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Advantages of Amazon RDS vs. a personal relational database

One of the advantages of developers using Amazon RDS instead of managing their own databases is that it reduces or eliminates their administrative responsibilities.

There are definite advantages for database developers if they use the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)...

instead of managing their own relational database.

Many of the administrative tasks required to keep a relational database running are handled by the Amazon RDS service. Developers familiar with data modeling do not have to be proficient in administrative tasks, such as managing tablespaces and distributing table and index data.

There is no need to keep up with vendor security and performance patches when you use Amazon RDS -- this is taken care of by the service. RDS also includes backup and recovery services, eliminating another common task on to-do lists.

Amazon RDS now offers five database engines: MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and Amazon Aurora. Aurora is a MySQL-compatible database designed for scaling database applications without specialized tuning skills being needed.

Developers can take advantage of existing commercial licenses when they use Amazon RDS. For example, if you already have an Oracle license for an on-premises database, you can use the "bring your own license" option, which will save on hourly charges.

RDS also manages replication. If developers need high availability in a database, the multi-availability zone option in RDS can be used. With that option, a replica database is kept in sync with the primary database in case of failure.

Scaling is easy with Amazon RDS. Simple API calls or manual changes with the AWS Management Console are all that is needed to scale a database service up or down as the load dictates.

Another advantage of RDS is that database instances can be managed from the AWS console. When you run your own instances, you will manage them using database-specific tools.

Overall, Amazon RDS reduces or eliminates many of the database administration tasks that developers face when they run their own database instance.

This was last published in January 2015

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