. There are no upfront costs and other costs. It is just simple monthly payments.
- You can isolate your network where your database is running using Amazon VPC.
- Usage of AWS Key management service to create encryption keys for protecting your data
4. High Availability and Durability
- Replicas of your Aurora can be created in multiple Availability zones.
- It is a global database that can be distributed across multiple AWS regions which could reduce the local read/write speed.
5. Migration Support
- You can use pg-dump and MySQL dump commands to migrate your local database into Aurora
6. Fully Managed
- Very easy to start with Aurora. You just have to start an instance with the AWS RDS console or call an API in your code.
- Aurora provides monitoring using Amazon Cloudwatch for no additional cost.
- You do not need to worry about updating, upgrading, or provisioning. Everything is under Amazon’s control and they do all the software patching when required.
Amazon Aurora DB Cluster
Amazon Aurora DB cluster is a virtual database storage volume that spans multiple availability zones. Each Amazon Aurora Database Cluster is made up of two or more DB instances and a cluster volume that primarily manages the data for those DB instances. The following are the two types of DB instances that make up an Amazon Aurora Cluster:
- Primary DB instance: This type of DB instance supports read and write operations and performs all data modifications to the cluster volume. Each Aurora DB cluster has one primary DB instance.
- Aurora Replica: Unlike the primary DB instance, Aurora Replica only supports read operations. It is connected to the same storage volume as the primary DB instance. By locating Aurora Replicas in separate availability zones, high availability can be maintained.
AWS Aurora Pricing
The prices of any Amazon service will vary according to its geographic region. Let us consider the region as North Virginia.
|Smallest Instance – db.t3.small||$0.041||Not available|
|Largest Instance – db.r4.16xlarge||$9.28||$9.28|
|Database Storage||$0.10 per GB-month|
|Backup Storage||$0.021 per GB-month|
Hope this tutorial on Amazon Aurora helps. In case you want to learn about other Amazon Databases, refer to our Amazon Databases Services tutorial that will give you a brief understanding of all the major database services provided by AWS.
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