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VMware Aria Cost Powered by CloudHealth Cuts Costs by 20% After Migrating to Amazon Aurora

VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth migrated from self-managed MySQL databases to Amazon Aurora, simplifying architecture, cutting costs by 20 percent, and increasing scalability and reliability.

Industry Challenge

More than 20,000 customers trust VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth to manage their cloud environments. The software-as-a-service (SaaS), API-based solution processes petabytes of data for reporting, financial analysis, governance, and more. From 2016 to 2020, VMware Aria Cost grew from six self-managed MySQL databases to 166.

With this growth came significant challenges. Its databases had limited scalability and it needed to overprovision capacity to account for traffic peaks. Many compute resources sat unused, incurring unnecessary expenses, and two full-time employees were needed to run the system. To simplify operations, VMware Aria Cost chose to migrate to a managed database on the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

CloudHealth’s Solution

To resolve its scalability and efficiency challenges, VMware Aria Cost migrated to Amazon Aurora, a fully managed relational database management system built for the cloud with full MySQL and PostgreSQL compatibility. “Aurora MySQL-Compatible Edition has fantastic compatibility with the version of MySQL that we used,” says Peter Fein, software architect at VMware Aria Cost. “We had built a root database and a lot of homegrown tools, and we did not require any changes with Aurora.”

VMware Aria Cost supports its high-connection environment using Amazon RDS Proxy, a fully managed, highly available database proxy for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)—a collection of managed services for setting up, operating, and scaling databases in the cloud. “Amazon RDS Proxy was a natural fit,” says Fein. “It holds connection requests idle until the databases can take on the load.”


Amazon Aurora and Amazon RDS Proxy are a great pair if you have a high-connection environment. We have smooth failover operations and zero downtime.”

Peter Fein
Software Architect, CloudHealth by VMware

Benefits of Using AWS

Rather than having one schema on one MySQL database, VMware Aria Cost consolidated 166 self-managed MySQL databases to 62 Aurora clusters. “Using Amazon RDS Proxy was the only way we could do that,” says Fein. “It offers high-connection compression that works well for the multiple-schema model.” Each Aurora cluster hosts 1,500 customers, compared with 200 on a single community MySQL cluster.

Amazon RDS Proxy supports VMware Aria Cost’s wide application environment, which includes over 300 autoscaling groups, about 400 clusters for data processing, and 6,000 Kubernetes pods. At any given time, the system supports about 10,000 connections. “Aurora and Amazon RDS Proxy are a great pair if you have a high-connection environment,” says Fein. “We have smooth failover operations and zero downtime. It’s reliable and quiet. We can go weeks without any alerts or scalability issues.”

Using an Amazon CloudWatch plugin, VMware Aria Cost can collect and visualize near real-time logs, metrics, and event data in automated dashboards to monitor Aurora performance. VMware Aria Cost can also view Amazon RDS Proxy metrics using Amazon RDS Performance Insights, a database performance tuning and monitoring feature. With these solutions, the company can assess the load on its databases and take swift action to improve performance.

VMware Aria Cost reduced computer processing units by 64 percent using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which offers a broad and deep compute solution. More than 5,000 Amazon EC2 C5 Instances—which deliver cost-effective high performance at a low price per compute ratio—were replaced with nearly 2,000 Amazon EC2 C6g Instances powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors, which deliver up to 40 percent better price performance over Amazon EC2 C5 Instances.

VMware Aria Cost has seen a 20 percent reduction in total costs since the migration, plus time savings. “The maintenance operations we had have gone away, and rather than putting out fires, our DevOps team is working on strategic projects, building new environments, and improving deployment pipelines,” says Fein.

About VMware

Founded in 2012, CloudHealth—now VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth—is used by over 20,000 global customers to manage their cloud environments.

AWS Services Used

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora provides built-in security, continuous backups, serverless compute, up to 15 read replicas, automated multi-Region replication, and integrations with other AWS services.

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Amazon RDS Proxy

Amazon RDS Proxy is a fully managed, highly available database proxy for Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) that makes applications more scalable, more resilient to database failures, and more secure.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale databases in the cloud.

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Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch collects and visualizes real-time logs, metrics, and event data in automated dashboards to streamline your infrastructure and application maintenance.

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