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AWS Database Services - The Complete Guide

AWS Database Services - The Complete Guide

What Are AWS Database Services?

Databases play a crucial role in the functioning of an application. Also, the performance of an application is directly dependent on how the underlying database performs for the application. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of database services to cater to different types of data storage, processing, and management needs. AWS Database Services is a set of databases offered by AWS on the cloud. Today, in this AWS Database Services blog, we will discuss:

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So without further delay, let’s get started.

Why AWS Database?

Why not? Let’s take a step back and understand how databases were deployed and used when cloud databases were not available. Earlier, companies used to deploy databases on in-house servers. Obviously, they would need to hire people for the day-to-day maintenance and performance troubleshooting of these in-house databases, right?

Now, imagine yourself to be a startup enthusiast. You start an e-commerce company; then, all your business revenue comes from your app, right? Therefore, it is extremely essential for your application to be up and running all the time with the maximum performance possible.

How would you ensure this?

You will have to:

  • Make sure that all your servers are equipped with the latest hardware possible
  • Continuously monitor your hardware for any faults or performance issues
  • Continuously improve your application code, and think of new features to further expand your business
why aws databases

Seems like too much work? This is exactly why AWS Database Services came into the picture.

With AWS Database Services, you just have to focus on your application code and business expansion. The rest will be managed and taken care of by AWS, i.e., all the hardware upgrades, security patches, and even the software upgrades are taken care of by AWS, that too free of cost!

When I say free, I mean to say that you just have to pay AWS for the time you used their database services, nothing extra for the hardware upgrades, etc.

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That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Imagine the amount of savings this model will bring to you: You don’t have to maintain a Database Maintenance team, no need to buy expensive hardware for your servers, and most importantly, you can just focus on your business problems and leave everything for AWS to handle.

And this is not all; there are huge additional benefits that you get with AWS. Let’s discuss them.

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Advantages of Amazon AWS Databases

advantages of aws databases
  • Highly Scalable: You can scale your database as your application grows without any downtime!
  • Fully Managed: Everything, from maintenance to hardware upgrades, is managed by AWS.
  • Enterprise Class: You get the same world-class infrastructure used by Amazon’s giant ecommerce platform.
  • Distributed: Now that your application and database exist on separate machines, your application becomes highly fault-tolerant.
  • Workforce Reduction: Since everything is managed by AWS, you don’t need a Database Maintenance team in your organization.

In summary, AWS Database Services are highly scalable, fully managed services provided by AWS for Internet-scale applications on a pay-as-you-go model. They offer various databases like relational databases, non-relational databases, etc. Moving further, let’s discuss the types of AWS Database Services.

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Types of AWS Database Services

AWS provides a wide range of fully managed, purpose-built, and both relational and non-relational database services specially designed to handle any kind of application requirements. From fully managed database services, and a data warehouse for analytics, to an in-memory data store for caching, AWS has got it all.

You will find an AWS Database Service for just about any kind of database requirement. One can import an existing MySQL, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL database into Amazon’s databases or even build their own relational or NoSQL databases from scratch.

The following are different types of database services provided by AWS:

AWS Database Services
  1. Relational Database: In relational databases, the data is usually stored in a tabular format. Relational databases particularly use structured query language (SQL) to run queries to perform operations such as insertion, updating, deletion, and more. AWS provides the following relational database services.
    • Amazon RDS
    • Amazon Redshift
    • Amazon Aurora
  1. Key–Value Database: The key–value database is a type of NoSQL database where the method of having a value attached to a key is used to store data. Meaning that the data is composed of two elements, keys and values.
    • Amazon DynamoDB
  1. In-memory Database: This type of database is primarily based on the main memory for computer data storage. Basically, an in-memory database keeps the whole data in the RAM. Meaning that each time you access the data, you only access the main memory and not any disk. And the reason that the main memory is faster than any disk is why in-memory databases are so popular.
    • Amazon ElastiCache

Moving forward, let’s get acquainted with all these database services starting with Relational Database Services.

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What Is AWS RDS?

One of the most commonly used database services provided by AWS that falls under the category of relational databases is Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS is a service that supports various open-source relational database products including the database products provided by AWS itself. RDS is used to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It automates administrative tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, backups, and more.

Following are some of the benefits of using RDS:

  • It provides high performance and is fast to scale.
  • It provides high availability as a result of two distinct replication features, namely, Multi-AZ deployments and Read Replicas.
  • It automatically takes care of Backup and Restore by patching up the AWS database software.
  • It also takes care of Maintenance and Upgrades, automatically.

What Is Amazon AWS Redshift?

Amazon Redshift is a fast and fully managed data warehouse service in the cloud. Amazon affirms that the Redshift data warehouse delivers ten times faster performance than other data warehouses utilizing Machine Learning techniques. The Redshift data warehouse can be scaled up to a petabyte or more as per the requirements.

Following are some of the benefits of using Amazon Redshift:

  • Parallel queries across multiple nodes can be performed
  • Automatically backed up to Amazon S3
  • Cost-effective over other data warehouse solutions
  • Built-in security as Amazon Redshift provides end-to-end encryption and enables users to configure firewall rules

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What Is Amazon AWS Aurora Database?

amazon_aurora-logo.png (400×280)

Amazon Aurora is fully managed by Amazon RDS. It is a relational database engine built for the cloud. Amazon Aurora is also completely compatible with MySQL. Since Amazon Aurora is fully managed by RDS, all administrative tasks such as database setup, patching, backups, and more are automated.
Following are some of the benefits of using Amazon Aurora:

  • It provides high performance and scalability.
  • It’s highly secure.
  • It offers high availability and durability.
  • It’s fully managed.
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What Is Amazon AWS DynamoDB?

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast, fully managed, and flexible NoSQL database. It also supports document-based data. AWS affirms that DynamoDB delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. DynamoDB comes with built-in Security, Backup, and Restore features.

Since DynamoDB is a NoSQL database, it doesn’t require any schema. In DynamoDB, there are basically three core components:

1. Tables: The collection of data is called a table in DynamoDB. It’s not a structured table with a fixed number of rows and columns.


2. Items: Tables in DynamoDB contain one or more items. Items are made up of a group of uniquely identifiable attributes.


3. Attributes: Attributes are the data elements or values that reside in each item. They are equivalent to data values in a relational database that reside in a particular cell of a table.


Following are some of the benefits of using Amazon DynamoDB:

  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Data is automatically replicated across multiple Availability Zones
  • Supports both keyvalue and document-based data models

What Is AWS ElastiCache?

Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed caching service that offers high-performance, cost-effective, and scalable caching solutions. Amazon ElastiCache provides two caching engines, namely, Memcached and Redis.Also, to know about containerized efficiency try Docker in Redis integration.

Why Do We Need AWS ElastiCache?

There are various benefits of using Amazon ElastiCache. Besides being easy to set up and deploy, ElastiCache also improves applications’ performance as it reduces disk reads. Following are some of the main reasons why ElastiCache is immensely useful:

  • Response time: ElastiCache reduces the response time as it retrieves data from a fast in-memory system. It reduces the dependence on disk-based databases which are usually slower.
  • Scalability: Amazon ElastiCache is designed to be able to modify itself, automatically. It can scale out or scale up depending on the fluctuating application requirements.
  • Complete management: Amazon ElastiCache is fully managed, so the common administrative tasks such as hardware provisioning, failure recovery, backups, and more are all automated.

This is just a brief introduction to all the main database services provided by Amazon Web Services. All these AWS Database Services will be discussed and explained individually, and in-depth, in their respective blogs. If you wish to learn more, do check out AWS Certification and get an in-depth understanding of Amazon Web Services.

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About the Author

Application Architect

Rupinder is a certified IT expert in AWS and Azure, working as a DevOps Architect and specializing in cloud and infrastructure. He designs and builds entire IT setups for important apps in banking, insurance, and finance.