Amazon RDS – 2016 in Review
Even though we published 294 posts on this blog last year, I left out quite a number of worthwhile launches! Today I would like to focus on Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and recap all of the progress that the teams behind this family of services made in 2016. The team focused on four major areas last year:
- High Availability
- Enhanced Monitoring
- Simplified Security
- Database Engine Updates
Let’s take a look at each of these areas…
Relational databases are at the heart of many types of applications. In order to allow our customers to build applications that are highly available, RDS has offered multi-AZ support since early 2010 (read Amazon RDS – Multi-AZ Deployments For Enhanced Availability & Reliability for more info). Instead of spending weeks setting up multiple instances, arranging for replication, writing scripts to detect network, instance, & network issues, making failover decisions, and bringing a new secondary instance online, you simply opt for Multi-AZ Deployment when you create the Database Instance. RDS also makes it easy for you to create cross-region read replicas.
Here are some of the other enhancements that we made in 2016 in order to help you to achieve high availability:
- Amazon RDS for MariaDB now covered by RDS SLA.
- Amazon RDS adds Multi-AZ support for SQL Server in Asia Pacific (Seoul) AWS Region.
- Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL now supports cross-region read replicas.
- Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL now supports logical replication.
- Amazon RDS now supports read replicas of encrypted database instances across regions.
- Additional Failover Control for Amazon Aurora.
- Cross-Region Read Replicas for Amazon Aurora.
- Amazon RDS now supports copying encrypted snapshots of encrypted DB instances across regions.
- Amazon RDS for SQL Server supports SQL Server Native Backup/Restore with S3.
We announced the first big step toward enhanced monitoring at the end of 2015 (New – Enhanced Monitoring for Amazon RDS) with support for MySQL, MariaDB, and Amazon Aurora and then made additional announcements in 2016:
- Enhanced Monitoring for Amazon RDS now available for MySQL 5.5.
- RDS Enhanced Monitoring is now available in Asia Pacific (Seoul).
- Amazon RDS Enhanced Monitoring is now available in South America (Sao Paulo) and China (Beijing).
- Enhanced Monitoring is now available for Amazon RDS for Oracle.
- Enhanced Monitoring and option to enforce SSL connections is now available for Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL.
- Enhanced Monitoring for SQL Server.
We want to make it as easy and simple as possible for you to use encryption to protect your data, whether it is at rest or in motion. Here are the enhancements that we made in this area last year:
- MariaDB audit plug-in now available for RDS MySQL and MariaDB.
- Amazon RDS for SQL Server supports Windows Authentication.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Oracle Native Network Encryption (NNE) in all Amazon RDS for Oracle editions.
- Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports the Oracle Label Security (OLS) option.
- RDS now supports sharing encrypted database snapshots with other AWS accounts.
- RDS now allows specifying the VPC for your Amazon RDS DB Instance.
- Cross-account snapshot sharing for Amazon Aurora.
Database Engine Updates
The open source community and the vendors of commercial databases add features and produce new releases at a rapid pace and we track their work very closely, aiming to update RDS as quickly as possible after each significant release. Here’s what we did in 2016:
- SQL Server:
- Support for SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3 and SQL Server 2012 SP3.
- Support Microsoft SQL Server 2016.
- Outbound network access using custom DNS servers.
- January PSU patches, improved custom Oracle directories and read privileges support.
- Oracle Repository Creation Utility (RCU) and April PSU patches.
- 11g to 12c major version upgrade.
- Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) Cloud Control.
- License included offering for Oracle Standard Edition Two (SE2).
- Amazon Aurora:
- Cluster creation from a MySQL Backup.
- NUMA-aware scheduling.
- Parallel read-ahead.
- Single reader endpoint.
- Lambda integration.
- Data loading from S3.
- Spatial indexing & zero-downtime patching.
- Efficient storage of binary logs.
- Cluster-level Maintenance and Patching.
- Lock compression, performance schema, hot row contention improvements, improved memory handling, and smart read selector.
We’ve already made some big announcements this year (you can find them in the AWS What’s New for 2017) with plenty more in store including the recently announced PostgreSQL-compatible version of Aurora, so stay tuned! You may also want to subscribe to the AWS Database Blog for detailed posts that will show you how to get the most from RDS, Amazon Aurora, and Amazon ElastiCache.