Posted On: Apr 23, 2014

You can now upgrade your existing MySQL database instances running MySQL 5.5 to MySQL 5.6 using Read Replicas. To upgrade your existing instances, create a new Read Replica, upgrade it to MySQL 5.6, and once it has caught up to your existing master, promote it to be the new master. Also, starting today, for any newly created MySQL 5.5 instances, you can simply select the "Modify" option corresponding to the DB Instance to upgrade it to the latest version of MySQL 5.6.

MySQL 5.6 offers several feature and performance improvements over MySQL 5.5 including:

  • Crash safe slaves (Read Replicas) make the binlog and table data transactionally consistent, so that Read Replicas can resume replication automatically after a master database instance crashes or fails over
  • InnoDB integration with Memcached enables you to use the Memcached API to interact with InnoDB data directly as a "key-value" store and bypass the SQL layer in the process
  • Binary Log access allows downloading and streaming binary logs through the native mysqlbinlog tool
  • Online schema changes enable you to perform several "ALTER TABLE" operations (for InnoDB tables) while allowing queries on the table concurrently

We encourage you to read the release notes, test your applications for compatibility, and upgrade to MySQL 5.6. Please refer to the Upgrading from MySQL 5.5 to MySQL 5.6 and Upgrading a DB Instance section of the Amazon RDS User Guide to learn more.