Beginner | 10 minutes

This website provides an introduction of what databases are and why you might want to consider an AWS database for your apps.

What are databases?

Every app needs a place to store data from users, devices, and other apps. Databases are important backend systems that are used to store data for any type of app, whether it’s a small mobile app or an enterprise app with internet-scale and real-time requirements.

What kinds of apps do people build using databases?

Internet-scale apps: Globally distributed and internet-scale apps that handle millions of requests per second over hundreds of terabytes of data. These databases automatically scale up and down to accommodate your spiky workloads.

Real-time apps: Real-time apps such as caching, session stores, gaming leaderboards, ride-hailing, ad-targeting, and real-time analytics need microsecond latency and high throughput to support millions of requests per second.

Open-source apps: Some customers prefer open-source databases for their low cost, community-backed development and support, and large ecosystems of tools and extensions.

Enterprise apps: Enterprise apps manage core business processes, such as sales, billing, customer service, human resources, and line-of-business processes, such as a reservation system at a hotel chain or a risk-management system at an insurance company. These apps need databases that are fast, scalable, secure, available, and reliable.

Database services

Database type
Use cases
AWS service

Relational Database

Relational databases store data with predefined schemas and relationships between them. These databases are designed to support ACID transactions, and maintain referential integrity and strong data consistency.

Traditional applications, ERP, CRM, e-commerce

Amazon Aurora

MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud. Performance and availability of commercial-grade databases at 1/10th the cost 

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

Set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud with just a few clicks 

Amazon Redshift

The most popular and fastest cloud data warehouse


Key-value Database

Key-value databases are optimized for common access patterns, typically to store and retrieve large volumes of data. These databases deliver quick response times, even in extreme volumes of concurrent requests.

High-traffic web apps, e-commerce systems, gaming applications

Amazon DynamoDB

Fast and flexible NoSQL database service for any scale


In-memory Database

In-memory databases are used for applications that require real-time access to data. By storing data directly in memory, these databases deliver microsecond latency to applications for whom millisecond latency is not enough.

Caching, session management, gaming leaderboards, geospatial applications

Amazon ElastiCache for Memcached

Managed, Memcached-compatible, in-memory store. Sub-millisecond latency to power real-time applications

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis

Redis compatible in-memory data store built for the cloud. Power real-time applications with sub-millisecond latency


Document Database

A document database is designed to store semistructured data as JSON-like documents. These databases help developers build and update applications quickly.

Content management, catalogs, user profiles

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)

Fast, scalable, highly available MongoDB-compatible database service

Wide column

Wide Column Database

A wide column store is a type of NoSQL database. It uses tables, rows, and columns, but unlike a relational database, the names and format of the columns can vary from row to row in the same table.

High scale industrial apps for equipment maintenance, fleet management, and route optimization

Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra)

Managed Cassandra-compatible database


Graph Database

Graph databases are for applications that need to navigate and query millions of relationships between highly connected graph datasets with millisecond latency at large scale.

Fraud detection, social networking, recommendation engines

Amazon Neptune

Fast, reliable graph database built for the cloud

Time series

Time Series Database

Time-series databases efficiently collect, synthesize, and derive insights from data that changes over time and with queries spanning time intervals.

IoT applications, DevOps, industrial telemetry

Amazon Timestream

Fast, scalable, fully managed time series database


Ledger Database

Ledger databases provide a centralized and trusted authority to maintain a scalable, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable record of transactions for every application.

Systems of record, supply chain, registrations, banking transactions

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB)

Fully managed ledger database that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. Owned by a central trusted authorit


Intermediate | 20 minutes

AWS provides the broadest selection of purpose-built databases for all your app needs. Hundreds of thousands of customers rely on AWS databases that are purpose built, offer performance at scale, are fully managed, and are enterprise-class in terms of capability and reliability.

Purpose-built databases

Choose from 15 purpose-built databases including relational, key-value, in-memory, document, wide-column, graph, time-series, and ledger databases. The AWS portfolio of purpose-built databases supports diverse data models and allows you to build use case-driven, highly scalable, distributed apps. By picking the best database to solve a specific problem or a group of problems, you can break away from restrictive one-size-fits-all monolithic databases and focus on building apps to meet the needs of your business.

AWS Databases: Innovate Faster with Purpose-Built Databases
Performance at scale

AWS provides relational databases that are 3-5X faster than popular alternatives, or nonrelational databases that give you microsecond to submillisecond latency. Start small and scale as your apps grow. You can scale your database's compute and storage resources easily, often with no downtime. Because purpose-built databases are optimized for the data model you need, your apps can scale and perform better at one-tenth the cost of commercial databases.

AWS Databases: Improve Performance & Scale
Fully managed

With AWS databases, you don’t have to worry about database management tasks such as server provisioning, patching, setup, configuration, backups, or recovery. AWS continuously monitors your clusters to keep your workloads up and running with self-healing storage and auto scaling so that you can focus on higher value app development.

AWS Databases: Break Free to Save, Grow, and Innovate Faster
Enterprise-class performance and security

AWS databases are built for business-critical, enterprise workloads, and offer high availability, reliability, and security. These databases support multi-region, multi-master replication, and provide full oversight of your data with multiple levels of security, including network isolation using Amazon VPC, encryption at rest using keys you create and control through AWS Key Management Service (KMS), as well as encryption in transit.

AWS Databases: Save Time & Cost


Beginner | 30 minutes

The following tutorials will cover how to get started on popular database engines in about 10 minutes. 

Create your first Aurora MySQL database

Create an Aurora MySQL cluster with database nodes replicated across multiple Availability Zones to gain increased read scalability and failover protection.

Begin tutorial >>

Set up your first ElastiCache Redis Cluster

Learn how to create and configure a Redis Cluster with ElastiCache for Redis.

Begin tutorial >>

Create your first table using the DynamoDB console

Learn how to create a simple table, and add, query, and delete data by using the DynamoDB console.

Begin tutorial >>

Set up your first DocumentDB database

Learn how to create your first database with DocumentDB, and connect to the cluster from the AWS Cloud9 environment with a MongoDB shell to run a few queries.

Begin tutorial >>


Advanced | 12 hours

The following resources will help prepare you for the AWS Certified Database – Specialty exam, which is the first to validate technical skill in AWS purpose-built databases.

AWS Database Offerings

This self-paced course provides a basic overview of different database technologies and architectures, and introduces you to the various AWS database services.

Digital | 5.5 hours

Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Database - Specialty

Explore the AWS Certified Database - Specialty exam’s topic areas to learn how they relate to databases on AWS and review foundational areas for future self-study.

Digital | 3.5 hours

AWS Certified Database - Specialty

This certification validates a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of AWS database services and how to accelerate the use of database technology to drive business transformation in your organization.

Exam | 3 hours

Additional resources

Hands-on tutorials
Access the full inventory of database tutorials and get more hands-on learning.
See the hands-on tutorials >>
AWS Database Blog
Read the latest news and updates about all things database at the AWS Database Blog.
Read the blog posts >>
Category deep dives
Dive deeper on specific technologies and get the most out of the AWS Cloud.
See the category deep dives >>