Updated March 23, 2023
Introduction to AWS Aurora
AWS Aurora is a managed database service offering from amazon cloud. This is one of the widely used services for data storage for low latency and transactional data storage and processing. The AWS aurora service provides the comprehensive features of open source databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL along with enterprise standard reliability and scalability. It works with a clustered approach with data replication in the AWS availability zone for efficient data availability. It works much faster compared to the native MySQL and PostgreSQL databases with low server maintenance feasibility. It supports high storage capacity which can scale up to 64 Terabytes of database size for enterprise implementation.
What is AWS Aurora?
AWS Aurora is a relational database built with a cloud that is fully managed. It is compatible with MySQL and Postgresql. Developer & DBA already know how to deal with MySQL and PostgreSQL. Aurora will give you a combination of the speed and reliability of an enterprise database with the cost-effectiveness and simplicity of an open-source database. If your current application is developed with MySQL or Postgresql you can use Aurora. Aurora can deliver speed and throughput up to 5 times of MySQL and 3 times of PostgreSQL with your existing system means you won’t require to change your existing system.
Aurora is packed with high-performance subsystems. It is MySQL and PostgreSQL engines that can take advantage of fast distributed storage. The underlying storage can be scaled up automatically upto 64 tebibytes (TiB). Standardizing and automating database clustering and replication which are considered to be the most challenging and important aspects of database configuration and management are handled easily with Aurora. Aurora is fully managing the database as its part of the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Amazon RDS is a web service where you get a database to overcloud that can be easily set up, scaled up, and managed.
How Aurora Relates to Engines of Amazon RDS?
The following points will illustrate how standard engines of Amazon RDS i.e, MySQL and PostgreSQL relates to Aurora:
- While setting up new database servers with Amazon RDS you choose Aurora as a DB engine option.
- If you are familiar with Amazon RDS then you would find it easy to set up Aurora. You can use Amazon RDS management console to set up clusters of Aurora, CLI commands and API to handle database routine tasks such as backup, recovery, repair, and others.
- Aurora’s automatic clustering and replication and other management operations are managed over the entire cluster of database servers, not just one instance that lets you easily and with low cost can handle your large MySQL and PostgreSQL servers.
- Your existing data in Amazon RDS for MySQL and PostgreSQL can be brought to Aurora by replication or using snapshots. There is another feature which is push-button migration that can be used to convert your existing Amazon RDS MySQL and PostgreSQL to Aurora.
How Aurora Works?
Aurora DB cluster consists of Primary DB and Aurora replica DB and a cluster volume to manage the data for those DB instances. Aurora cluster volume is not a physical but a virtual database storage volume that spans over multiple Availability Zone to support global applications better. Each zone has its copy of DB cluster data.
- Primary DB is where all read and write operations are done over cluster volume. Each cluster in Aurora will have one primary DB instance.
- Its just and replica of primary DB instance whose sole responsibility is to just give data i.e, only read operations. There can be 15 replicas for a primary DB instance to maintain high availability in all the Zones. In a fail-safe condition, Aurora will switch to a replica when a Primary DB is not available. Replicas help in reducing the read workload over primary DB. You can configure failover priority for replicas.
- There can be a multi-master cluster also for Aurora. In multi-master, all the DB instance would have a read and write capabilities. We can call this as a multi-master replication in AWS terminology they are known as reader and writer DB instances.
- You can also configure to keep a backup of your database on Amazon S3. This ensures the safety of your database even in the worst cases where the whole cluster is down.
- For an unpredictable workload, you can use Aurora Serverless to automatically start scaling and shut down the database to match application demand.
Advantages of Aurora
Given below are the advantages mentioned:
- Enterprise Level Security: Aurora is a service by Amazon so you can be assured about the security and you can use the IAM features.
- Enterprise Level Availability: Multiple replications of DB instances over multiple zones ensure high availability.
- Enterprise Level Scalability: With Aurora serverless, you can set up your database to automatically scale up and scale down with application demand.
- Enterprise Level Performance: With simplicity & cost-effectiveness as open-source DB.
- Enterprise Level Compatibility: Aurora is compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL. So, if your current application is in MySQL or PostgreSQL you can migrate it or use Amazon RDS to shift your database and use Aurora Engine.
- AWS Management Console: Amazon Management Console is easy to use with click and drag features to quickly set-up your Aurora Cluster.
- Maintenance: Aurora has almost zero server maintenance. 5 times faster than MySQL and 3 times faster than PostgreSQL.
Limitations of AWS Aurora
Given below are the limitations mentioned:
- Currently supports MySQL-5.6.10 so if you need new features or you have an older version of MySQL then you can’t. In the future, Amazon will bring new features of MySQL for Aurora but you have to wait.
- If you want to use MyISAM tables you can’t because Aurora only supports InnoDB currently.
- You don’t have an option to use smaller RDS than r3.large with Aurora.
Conclusion – AWS Aurora
From the above content, we got a good idea of what Aurora is and what are its features. In current times it is very important to be highly available and fast and we don’t want to lose data, in that case, Aurora is a good choice. Companies can let their developers focus on business logic and the database would be managed automatically. But if your application is with older MySQL or PostgreSQL it could take a good effort to make it RDS compatible. Maybe not now but at some point in time, you need to look for a distributed database system that is highly scalable and available at that time Aurora could be a choice.
This is a guide to AWS Aurora. Here we discuss what is AWS aurora and how it works along with its limitations as well as advantages. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –