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Everything You Need To Know About Amazon's Relational Database Service

Everything You Need To Know About Amazon's Relational Database Service

People joke that Amazon is a one-stop shop for just about everything in your life. But it provides a lot more than household goods with two-day shipping. Amazon is a gigantic company that has a significant B2B presence, too. In fact, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon’s answer to cloud computing woes for businesses around the globe. 

As your business grows, you’re processing more and more data. At a certain point, emails and Word docs aren’t going to cut it anymore. Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) is a component of the brand’s AWS service that helps enterprise-level businesses process large volumes of data with less hassle. 

Businesses rely on RDS to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the convenience of the Amazon cloud. It’s a solid solution that automates a lot of the finicky tasks that usually come with database management, like setup, patching, and hardware support. 

No matter your industry or the size of your business, Amazon RDS makes your data cleaner, better organized, and more actionable. If your business is moving upmarket from an SMB to an enterprise, RDS can simplify a lot of the hard work as you grow.

While Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are other solid options, RDS is a popular choice because it comes loaded with the power of the AWS public cloud. Brands like Intuit, Netflix, GE, Unilever, and Expedia rely on RDS to make the most of the tremendous amounts of data they process every day. If it’s time for your business to overhaul its data, read on to learn more about how Amazon RDS works and the 7 benefits of making the switch.

What is Amazon’s Relational Database Service? 

Amazon’s Relational Database Service is a bit of a dinosaur in “technology years” in that it’s been around since 2009. But there’s nothing outdated about this tool. RDS handles migration, patching, backup, and recovery to make your relational databases much cleaner. 

But keep in mind that Amazon RDS isn’t actually a database at all. It’s simply a cloud computing solution from Amazon Web Services. RDS won’t replace your database at all; it just makes it easier to plug your database into the cloud. You’re free to change databases if you want, but RDS is there to support the code, applications, and tools you already have in your database. 

Amazon RDS comes packed with features like: 

  • Quick setup to take your existing database into the cloud more quickly. 

  • Automatic backups with daily logs and more.

  • Patches and security audits.

  • Data replication.

Generally speaking, you can have up to 40 databases per account, but this depends on the type of database and server you’re using. You can always consult Amazon AWS to see what your limit is

Amazon RDS Use Cases

Amazon RDS is a tool that makes it simpler to process all of the data in a relational database. Just like an Excel sheet, a relational database displays data in columns and rows to create relational models. 

But as you add more data to the database, you’ll likely want to back it up and lock it down, especially if you want the data available on the cloud.

The purpose of Amazon RDS is to free up your team’s time so you’re dedicating less time and effort to the nagging administrative tasks that come with database management. By storing your data in Amazon RDS, you can make it more accessible and organized. 

In practice, businesses use Amazon’s Relational Database Service for: 

  • App development: Apps are more than a pretty UI. They require a sophisticated backend to operate correctly. If you have a popular app with tons of user traffic, you’ll need to add more servers over time. That makes your app more complicated (and expensive) to run as you grow. Amazon RDS is useful for app development because it handles a lot of the database admin tasks automatically.

  • Mobile games: It takes a lot of developer resources to make a mobile game, but big-name brands like Bandai use Amazon RDS to build fast games that mobile users love. 

  • eCommerce: Want to sell your products online? You’re free to use tools like Shopify to process everything, but if your business needs to use a more custom solution, it’s a good idea to use RDS. It helps your team stay PCI compliant by locking down customer card information

How Amazon’s Relational Database Service Works

First things first, you’ll need to sign up for an AWS account and set up RDS. Since RDS is an AWS service, you can manage it from your AWS Management Console, along with any other AWS services you’re using. While RDS will do a lot of the work for you, you’ll still need to create, manage, and configure data in your RDS account.  

You also want to make sure you’re using a compatible database with Amazon’s Relational Database Service. Amazon allows you to use these six databases with RDS: 

  • Amazon Aurora: This is Amazon’s very own database that’s 5X faster than MySQL and 3X faster than PostgreSQL. 

  • PostgreSQL: A popular option with developers, PostgreSQL has a 30-year track record.  

  • MySQL: This is the most common open-source relational database in the world and it works great with Amazon RDS. 

  • MariaDB: Created by the MySQL team, this open-source database is also compatible with Oracle. 

  • Oracle: Amazon RDS licenses Oracle, so there’s no need for you to spend additional money on an Oracle license, which is nice. 

  • Microsoft SQL Server: RDS lets you use multiple versions of SQL Server—and since it includes the license with your service, you don’t need to buy a separate license, either. 

From there, you can manage your database settings directly through RDS. Since it makes your databases secure and accessible to your team, it’s the perfect solution for mobilizing your data at scale. 

How Much Does Amazon’s Relational Database Service Cost? 

You’ll need an AWS account to use RDS. But the great thing about Amazon’s pricing model is that you only pay for what you need. That does mean that every business’s RDS subscription will be different. The final price you pay depends on which database you’re using, how much you’re storing, and other factors. 

Your best bet is to check out RDS’s pricing for the six databases it supports: 

As you can see, Amazon’s Relational Database Service largely charges by computing capacity per hour, depending on the database you’re using. But Amazon only charges you for what you actually use and doesn’t have any minimums, so it’s a great way to protect your budget. If you’re curious about how much your business will pay for RDS, consult Amazon’s AWS Pricing Calculator.

It’s more expensive, but we do recommend using RDS’s Multi-AZ Deployment. This makes your data more available and includes automatic failovers, which is a smart way to protect your data. But if you want the absolute cheapest price for Amazon’s Relational Database Service, you’ll get a lower cost if you skip Multi-AZ Deployment. 

Not sure how RDS will work for your business? Amazon lets you try it before you buy it with Free Tier. This includes: 

  • Up to 750 hours of Amazon RDS (with Single-AZ Deployment only). 

  • Up to 20 GB of storage for automated backups.

  • Up to 20 GB of general purpose storage.

It’s a big deal any time you roll out a new solution across your enterprise, so we recommend trying RDS’s Free Tier before you commit to it. 

The 7 Benefits of Amazon Relational Database Service

When it comes to the cloud, you have lots of options. So why is Amazon’s Relational Database Service such a popular solution for enterprises? Businesses that make the switch to RDS enjoy these 7 major benefits. 

1. Security

If your business has to meet regulatory compliance requirements such as PCI, SOC 2, or HIPAA, the security of any database or technology you use is paramount. While Amazon’s Relational Database Service won’t completely solve your cloud security challenges, it does offer some features that make it easier for your business to comply with regulations.  

Sick of checking for security updates or patching your database? Amazon’s Relational Database Service patches your database automatically so you can focus on more important things. RDS also helps you: 

  • Conduct audits to proactively identify security gaps.

  • Implement access control so only authorized users have access to critical data.

  • Encrypt your database. Even if someone does gain access to your database, encryption turns your data into indecipherable gibberish, protecting your business. 

  • Create a virtual private network in the cloud. 

Keep in mind that RDS’s security settings are available in addition to the security features of your database of choice. Cloud security can be tricky, but using security-minded solutions like Amazon’s RDS make it much simpler to navigate. 

2. Disaster Recovery

Is your data protected when the worst happens? Instead of losing all of your app data in a hurricane, you can back up your relational database with Amazon’s RDS. With features like snapshot restore, you can protect your data during disasters, migration, updates, and more. 

3. Ease of Use

Who says databases have to be bulky or complicated? RDS is a popular choice because you can set it up and create a database in just minutes. There’s no need to install special software or trip over confusing UI, which means it’s a great option for making quick progress. 

Amazon’s Relational Database Service also includes performance monitoring that makes database optimizations a cinch. Understand at a high level how each of your databases is performing. You can rely on RDS’s metrics to make educated decisions on how you can make the most of your databases, which is a must to get the most ROI.

4. Scalability

Enterprise rollouts are far from easy. If you’re creating a huge project, Amazon RDS makes it much easier with its scalable solutions. You’re free to scale horizontally or vertically with RDS; it also has the power to offload traffic from your primary database, spreading out requests to keep up with high-demand applications. 

The great thing about RDS is that you can scale processing power and storage independently of each other. It’s all dependent on what you need and actually use. Instead of paying a substantial cost for a monthly quota you never meet, you can use Amazon’s RDS to scale up or down with your projects as needed. For example, if you’re releasing a new product and need extra power for a month, RDS helps you preserve your budget without sacrificing performance. 

5. Availability

If you use RDS’s Multi-AZ Deployment, you’ll enjoy a very durable infrastructure that boosts your data availability. With features like: 

  • Automated backups (for up to 35 days)

  • Database snapshots

  • Automatic host replacement

… RDS guarantees a 99.99% uptime for your databases. This is a huge advantage because it makes your data more accessible in the cloud.

6. Speed

Whether you serve external customers or you’re just trying to build an internal application for your team, speed matters. RDS is designed to keep up with user demand, intelligently routing traffic to give everyone the best experience possible. 

Amazon’s Relational Database Service claims that it gives enterprises high-speed databases at a tenth of the cost of other providers, so if you want to speed up your database on a budget, it’s a great option. 

7. Pay-What-You-Use Pricing

Nobody wants to be on the hook for yet another expensive monthly subscription. One of Amazon RDS’s biggest perks is its pay-per-use model. There’s no upfront setup fee and you only have to pay for a monthly usage fee—that’s it.  

Unlike its competitors, Amazon’s Relational Database Service doesn’t have any minimums, either. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for a cloud database solution, you can scale your spending up or down with RDS. 

Lock Down Your RDS

Amazon’s Relational Database Service helps your team spend less time on time-consuming administrative tasks that slow you down. Instead, use a solution like RDS to focus more of your time and resources on making innovative, cool products that everyone will love. 

RDS is a cost-effective way to power up your applications without overextending your resources. It’s the perfect way to squeeze even more value out of your database with the convenience of the cloud. 

But did you know that AWS and RDS aren’t compliant out of the box? Depending on the nature of your business, you might need to adjust your RDS settings to follow the letter of the law. Simplify your compliance and get the most out of RDS with Datica. Contact us to learn how our automated platform makes cloud computing efficient, safe, and compliant.