Amazon RDS Puts Your Databases in the Cloud

Cloud Database

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is that you can put any computing task on it. One example is the relational database that runs most dynamic websites today.

With Amazon being the number one cloud computing service provider in the world, it is expected that they should have a relational database offering. Enter the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

Here we’ll detail what Amazon RDS is all about. What are its core features, applications, etc? This article will also discuss Amazon RDS for MySQL, Amazon RDS for SQL Server and Amazon RDS for Oracle.

Amazon’s Relational Database Service is a cloud service that allows you to easily create, operate and even gauge a relational database. With this service, you could access your files and database anywhere while being very cost effective and highly scalable. It’s commonly known and marketed as “Amazon RDS.”

More than this, it takes away the need for you to manage your database by yourself, a task that is very tedious. Amazon takes care of all the administration so that you can work on your applications and focus more on your business.

Why put your databases in the cloud?

First, let’s discuss why you should put your databases in the cloud. The benefits are just so numerous, apart from the obvious benefits of being in the cloud.

For one, you could easily launch a database instance in just a couple of minutes because everything you need from the hardware right down to the database software is already set up. Amazon has also pre-configured the software.

What’s more, you can scale up your database instances during peak hours, and then scale it back down during lull times. A video Web site, for instance, might have peak times between 7 PM and 11 PM each day. During these hours, the site would need its database to come up with suggested videos in a couple of seconds, for a lot of its users.

RDS also allows you to run a duplicate of your master database so that you could get regular business reports.

Security is well guarded on Amazon RDS, and this is fortified by the prompt release of critical performance and security patches.

You can do all these without having to add a single tech guy to your team. Not only does Amazon take care of many technical and administrative tasks, they also offer a lot of automation options as well.

Amazon RDS provides most of these benefits through its impressive list of features, including:

Amazon CloudWatch
This basically comes free with your RDS subscription and it allows you to access key metrics for your database instances including I/O activity, instance connections, storage capacity, memory and computing data.
Automatic backups and software patching
You automatically get all the latest patches for your database software. You could also specify when your software is patched by using DB Engine Version Management. As for automatic backups, Amazon will backup everything in your database, as well as transaction logs up to the last five minutes. These automatic backups are stored for any period of time you specify not exceeding thirty days.
DB snapshots
As far as backups go, you can opt for DB snapshots, which are user-initiated backups of your database instance and stored until you delete it.
Easy scaling
You can scale your relational database on Amazon RDS just by pushing a button with the use of the AWS Management Console or through an RDS-specific API. This means that you can increase or decrease your RDS requirements in only minutes.
Host replacement
If a hardware on Amazon’s part fails, you are assured that Amazon will replace everything automatically.
Replication
There are two replication features on Amazon: read replica and multi-AZ deployments. What this means is that your database is always available and your database updates are intact even in the event of outages.
Others
With Amazon RDS, you can create, modify or terminate relational database instances easily using several Web based APIs, or through the AWS Management Console. If you are using other Amazon cloud products, then you will definitely appreciate just how seamless Amazon RDS works with these products. You get very low latency database access from any Amazon cloud offering.

Further, if you have existing applications that you are currently using, you can easily transfer these onto Amazon RDS. What’s more, you can just pay as you go. No more paying for resources that you do not use.

How do companies use Amazon RDS?

clouddb

So how are relational databases used? It could mean a lot of different things for different companies. Amazon RDS simply provides their customers with a way to easily use their own databases for their own workloads and applications.

For instance, the Washington Post utilizes Amazon RDS to store backend data for its Web widgets and other Web properties. Sony Computer Entertainment, on the other hand, puts player information for their online PlayStation games on RDS. Japanese social gaming company, Gumi, uses RDS to let their customers play their various games.

Amazon Relational Database Service Supported Engines

Amazon RDS supports three different database engines: MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server

MySQL
Amazon RDS can help you easily set up, manage and scale MySQL databases in the cloud.  Not only that, you can also use the Multi-AZ method to replicate your database.  On-demand micro DB instances start as low as $0.025 per hour.
Oracle
Similar to Amazon RDS for MySQL, you can also easily create and use Oracle databases on Amazon RDS. But this one might be costlier as on-demand micro DB instances start as low as $0.080 per hour.
SQL Server
Starting at only $0.17 for on-demand micro DB instances, Amazon RDS for SQL Server allows you to port your SQL Server database to the cloud in a matter of minutes. Amazon RDS supports SQL Server 2008 R2 and 2012 editions.

Learn more about managing relational databases with SQL 2012 Querying Training.

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