Amazon Aurora is a relational database service that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. The MySQL-compatible edition of Aurora delivers more throughput of standard MySQL running on the same hardware, and enables existing MySQL applications and tools to run without requiring modification.
High Performance and Scalability
Amazon Aurora uses a variety of software and hardware techniques to ensure the database engine is able to fully leverage available compute, memory and networking. I/O operations use distributed systems techniques such as quorums to improve performance consistency.
Push-Button Compute Scaling
Using the Amazon RDS APIs or with a few clicks in the Amazon Web Services Management Console, you can scale the compute and memory resources powering your deployment up or down. Compute scaling operations typically complete in a few minutes.
Amazon Aurora will automatically grow the size of your database volume as your database storage needs grow. Your volume will grow in increments of 10 GB up to a maximum of 128 TB. You don't need to provision excess storage for your database to handle future growth.
Low-Latency Read Replicas
Increase read throughput to support high-volume application requests by creating up to 15 database Aurora replicas. Amazon Aurora Replicas share the same underlying storage as the source instance, lowering costs and avoiding the need to perform writes at the replica nodes. This frees up more processing power to serve read requests and reduces the replica lag time – often down to single digit milliseconds. Aurora provides a reader endpoint so the application can connect without having to keep track of replicas as they are added and removed. Aurora also supports auto-scaling, where it automatically adds and removes replicas in response to changes in performance metrics that you specify.
Aurora supports cross-region read replicas. Cross-region replicas provide fast local reads to your users, and each region can have an additional 15 Aurora replicas to further scale local reads. You can set up your own binlog replication with external MySQL databases.
Aurora Serverless is an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for Aurora where the database will automatically start-up, shut down, and scale up or down capacity based on your application's needs. Aurora Serverless enables you to run your database in the cloud without managing any database instances.
Custom Database Endpoints
Custom endpoints allow you to distribute and load balance workloads across different sets of database instances. For example, you may provision a set of Aurora Replicas to use an instance type with higher memory capacity in order to run an analytics workload. A custom endpoint can then help you route the analytics workload to these appropriately-configured instances, while keeping other instances isolated from this workload.
Amazon Aurora Parallel Query provides faster analytical queries over your current data. It can speed up queries by up to 2 orders of magnitude, while maintaining high throughput for your core transaction workload. By pushing query processing down to the Aurora storage layer, it gains a large amount of computing power while reducing network traffic. Use Parallel Query to run transactional and analytical workloads alongside each other in the same Aurora database.
High Availability and Durability
Instance Monitoring and Repair
Amazon RDS continuously monitors the health of your Amazon Aurora database and underlying EC2 instance. In the event of database failure, Amazon RDS will automatically restart the database and associated processes. Amazon Aurora does not require crash recovery replay of database redo logs, greatly reducing restart times. It also isolates the database buffer cache from database processes, allowing the cache to survive a database restart.
Multi-AZ Deployments with Aurora Replicas
On instance failure, Amazon Aurora uses RDS Multi-AZ technology to automate failover to one of up to 15 Amazon Aurora Replicas you have created in any of three Availability Zones. If no Amazon Aurora Replicas have been provisioned, in the case of a failure, Amazon RDS will attempt to create a new Amazon Aurora DB instance for you automatically. Minimize failover time with the Amazon Web Services JDBC Driver for MySQL, an open source driver that can be used as a drop-in replacement for the MySQL Connector/J driver.
For globally distributed applications you can use Global Database, where a single Aurora database can span Amazon Web Services China Regions to enable fast local reads and quick disaster recovery. Global Database uses storage-based replication to replicate a database across Amazon Web Services China Regions, with typical latency of less than 1 second. You can use a secondary region as a backup option in case you need to recover quickly from a regional degradation or outage. A database in a secondary region can be promoted to full read/write capabilities in less than 1 minute.
Fault-Tolerant and Self-Healing Storage
Each 10GB chunk of your database volume is replicated six ways, across three Availability Zones. Amazon Aurora storage is fault-tolerant, transparently handling the loss of up to two copies of data without affecting database write availability and up to three copies without affecting read availability. Amazon Aurora storage is also self-healing; data blocks and disks are continuously scanned for errors and replaced automatically.
Automatic, Continuous, Incremental Backups and Point-in-Time Restore
Amazon Aurora's backup capability enables point-in-time recovery for your instance. This allows you to restore your database to any second during your retention period, up to the last five minutes. Your automatic backup retention period can be configured up to thirty-five days. Automated backups are stored in Amazon S3, which is designed for 99.999999999% durability. Amazon Aurora backups are automatic, incremental, and continuous and have no impact on database performance.
DB Snapshots are user-initiated backups of your instance stored in Amazon S3 that will be kept until you explicitly delete them. They leverage the automated incremental snapshots to reduce the time and storage required. You can create a new instance from a DB Snapshot whenever you desire.
Backtrack lets you quickly move a database to a prior point in time without needing to restore data from a backup. This lets you quickly recover from user errors, such as dropping the wrong table or deleting the wrong row. When you enable Backtrack, Aurora will retain data records for the specified Backtrack duration. For example, you could set up Backtrack to allow you to move your database up to 72 hours back. Backtrack completes in seconds, even for large databases, because no data records need to be copied. You can go backwards and forwards to find the point just before the error occurred.
Backtrack is also useful for development & test, particularly in situations where your test deletes or otherwise invalidates the data. Simply backtrack to the original database state, and you're ready for another test run. You can create a script that calls Backtrack via an API and then runs the test, for simple integration into your test framework.
Amazon Aurora runs in Amazon VPC, which allows you to isolate your database in your own virtual network, and connect to your on-premises IT infrastructure using industry-standard encrypted IPsec VPNs. To learn more about Amazon RDS in VPC, refer to the Amazon RDS User Guide. In addition, using Amazon RDS, you can configure firewall settings and control network access to your DB Instances.
Aurora is integrated with Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) and provides you the ability to control the actions that your Amazon IAM users and groups can take on specific Aurora resources (e.g., DB Instances, DB Snapshots, DB Parameter Groups, DB Event Subscriptions, DB Options Groups). In addition, you can tag your Aurora resources, and control the actions that your IAM users and groups can take on groups of resources that have the same tag (and tag value). For more information about IAM integration, see the IAM Database Authentication documentation.
Amazon Aurora allows you to encrypt your databases using keys you create and control through Amazon Key Management Service (KMS). On a database instance running with Amazon Aurora encryption, data stored at rest in the underlying storage is encrypted, as are the automated backups, snapshots, and replicas in the same cluster. Amazon Aurora uses SSL (AES-256) to secure data in transit.
Amazon Aurora allows you to log database events with minimal impact on database performance. Logs can later be analyzed for database management, security, governance, regulatory compliance and other purposes. You can also monitor activity by sending audit logs to Amazon CloudWatch.
Easy to Use
Getting started with Amazon Aurora is easy. Just launch a new Amazon Aurora DB Instance using the Amazon RDS Management Console or a single API call or CLI. Amazon Aurora DB Instances are pre-configured with parameters and settings appropriate for the DB Instance class you have selected. You can launch a DB Instance and connect your application within minutes without additional configuration. DB Parameter Groups provide granular control and fine-tuning of your database.
Monitoring and Metrics
Amazon Aurora provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your DB Instances at no additional charge. You can use the Amazon Web Services Management Console to view over 20 key operational metrics for your database instances, including compute, memory, storage, query throughput, cache hit ratio, and active connections. In addition, you can use Enhanced Monitoring to gather metrics from the operating system instance that your database runs on. Finally, you can use Amazon RDS Performance Insights, a database monitoring tool that makes it easy to detect database performance problems and take corrective action, with an easy-to-understand dashboard that visualizes database load.
Automatic Software Patching
Amazon Aurora will keep your database up-to-date with the latest patches. You can control if and when your instance is patched via DB Engine Version Management. Aurora uses zero-downtime patching when possible: if a suitable time window appears, the instance is updated in place, application sessions are preserved and the database engine restarts while the patch is in progress, leading to only a transient (5 second or so) drop in throughput.
DB Event Notifications
Amazon Aurora can notify you via email or SMS of important database events such as an automated failover. You can use the Amazon Web Services Management Console or the Amazon RDS APIs to subscribe to over 40 different DB events associated with your Amazon Aurora databases.
Fast Database Cloning
Amazon Aurora supports quick, efficient cloning operations, where entire multi-terabyte database clusters can be cloned in minutes. Cloning is useful for a number of purposes including application development, testing, database updates, and running analytical queries. Immediate availability of data can significantly accelerate your software development and upgrade projects, and make analytics more accurate.
You can clone an Amazon Aurora database with just a few clicks, and you don't incur any storage charges, except if you use additional space to store data changes.
You can manually stop and start an Amazon Aurora database with just a few clicks. This makes it easy and affordable to use Aurora for development and test purposes, where the database is not required to be running all of the time. Stopping your database doesn't delete your data. See the Start/Stop documentation for more details.
Amazon Aurora combines enterprise-grade security, performance, high availability and durability with the low cost and ease of use of MySQL. This makes it an good migration target when moving workloads from expensive commercial databases to Amazon Web Services. The capabilities of MySQL make it an optimal database for a wide range of database workloads, from simple transactional applications to complex OLTP and OLAP workloads with complicated SQL and stored procedures.
Standard MySQL import and export tools work with Amazon Aurora. You can also easily create a new Amazon Aurora database from an Amazon RDS for MySQL DB Snapshot. Migration operations based on DB Snapshots typically complete in under an hour, but will vary based on the amount and format of data being migrated.
You can also set up binlog-based replication between an Aurora MySQL database and an external MySQL database running inside or outside of Amazon Web Services.
Pay Only for What You Use
There is no up-front commitment with Amazon Aurora; you simply pay an hourly charge for each instance that you launch. And, when you’re finished with an Amazon Aurora DB Instance, you can easily delete it. You do not need to over-provision storage as a safety margin, and you only pay for the storage you actually consume. To see more details, visit the Amazon Aurora Pricing page.
Optimize I/O Costs
For a heavily analytical application, I/O costs are typically the largest contributor to the database cost. I/Os are input/output operations performed by the Aurora database engine against its SSD-based virtualized storage layer. Every database page read operation counts as one I/O. The Aurora database engine issues reads against the storage layer in order to fetch database pages not present in the buffer cache. Each database page is 16KB in Aurora with MySQL compatibility. Aurora was designed to eliminate unnecessary I/O operations in order to reduce costs and to ensure resources are available for serving read/write traffic. Write I/Os are only consumed when pushing transaction log records to the storage layer for the purpose of making writes durable. Write I/Os are counted in 4KB units. For example, a transaction log record that is 1024 bytes will count as one I/O operation. However, concurrent write operations whose transaction log is less than 4KB can be batched together by the Aurora database engine in order to optimize I/O consumption. Unlike traditional database engines Amazon Aurora never pushes modified database pages to the storage layer, resulting in further I/O consumption savings.
You can see how many I/Os your Aurora instance is consuming by going to the Amazon Web Services Console. To find your I/O consumption, go to the RDS section of the console, look at your list of instances, select your Aurora instances, then look for the “Billed read operations” and “Billed write operations” metrics in the monitoring section. To see more details, visit the Amazon Aurora Pricing page.
Aurora offers machine learning capabilities directly from the database, enabling you to add ML-based predictions to your applications via the familiar SQL programming language. With a simple, optimized, and secure integration between Aurora and Amazon Web Services machine learning services, you have access to a wide selection of ML algorithms without having to build custom integrations or move data around.
RDS Proxy Support
Aurora can work in conjunction with Amazon RDS Proxy, a fully managed, highly available database proxy that makes applications more scalable, more resilient to database failures, and more secure. RDS Proxy allows applications to pool and share connections established with the database, improving database efficiency and application scalability. It reduces failover times by automatically connecting to a new database instance while preserving application connections. It enhances security through integrations with Amazon IAM and Amazon Secrets Manager.