AWS Database Blog

Recap of Amazon RDS and Aurora features launched in 2019

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity. At the same time, it automates time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups. It frees you to focus on your applications so you can give them the fast performance, high availability, security, and compatibility they need.

Moving self-managed databases to managed database services is the new norm, and we’re continuing to add features to Amazon RDS at a rapid pace. 2019 was a busy year, so let’s do a recap of the features launched across the different database engines.

Amazon RDS first launched back in October of 2009, over 10 years ago! We started with Amazon RDS for MySQL; since then we’ve reached a total of seven database engine options: Amazon Aurora MySQL, Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server.

In 2019, we launched over 100 features across all Amazon RDS and Aurora database engines. For a quick reference, visit the 2018 recap, and the 2017 recap. We’ll start by covering each database engine and the key releases that we think will have the biggest impact on your database strategy and operations. We then list all of the features that we launched in 2019, categorized for convenience:

  • New instance types, Regions, and versions– Providing you with a variety of database deployment options
  • Manageability – Simplifying database management and providing expert recommendations
  • Developer productivity – Enabling builders to focus on tasks meaningful to the business
  • Performance – Improving database performance and scale to meet the application’s needs
  • Availability/Disaster Recovery – Deploying highly available databases across Availability Zones and AWS Regions
  • Security – Facilitating secure database operation

Key feature launches of 2019

Amazon Aurora MySQL

Aurora Global Database, originally launched at re:Invent 2018, expands your database into multiple Regions for disaster recovery and faster global reads. In 2019, this feature gained support for up to five secondary Regions, MySQL 5.7, and in-place upgrades from single-region databases.

The other two key features that we launched for Aurora MySQL in 2019 were Aurora Multi-Master and Aurora Machine Learning. Aurora Multi-Master increases availability by enabling you to create multiple read/write instances of your Aurora database across multiple Availability Zones. Aurora Machine Learning lets you add machine learning (ML) based predictions to your applications directly in your SQL queries. Read more on the AWS News Blog.

Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

For Aurora PostgreSQL, we announced support for Serverless, where the database automatically starts up, shuts down, and scales capacity up or down based on your application’s needs. Aurora Serverless benefits use cases such as infrequently used applications, new applications, variable workloads, unpredictable workloads, development and test databases, and multi-tenant applications. We also launched support for Logical Replication using PostgreSQL replication slots, enabling you to use the same logical replication tools that they use with RDS for PostgreSQL. We launched support for Database Activity Streams to provide detailed auditing information in an encrypted JSON stream, Cluster Cache Management to resume the previous database performance after a failover, S3 import to make it easy and fast to load data from CSV files (S3 export was added in early 2020), export of logs to CloudWatch to make it easy to monitor PostgreSQL logs, support for PostgreSQL version 11 to give you access to the latest features from the PostgreSQL community, and FedRAMP HIGH compliance.

Amazon RDS for Oracle

We improved availability and disaster recovery by launching In-Region and Cross-Region Read Replicas using Oracle Active Data Guard. With read replicas, you can easily create up to five fully managed Oracle Active Data Guard standby databases that can be used for read scaling and offloading of long-running analytical queries. You can create read replicas in the same Region or a different Region from the primary instance, and replicas can be promoted into full read/write databases for disaster recovery purposes.

Last year, we also simplified migrations to RDS for Oracle with Amazon S3 Integration for Data Ingress and Egress Capabilities. With the S3 Integration option, you can easily set up fast and secure file transfer between an Amazon RDS for Oracle instance and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), significantly reducing the complexity of loading and unloading data.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server

By increasing the maximum number of databases per database instance from 30 to 100, we enable you to further consolidate database instances to save on costs.

Another exciting enhancement was around migrations. When some of our customers perform Native Backups and Restores when migrating to RDS SQL Server, they sometimes experience longer downtime during the final stages of the migration process than they would prefer. With support for Native Differential and Log Backups in conjunction with Full Native Backups, you can reduce downtime to as little as 5 minutes.

Last but not least, we launched Always On Availability Groups for SQL Server 2017 Enterprise Edition. With Always On, we also launched the Always On Listener Endpoint, which supports faster failover times.

Releases across multiple Amazon RDS database engines

We expanded deployment options for Amazon RDS by launching Amazon RDS on VMware for the following database engines: Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. If you need to run a hybrid (cloud and on-premises) database environment, this gives you the option to use the automation behind Amazon RDS in an on-premises VMware vSphere environments. Jeff Barr wrote a detailed AWS News Blog post highlighting the available features and how to get started.

For simplified single sign-on, you can use Microsoft Active Directory (AD) via AWS Managed Active Directory Service for Amazon RDS PostgreSQL, RDS Oracle, and RDS MySQL (AD is also supported on SQL Server, and was launched on MySQL in early 2020). Now you can use the same AD for different VPCs within the same AWS Region. You can also join instances to a shared Active Directory domain owned by different accounts.

Lastly, we announced the public preview of Amazon RDS Proxy for Amazon RDS MySQL and Aurora MySQL. As its name implies, Amazon RDS Proxy sits between your application and its database to pool and share database connections, improving database efficiency and application scalability. In case of a database failover, Amazon RDS Proxy automatically connects to a standby database instance while preserving connections from your application and reducing failover times for Amazon RDS and Aurora Multi-AZ databases by up to 66%. Lastly, database credentials and access can be managed through AWS Secrets Manager and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), eliminating the need to embed database credentials in application code. Support for Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL and Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility is coming soon. You can learn more by reading Using Amazon RDS Proxy with AWS Lambda.

Features by database engine

Amazon Aurora MySQL

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Availability/Disaster Recovery

Security

Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Availability/Disaster Recovery

Security

Amazon RDS for MySQL/MariaDB

New Instances Types, Regions, and Versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Security

Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Security

Amazon RDS for Oracle

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Availability/Disaster Recovery

Security

Amazon RDS for SQL Server

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Developer productivity

Performance

Availability/Disaster Recovery

Security

Across Amazon RDS database engines

New instances types, Regions, and versions

Manageability

Performance

Security

Summary

While the last 10 years have been extremely exciting, it is still Day 1 for our service and we are excited to keep innovating on behalf of our customers! If you haven’t tried Amazon RDS yet, you can try it for free via the Amazon RDS Free Tier. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post!

 


About the Authors

 

Justin Benton is a Sr Product Manager at Amazon Web Services.

 

 

 

 

Yoav Eilat is a Sr Product Manager at Amazon Web Services.