Amazon Aurora is a relational database service that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. The MySQL-compatible edition of Aurora delivers up to 5X the throughput of standard MySQL running on the same hardware, and is designed to be compatible with MySQL 5.6, enabling existing MySQL applications and tools to run without requiring modification.

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Testing on standard benchmarks such as SysBench have shown up to a 5x increase in throughput performance over stock MySQL 5.6 on similar hardware. Amazon Aurora uses a variety of software and hardware techniques to ensure the database engine is able to fully leverage available compute, memory and networking. I/O operations use distributed systems techniques such as quorums to improve performance consistency.

Using the Amazon RDS APIs or with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can scale the compute and memory resources powering your deployment up or down. Compute scaling operations typically complete in a few minutes.

Amazon Aurora will 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. You don't need to provision excess storage for your database to handle future growth.

Increase read throughput to support high volume application requests by creating up to 15 database read replicas. Amazon Aurora Replicas share the same underlying storage as the source instance, lowering costs and avoiding the need to perform writes at the replica nodes. This frees up more processing power to serve read requests and reduces the replica lag time – often down to single digit milliseconds. Aurora also provides a reader endpoint so the application can connect without having to keep track of replicas as they are added and removed.

Amazon RDS continuously monitors the health of your Amazon Aurora database and underlying EC2 instance. On database failure, Amazon RDS will automatically restart the database and associated processes. Amazon Aurora does not require crash recovery replay of database redo logs, greatly reducing restart times. It also isolates the database buffer cache from database processes, allowing the cache to survive a database restart.

On instance failure, Amazon Aurora uses RDS Multi-AZ technology to automate failover to one of up to 15 Amazon Aurora Replicas you have created in any of three Availability Zones. If no Amazon Aurora Replicas have been provisioned, in the case of a failure, Amazon RDS will attempt to create a new Amazon Aurora DB instance for you automatically. Please see our FAQ for more information.

Each 10GB chunk of your database volume is replicated six ways, across three Availability Zones. Amazon Aurora storage is fault-tolerant, transparently handling the loss of up to two copies of data without affecting database write availability and up to three copies without affecting read availability. Amazon Aurora storage is also self-healing; data blocks and disks are continuously scanned for errors and replaced automatically.

Amazon Aurora's backup capability enables point-in-time recovery for your instance. This allows you to restore your database to any second during your retention period, up to the last five minutes. Your automatic backup retention period can be configured up to thirty-five days. Automated backups are stored in Amazon S3, which is designed for 99.999999999% durability. Amazon Aurora backups are automatic, incremental, and continuous and have no impact on database performance.

DB Snapshots are user-initiated backups of your instance stored in Amazon S3 that will be kept until you explicitly delete them. They leverage the automated incremental snapshots to reduce the time and storage required. You can create a new instance from a DB Snapshot whenever you desire.

Amazon Aurora runs in Amazon VPC, which allows you to isolate your database in your own virtual network, and connect to your on-premises IT infrastructure using industry-standard encrypted IPsec VPNs. 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 Aurora MySQL is integrated with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and provides you the ability to control the actions that your AWS IAM users and groups can take on specific Amazon Aurora resources (e.g., DB Instances, DB Snapshots, DB Parameter Groups, DB Event Subscriptions, DB Options Groups). In addition, you can tag your Aurora MySQL 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, you can configure your IAM rules to ensure developers are able to 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 Aurora allows you to encrypt your databases using keys you create and control through AWS Key Management Service (KMS). On a database instance running with Amazon Aurora encryption, data stored at rest in the underlying storage is encrypted, as are the automated backups, snapshots, and replicas in the same cluster. Amazon Aurora uses SSL (AES-256) to secure data in transit.

Amazon Aurora allows you to log database events with minimal impact on database performance. Logs can later be analyzed for database management, security, governance, regulatory compliance and other purposes. You can also monitor activity by sending audit logs to Amazon CloudWatch.

Getting started with Amazon Aurora is easy. Just launch a new Amazon Aurora DB Instance using the AWS Management Console or a single API call. Amazon Aurora DB Instances are pre-configured with parameters and settings appropriate for the DB Instance class you have selected. You can launch a DB Instance and connect your application within minutes without additional configuration. DB Parameter Groups provide granular control and fine-tuning of your database.

Amazon Aurora provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your DB Instances at no additional charge. You can use the AWS Management Console to view over 20 key operational metrics for your database instances, including compute, memory, storage, query throughput, cache hit ratio, and active connections. In addition, you can use Enhanced Monitoring to gather metrics from the operating system instance that your database runs on.

Amazon Aurora will keep your database up-to-date with the latest patches. You can control if and when your instance is patched via DB Engine Version Management. Aurora uses zero-downtime patching when possible: if a suitable time window appears, the instance is updated in place, application sessions are preserved and the database engine restarts while the patch is in progress, leading to only a transient (5 second or so) drop in throughput.

Amazon Aurora can notify you via email or SMS of important database events such as an automated failover. You can use the AWS Management Console or the Amazon RDS APIs to subscribe to over 40 different DB events associated with your Amazon Aurora databases.

Amazon Aurora supports quick, efficient cloning operations, where entire multi-terabyte database clusters can be cloned in minutes. Cloning is useful for a number of purposes including application development, testing, database updates, and running analytical queries. Immediate availability of data can significantly accelerate your software development and upgrade projects, and make analytics more accurate.

You can clone an Amazon Aurora database with just a few clicks in the RDS Management Console, without impacting the production environment. The clone is distributed and replicated across 3 Availability Zones.

Amazon Aurora combines enterprise-grade security, performance, high availability and durability with the low cost and ease of use of MySQL. This makes it an good migration target when moving workloads from expensive commercial databases to AWS. The capabilities of MySQL make it an optimal database for a wide range of database workloads, from simple transactional applications to complex OLTP and OLAP workloads with complicated SQL and stored procedures.

Standard MySQL import and export tools work with Amazon Aurora. You can also easily create a new Amazon Aurora database from an Amazon RDS for MySQL DB Snapshot. Migration operations based on DB Snapshots typically complete in under an hour, but will vary based on the amount and format of data being migrated.

There is no up-front commitment with Amazon Aurora; you simply pay an hourly charge for each instance that you launch. And, when you’re finished with an Amazon Aurora DB Instance, you can easily delete it. You do not need to over-provision storage as a safety margin, and you only pay for the storage you actually consume. To see more details, visit the Amazon Aurora Pricing page.