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 PostgreSQL-compatible edition of Aurora delivers up to 3X the throughput of standard PostgreSQL running on the same hardware, and is designed to be compatible with PostgreSQL 9.6, enabling existing PostgreSQL applications and tools to run without requiring modification. The combination of PostgreSQL compatibility with Aurora enterprise database capabilities provides an ideal target for commercial database migrations. 

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Testing on standard benchmarks such as SysBench has shown up to a 3x increase in throughput performance over stock PostgreSQL 9.6 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. Amazon Aurora also isolates the database buffer cache from the database process, 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.

You can use any standard PostgreSQL authentication method to manage access to an Aurora PostgreSQL database.

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.

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. Finally, you can use Amazon RDS Performance Insights, a database monitoring tool that makes it easy to detect database performance problems and take corrective action, with an easy-to-understand dashboard that visualizes database load.

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.

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.

Standard PostgreSQL import and export tools work with Amazon Aurora, including pg_dump and pg_restore. Amazon Aurora also supports snapshot import from RDS for PostgreSQL 9.6, and replication with AWS Database Migration Service.

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility provides an ideal environment for moving database workloads off of commercial databases. PostgreSQL has functional capabilities which are a close match to those of commercial database engines, and Aurora delivers the enterprise-grade performance, durability, and high availability required by most enterprise database workloads. AWS Database Migration Service can help accelerate database migrations to Amazon Aurora, and you can use it at no charge for six months when the target database is Aurora.

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.