Amazon RDS is designed for developers or businesses who require the full features and capabilities of a relational database, or who wish to migrate existing applications and tools that utilize a relational database. It gives you access to the capabilities of a MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or Amazon Aurora database engine running on your own Amazon RDS cloud-based database instance.

To use Amazon RDS, you simply:

  • Use the AWS Management Console or Amazon RDS APIs to launch a Database Instance (DB Instance), selecting the DB Engine (MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or Amazon Aurora), License Type, DB Instance class and storage capacity that best meets your needs.
  • Connect to your DB Instance using your favorite database tool or programming language. Since you have direct access to a native MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or PostgreSQL database engine, most tools designed for these engines should work unmodified with Amazon RDS. (The Amazon Aurora is designed to be compatible with MySQL 5.6, so that existing MySQL applications and tools can run without requiring modification.)
  • Monitor the compute and storage resource utilization of your DB Instance, for no additional charge, via Amazon CloudWatch metrics available using the AWS Management Console “DB Instances” tab or Amazon CloudWatch APIs. If at any point you need additional capacity, you can scale the compute and storage resources associated with your DB Instance with a few clicks of the console or a simple API call.
  • Pay only for the resources you actually consume, based on your DB Instance hours consumed, database storage, backup storage, and data transfer.

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AWS Free Tier includes 750hrs of Micro DB Instance each month for one year, 20GB of Storage, and 20GB for Backups with Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

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The features provided by Amazon RDS depend on the DB Engine you select. Visit the Amazon RDS for MySQL page for supported features for the MySQL engine, the Amazon RDS for Oracle Database page for supported features of the Oracle database engine, the Amazon RDS for SQL Server page for supported features for the SQL Server engine, the Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL page for supported features for the PostgreSQL engine, or the Amazon RDS for Aurora page for supported features for the Amazon Aurora engine.

Amazon RDS DB Instances are pre-configured with an appropriate set of parameters and settings appropriate for the DB Instance class you have selected. You can simply launch a MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or Amazon Aurora DB Instance and connect your application within minutes without additional configuration. If you desire additional control, you can achieve it via DB Parameter Groups.

Amazon RDS provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your DB Instance deployments at no additional charge. You can use the AWS Management Console to view key operational metrics for your DB Instance deployments, including compute/memory/storage capacity utilization, I/O activity, and DB Instance connections.

Amazon RDS will make sure that the relational database software powering your deployment stays up-to-date with the latest patches. You can exert optional control over when and if your DB Instance is patched via DB Engine Version Management.

Turned on by default, the automated backup feature of Amazon RDS enables point-in-time recovery for your DB Instance. Amazon RDS will backup your database and transaction logs and store both for a user-specified retention period. This allows you to restore your DB Instance to any second during your retention period, up to the last five minutes. Your automatic backup retention period can be configured to up to thirty five days.

DB Snapshots are user-initiated backups of your DB Instance. These full database backups will be stored by Amazon RDS until you explicitly delete them. You can create a new DB Instance from a DB Snapshot whenever you desire.

Amazon RDS provides Amazon SNS notifications via email or SMS for your DB Instance deployments. You can use the AWS Management Console or the Amazon RDS APIs to subscribe to many different DB events associated with your Amazon RDS deployments.

Amazon RDS Multi-AZ deployments provide enhanced availability and durability for Database (DB) Instances, making them a natural fit for production database workloads. When you provision a Multi-AZ DB Instance, Amazon RDS automatically creates a primary DB instance and synchronously replicates the data to a standby instance in a different Availability Zone (AZ). Each AZ runs on its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure, and is engineered to be highly reliable. In case of an infrastructure failure (for example, instance crash, storage failure, or network disruption), Amazon RDS performs an automatic failover to the standby so that you can resume database operations as soon as the failover is complete. Since the endpoint for your DB Instance remains the same after a failover, your application can resume database operation without the need for manual administrative intervention. Learn More.

Amazon RDS General Purpose (SSD) storage delivers a consistent baseline of 3 IOPS per provisioned GB and provides the ability to burst up to 3,000 IOPS. General Purpose (SSD) storage is available for the MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL database engines.

You can convert from Magnetic Storage to General Purpose (SSD) storage; you will encounter a short availability impact when doing so.

To learn more and get started with Amazon RDS General Purpose (SSD) Storage, please refer to the General Purpose (SSD) Storage section of the Amazon RDS User Guide.


The following applies to MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL database engines:

  • You can provision up to 3TB storage and 30,000 IOPS per database instance. For a workload with 50% writes and 50% reads running on an m2.4xlarge instance, you can realize up to 25,000 IOPS for Oracle. For a similar workload running on cr1.8xlarge you can realize up to 20,000 IOPS for MySQL or PostgreSQL. However, by provisioning up to 30,000 IOPS, you may be able to achieve lower latency and higher throughput. Your actual realized IOPS may vary from the amount you provisioned based on your database workload, instance type, and database engine choice. Refer to the Factors That Affect Realized IOPS section of the Amazon RDS User Guide to learn more.
  • You can convert from standard storage to Provisioned IOPS (SSD) storage and get consistent throughput and low I/O latencies. You will encounter a short availability impact when doing so. You can independently scale IOPS (in increments of 1000) and storage on-the-fly with zero downtime. The ratio of IOPS provisioned to the storage requested (in GB) should be between 3 and 10. For example, for a database instance with 1000 GB of storage, you can provision from 3,000 to 10,000 IOPS. You can scale the IOPS up or down depending on factors such as seasonal variability of traffic to your applications.

If you are using SQL Server, the maximum storage you can provision is 1TB and maximum IOPS you can provision is 10,000 IOPS. The ratio of IOPS to storage (in GB) should be 10 and scaling storage or IOPS of a running DB Instance is not currently supported.

To learn more and get started with Amazon RDS Provisioned IOPS (SSD) Storage, please refer to the Provisioned IOPS Storage section of the Amazon RDS User Guide.

Using the Amazon RDS APIs or with a few clicks on the AWS Management Console, you can scale the compute and memory resources powering your deployment up or down. Scale compute operations typically complete within a handful of minutes. For the MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL database engines, as your storage requirements grow, you can also provision additional storage on-the-fly with zero downtime. If you are using RDS Provisioned IOPS with the MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL database engines, you can also scale the throughput of your DB Instance by specifying the IOPS rate from 1,000 IOPS to 30,000 IOPS in 1,000 IOPS increments and storage from 100GB to 3TB.

The Amazon Aurora database engine automatically grow the size of your database volume as your database storage needs grow. Your volume will grow in increments of 10 GB up to a maximum of 64 TB or a maximum volume size you define. You don’t need to provision excess storage for your database to handle future growth.

Amazon RDS will automatically replace the compute instance powering your deployment in the event of a hardware failure.

Amazon RDS provides two distinct but complementary replication features, Multi-AZ deployments and Read Replicas, that can be used in conjunction to gain enhanced database availability, protect your latest database updates against unplanned outages, and scale beyond the capacity constraints of a single DB Instance for read-heavy database workloads. Multi-AZ deployments are available for all Amazon RDS database engines. Read Replicas are currently supported in Amazon RDS for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Amazon Aurora.

Using Amazon VPC, you can isolate your DB Instances in your own virtual network, and connect to your existing IT infrastructure using industry-standard encrypted IPsec VPN. The VPC functionality is supported by all RDS DB Engines. To learn more about Amazon RDS in VPC, refer to the Amazon RDS User Guide. In addition, using Amazon RDS, you can configure firewall settings and control network access to your DB Instances.

Amazon RDS provides you the ability to control the actions that your AWS IAM users and groups can take on specific Amazon RDS resources (e.g. DB Instances, DB Snapshots, DB Parameter Groups, DB Event Subscriptions, DB Options Groups). In addition, you can tag your RDS resources, and control the actions that your IAM users and groups can take on groups of resources that have the same tag (and tag value). For example, developers can modify "Development" DB Instances, but only Database Administrators can modify and delete "Production" DB Instances. For more information about Resource-Level Permissions, refer to Using AWS IAM with Amazon RDS Resources and Tagging Amazon RDS Resources.

Amazon RDS currently supports the following DB Instance Classes for the MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL database engines:

Instance Type vCPU Memory (GiB) PIOPS-Optimized
Network Performance
Standard - current generation
db.m3.medium 1 3.75 - Moderate
db.m3.large 2 7.5 - Moderate
db.m3.xlarge 4 15 Yes Moderate
db.m3.2xlarge 8 30 Yes High
Memory optimized - current generation
db.r3.large 2 15 - Moderate
db.r3.xlarge 4 30.5 Yes Moderate
db.r3.2xlarge 8 61 Yes High
db.r3.4xlarge 16 122 Yes High
db.r3.8xlarge 32 244 -
10 Gigabit
Burstable performance instances
db.t2.micro 1 1 - Low to Moderate
db.t2.small 1 2 - Low to Moderate
db.t2.medium 2 4 - Low to Moderate

For DB Instance Classes supported by the Amazon Aurora database engine, see the Amazon RDS for Aurora pricing page.

Looking for T1, M1, M2, or CR1 DB Instances? See the Previous Generation Instances page.

Amazon RDS allows you to use the AWS Management Console or a simple set of web services APIs to create, delete and modify relational database instances (DB Instances). You can also control access and security for your DB Instance(s) and manage your database backups and snapshots. For a full list of the available Amazon RDS APIs, please see the Amazon RDS API Guide. Some of the most commonly used APIs and their functionality are listed below:

  • Launch DB Instance — Provision a new DB Instance, specifying DB Engine, License Model, DB Instance class, storage capacity, DB Engine version (optional), the backup retention policy you wish to use, and whether you want to run the DB Instance as a Multi-AZ deployment. A few clicks on the AWS Management Console is all that’s needed to give you access to a running MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or PostgreSQL database engine, with the software pre-installed and the available resource capacity you request. For MySQL, you can also use create a Read Replica for a given source DB Instance deployment.
  • Modify DB Instance — Modify settings for a running DB Instance. This functionality lets you scale the resources available to your DB Instance in response to the load on your database, or change how it is automatically backed up and maintained on your behalf, or convert your DB Instance to or from a Multi-AZ deployment. You can also use this functionality to gain optional control over minor version upgrades for your DB Instance – maintain compatibility with specific database versions, test new versions with your application before deploying in production, and perform version upgrades on your own terms and timelines.
  • Take DB Snapshot — Generate a snapshot of your DB Instance. You can restore your DB Instance to these user-created snapshots at any point, even to reinstate a previously deleted DB Instance.
    Restore To Point In Time — Create a new DB Instance from a point-in-time backup. You can restore to any point within the retention period you specified, usually up to the last five minutes of your database’s usage.
  • Delete DB Instance — Delete a running DB Instance. With Amazon RDS, you can terminate your DB Instance at any time and pay only for the resources you used.

For a brief explanation on how simple it is to get started using Amazon RDS, see AWS Evangelist Jeff Barr’s post announcing Amazon RDS. If you wish to run more than 40 DB Instances, please complete this form and we will promptly respond to your request.

If your application already relies on a MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or PostgreSQL database engine, porting to Amazon RDS is simple. Please refer to the following import guides for best practices:

You will be charged at the end of each month for the Amazon RDS resources you actually consume. Once a DB Instance you have created is available for connection, you will be charged for each hour your DB Instance is running. Each DB Instance will run until termination, which occurs when you issue an API call to delete the DB Instance, or in the event of an instance failure. Partial DB Instance hours consumed are billed as full hours. In addition to DB Instance hours, you are also billed for your monthly storage, IO requests, and backups. If you scale your storage capacity within the billing period, your bill will be pro-rated accordingly.

Your use of this service is subject to the Amazon Web Services Customer Agreement.