Thimitha Gamage

The beauty of AWS database solutions

AWS Databases is a service provided by Amazon Web Services that has become very popular in today’s technological world.

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A few years back, the name ‘Amazon’ conjured up images of an online bookstore, and the terms ‘Amazon Web Services (AWS)’, or ‘AWS Databases’ would’ve left you scratching your head in confusion. Fast forward to 2018 and Amazon has come a long way from being an online bookstore. It is now an industry-leading giant in web services, and millions of web applications across the globe now use some sort of AWS service. Amazon has today become the gold standard in the provision of web services.

AWS Databases is a service provided by Amazon Web Services that has become very popular in today’s technological world. AWS Databases offer a huge collection of different database solutions for different needs, including: traditional relational databases, non-relational databases, in-memory data stores for caching real-time data, graph databases, and much more. (See figure 1 below.)

(Figure 1)

As a software engineer at Mitra Innovation – a digital transformation company and trusted consulting partner of AWS – I have written this article to highlight the importance and advantages of the most widely used AWS Database Services:

  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • AWS Database Migration Service

 

 

1. Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

Amazon RDS offers relational databases in the cloud, which are easy to set up, operate, and scale according to needs. AWS has automated time-consuming tasks such as hardware provisioning, setting up databases and backing up data. Once set-up, the database is managed by Amazon so developers or users do not have to worry about performance, maintenance, backing up, or patching database servers.
RDS provides popular database engines such as:

  • Amazon Aurora
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server.

Advantages of using RDS

Easy to administer – There are many ways to access RDS services: through the AWS Management console; the AWS RDS Command Line Interface; or API calls. This means there is no need to install and maintain database softwares.

Highly scalable – Computing and storage resources within RDS can be scaled according to needs very quickly – without down times in most cases. This is because Amazon RDS engine types allow launching one or more Read Replicas to offload read traffic from primary database instances.

High availability – When a Multi Availability Zone DB instance is provisioned, AWS RDS synchronously replicates data to another instance in a different availability zone. It offers automated backups, database snapshots and automatic host replacement.

Good performance – SSD backed storage options can also offer higher performance according to demand.

Security – Running database instances in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud enables the isolation of database instances and connectivity to existing IT infrastructure through encrypted IPsec VPN. Many Amazon RDS engine types offer encryption at rest and encryption in transit.

2. Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is the NoSQL counterpart to AWS RDS. It is a fast, flexible and scalable NoSQL data service. One of the best features in DynamoDB is very low latency at any given scale. Databases are fully managed and support key-value store model as well as document storing. Because it supports automatic scaling of throughput, DynamoDB is well suited for applications where near real-time data is stored and processed.

Advantages of Amazon DynamoDB

Fast performance – Amazon DynamoDB provides very fast data read/write times. Average latencies are in single digit milliseconds. DynamoDB uses automatic partitioning and SSD technologies to cater growing throughput requirements, to deliver the same fast performance at any scale.

Scalability – In Amazon DynamoDB, auto-scaling is enabled by default. Actual throughput utilisation is continuously monitored, and provisioned throughput will be adjusted accordingly. Data replication can be done using ‘Global Tables’ which automatically replicate data across selected AWS regions.

Event driven programming support – DynamoDB integrates with AWS Lambda making it easier to make applications which react to data changes.

Granular access controls – Integration with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) make it easy to control user access to services and resources.

 

3. AWS Database Migration Service

Amazon RD and Amazon DynamoDB have many advantages and benefits. You may read this article and think about migrating to AWS, but at the same time feel overwhelmed by how big a task it could be: system downtimes; possible data losses; data mismatches etc. Fear not as AWS has also thought about this by providing a service called the AWS Database Migration Service.

The AWS Database Migration Service can help users migrate to AWS databases quickly and efficiently. While the migration is in progress, the source database will continue to operate in a normal manner, thereby minimising downtime. AWS Database Migration supports the most commonly used open source and commercial databases. It supports homogeneous database migrations as well as heterogeneous database migrations such as migrations from Oracle to Microsoft SQL or mySql.

It also allows developers to stream data to Amazon Redshift, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon S3 from any of the supported sources including:

  • Amazon Aurora
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Oracle
  • SAP ASE
  • SQL Server
  • and MongoDB.

This also enables easy and efficient Data Analytics.

 

This blog features a few of the most used AWS Database Services, and we hope you have found it useful as a good introduction. There are also many more AWS Database Services, including AWS Aurora, Amazon Elasticache, and Amazon Neptune, amongst others.

Cloud databases are being embraced rapidly in today’s fast-paced technological world. The beauty of AWS’s database services is that they help developers focus more on developing new features in their applications rather than having to worry about database management and infrastructure maintenance. This is a huge advantage over the way that databases have traditionally been built.

If you are interested in the topic of AWS database solutions further, or if you would like to talk to us at Mitra Innovation about AWS, please get in touch at innovate@mitra.com.

Thimitha

Thimitha Gamage

Associate Software Engineer | Mitra Innovation