Reasons to Use Amazon Aurora

Traditional databases were designed and optimized for on-premise servers. However, when it comes to the cloud, these databases are unable to take advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and performance improvements inherent to cloud architecture. Cloud-native database solutions, like Amazon Aurora, make database creation, management, and maintenance easier and more efficient so users may fully utilize and take advantage of these cloud attributes.

Relational Database Options on Amazon Web Services (AWS):

Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) is an AWS managed service that makes it easy to operate and scale relational databases. Currently, RDS offers 6 popular engines:

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

AWS Management Console gives you direct access to the RDS services. You can also access through AWS command line interface (CLI) and RDS application programming interface (API). If you already have a database that you want to migrate to the cloud, you can use AWS Database Migration Service. Amazon Aurora is the most popular database engine on RDS right now.

Why Use Aurora:

Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL compatible relational database engine that is built by Amazon to work in the AWS ecosystem. It is highly optimized for the AWS environment and provides up to five times better performance than a traditional MySQL installation. Here are some key benefits of using Aurora as your database:

Storage Autoscaling: Amazon Aurora uses AWS autoscaling capabilities to increase in size as your need for storage grows. It can automatically increment in 10 GB size up to the maximum of 64 TB. Aurora provides Database as a Service (DaaS) and makes it easier for you to grow your database with your company’s changing needs.

Durability and Fault Tolerance: Aurora DB clusters are designed to be self-healing and fault tolerant. The database volumes are divided into segments and each segment is replicated six ways across three Availability Zones. Also, data backup is stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) which has 99.999999999 percent durability.

Performance Improvements: Aurora is MySQL 5.6 compatible and it performs 5 times faster than MySQL on the same hardware. The clusters allow 15 read replicas across different Availability Zones. The replicas can improve I/O operations for reads or be used for fail-over situations.

Disaster Recovery: The replication across different regions and the continuous backup make disaster recovery easy. Because the data is stored in small segments with each segment having its own redo log, the storage can replay redo logs in parallel and asynchronously as part of a disk read after a crash. It makes database disaster recovery almost instantaneous (less than 60 seconds in most cases).

Security: Aurora resides within Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) constraints. You have to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to keep data transmission secure. Amazon also supports data encryption at rest. Data is encrypted with AES-256.

Fastest Growing Service on AWS:

Aurora is one of the fastest-growing services on AWS. It has high-profile clients like Expedia, General Electric, Nasdaq, Ticketmaster,, and Zynga.

Aurora is great for two kinds of customers:

Current MySQL Customers: As a MySQL user, you will get 5x performance from Aurora with a reduced cost up to 60%. When you use Aurora, you don’t have to worry about wasted resources that you need to set up for redundancy. Aurora takes care of it for you. This gives you the 60% cost-savings.

Commercial Database Users: Commercial database licenses are expensive. Aurora provides the same level of service at 1/10 of the cost with the added benefit of full cloud-integration. This makes migrating to Aurora very lucrative for commercial database users.

Network Redux Aurora Use Cases:

Our cloud-based online auction client, CyberAuctions, recently dealt with an unexpected high-traffic auction. This resulted in them burning through their allocated RDS resources. In real-time, without completely taking the cluster down, we scaled-up the instance type of the secondary node (Multi-AZ Deployment) and issued a manual failover. Traffic (write) routed to the second node within a couple of seconds and we then were able to increase the instance type of all other nodes in the cluster to handle the surge. Downtime was limited to seconds while the master switched to the second node. This is practically impossible while running on on-premise servers. Read more about our CyberAuctions build here.

Aurora also frequently releases updates, which can be applied to an entire cluster with a couple of seconds downtime. When compared to on-premise database clusters, this offers significant time savings.

CyberAuctions is home to one of the first online auction platforms operating using Real-Time Technology. In search of a dynamic and flexible AWS consulting firm to reinvigorate their platform, CyberAuctions reached out to Network Redux.

Due to the expertise required with Aurora, Network Redux can guide you through architecting your Aurora solution and fine-tuning it for optimal performance.

Do you still have questions? At Network Redux, our friendly experts can help you understand if Amazon Aurora is a good fit for you. Contact us today to find out more.

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