Amazon Web Services released the Aurora Database. Now what?

So you may have noticed that all the big IT companies are trying to muscle in on different areas of business. Microsoft want to take on Google in search, they both want to take on Apple in music and phones while Google is trying to take on Microsoft and Apple in computers and operating systems. It is not really that surprising, there is a huge amount of money at stake and these are all companies that are able to invest the amounts of money needed upfront to pose a challenge to the dominate player in each sector.

It comes as no shock, then, that Amazon want to get in on the database action. As an enormous tech company who have gone from books to tablets, they are expanding the scope of their online empire and this is just another aspect of their future business. Amazon Web Services (AWS) made the announcement that its Aurora database engine, which was launched in November 2014 as a preview has gone live. Aurora is able to power the existing Relational Database Service (RDS), and is compatible with both the MySQL and MariaDB databases.

When they first launched the preview in November, Amazon explained that Aurora is able to elevate the performance of the RDS. It delivers 6 million inserts every minute and 30 million selects every minute. However, they realise that it is not just performance that counts, but price too, which is why they have built it in house, so that they can undercut the competitors. AWS customers will also be able to use a variety of other database engines, including MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL, when they are using RDS.

Amazon has a focus on developing software that firms are able to use as alternatives to those programs already available on AWS and so far their delivery has been exceptional, with a number of other home built programs providing exceptional outcomes, such as the DynamoDB NoSQL database, the Redshift data warehouse, and just recently, the API Gateway for management of companies??? application programming interfaces (APIs). Amazon???s cloud infrastructure has also been a big bonus as they are able to drop their prices and expand the locations of their service provision with ease. All of this means that Amazon has developed into a massive tech provider, with AWS delivering around $6 billion in revenue in the last financial year, with Aurora set to add more to this in the coming year.

 

Amazon Aurora delivers up to five times better performance than MySQL at about one tenth that of a commercial database, it brings all the benefits of the big commercial players with all the advantages of an open source program. There are a number of benefits and advantages with Aurora, including:

Performance and Scalability:

  • High Throughput with Low Jitter – Aurora uses a variety of software and hardware techniques to ensure the database engine is able to fully leverage available compute, memory and networking.
  • Push-button Compute Scaling ??? It can scale the compute and memory resources powering your deployment up or down, up to a maximum of 32 vCPUs and 244 GiB of RAM.
  • Storage Auto-scaling – Aurora automatically grows the size of your database volume as your database storage needs grow.
  • Aurora Low-latency Read Replicas – You can create Amazon Aurora Replicas and serve high-volume application read traffic from multiple instances, thereby increasing aggregate read throughput.

Reliability:

  • Instance Monitoring and Repair – Amazon RDS monitors the health of your Aurora database and underlying EC2 instance. On database failure, Amazon RDS will automatically restart the database and associated processes.
  • Multi-AZ Deployments with Aurora Replicas- On instance failure, 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.
  • Fault-tolerant and Self-healing Storage – Each 10GB chunk of your database volume is replicated six ways, across three Availability Zones.
  • Automatic, Continuous, Incremental Backups and Point-in-time Restore – Aurora’s backup capability enables point-in-time recovery for your instance.
  • Database Snapshots – DB Snapshots are user-initiated backups of your instance stored in Amazon S3 that will be kept until you explicitly delete them.

Security:

  • Network Isolation – 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.
  • Resource-level Permissions – Aurora is integrated with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and provides you the ability to control the actions that your AWS IAM users and groups can take on specific Amazon Aurora resources.
  • Encryption – Aurora uses SSL (AES-256) to secure data in transit. Encryption for data at rest will be available in a future release.

Manageability:

  • Easy to Use – Just launch a new Amazon Aurora DB Instance using the AWS Management Console or a single API call. Amazon Aurora DB Instances are pre-configured with parameters and settings appropriate for the DB Instance class you have selected.
  • Easy Migration – Standard MySQL import and export tools work with Amazon Aurora.
  • Monitoring and Metrics – Aurora provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your DB Instances at no additional charge.
  • Automatic Software Patching – Aurora will keep your database up-to-date with the latest patches.
  • DB Event Notifications – Aurora can notify you via email or SMS of important database events like automated failover.

Aurora is big for the cloud

Amazon is seen as a major player in the enterprise cloud space, but Google and Microsoft are moving in on their market share. This is good for customers as it means the price of cloud storage will drop as performance increases. Aurora is the embodiment of this, it provides huge performance at a very cheap price. See this as the latest salvo in the battle for cloud space market share, but expect more shots to be fired and more benefits to come our way.

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