How Is the Amazon Aurora Database Different From Others?

By Tek-Tools on May 11, 2020

Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a simple yet powerful relational model used by organizations to track inventories, manage vast amounts of customers’ sensitive information, and process ecommerce transactions. It’s also known as the advanced version of the Database Management System (DBMS) used to store data in the form of tables, rows, and columns (tuples and attributes). Software developers use RDBMS to create, read, update, delete, and modify back-end data. As there’s a wide variety of RDBMS available, each with its unique capabilities, pricing models, features, and performance, it’s advisable to choose the one matching your specific business requirements.

No matter which RDBMS the organization chooses, monitoring and maintaining the database is necessary. Monitoring helps to ensure its optimum performance, reliability, functionality, and availability. SolarWinds® Database Performance Analyzer allows organizations to decide which database performs best based on different business operations. Let’s understand the different types of databases.

Common Types of Databases (Amazon Aurora vs. MySQL, Oracle Database, Amazon RDS, and SQL Server)

Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service is a managed service designed to help set up, operate, and scale a cloud relational database. Tasks like patching and backups, hardware provisioning, and database setup can easily be automated using Amazon RDS. It automates various time-consuming administrative tasks such as failure detection and recovery to offer high availability of applications, security, fast performance, and compatibility organizations need. Amazon RDS allows teams to scale features like storage, CPU, memory, throughput and allocate them when necessary. With automation, it gives the organizational teams more free time, so they can focus on various other critical business operations.

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora is a perfect combination of ease of implementation and system performance. One of the key components of Aurora is its innovative storage system explicitly designed to take advantage of modern cloud technology. The storage system of Amazon Aurora RDBMS can also be optimized according to the database workloads. It’s one of the popular, high-performing, highly scalable cloud RDBMS compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL relational databases. Compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSQL means Aurora can make use of the existing code, applications, drivers, and tools with little or no modifications.


MySQL is an RDBMS based on Structured Query Language. It comes in two versions, an open-source systems known as MySQL Community Server and a proprietary version owned by Oracle known as Enterprise Server. MySQL is used for various purposes such as for logging applications, data warehousing, and e-commerce. However, it’s most commonly used for web applications and online publishing. It can handle large databases, store, and maintain information from a single record to an entire inventory.

Oracle Database

Oracle database is a relational database management system specifically designed for enterprise-grid computing, which means the devices in the enterprise’s network are shared with every other computer in the system. With the pool of enterprise-grid industry-standard, modular storage, and servers, new components can quickly be provisioned. The storage capacity, memory, and other components can easily be reallocated wherever required. Oracle is a self-driven, most flexible, and a cost-effective way to manage applications and sensitive information. It runs on major platforms such as Linux, Mac OS, Unix, and Windows. There are both free and premium versions available to choose according to organization’s requirements and budget:

  • Enterprise Edition
  • Express Edition
  • Standard Edition
  • Oracle Lite

SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is an RDBMS used to support various processes such as business intelligence, transaction processing, and analytical applications used in corporate environments. The database is built using SQL, a standardized programming language. The database provides referential integrity and helps maintain data accuracy. It includes a SQL Server Database Engine designed to process commands and manage database files, tables, transactions, data buffers, and more.

How Amazon Aurora Is Different From Other Databases

Highly Scalable

Amazon Aurora is a high performing relational database giving 5X the throughput of MySQL and 3X of PostgreSQL. The database is scalable and can be deployed based on specific requirements such as storage, performance, and more. The scanning capacity and performance can be increased by adding around fifteen low latency replicas across the availability zones.

Increased Compatibility

Due to the highly compatible nature of Amazon Aurora, it’s easier for teams to migrate MySQL or PostgreSQL databases to Aurora using snapshots and dedicated import/export tools. Besides, the existing applications, tools, code, and drives can be used as it is without any modifications.

Highly Secure

Amazon Aurora provides encryption of automated backups, replicas, and snapshots. It offers multi-layer security and includes network isolation techniques using Amazon VPC and AWS Key Management Service. It secures the data in transit through encryption using SSL.

High Availability and Durability

The Aurora relational database replicates six copies of data across various availability zones to offer near about 100% availability. The data is backed up continuously to Amazon S3. The database recovers from typical failovers like storage failures as quick as 30 seconds. It uses a global database to enable a quick disaster recovery plan and scan multiple AWS regions with fast local reads.

Migration Support

The MySQL and PostgreSQL compatibility makes Amazon Aurora flexible enough for database migrations. AWS Database Migration Service is used for successful and secure migration of commercial database engines with minimal downtime.

How to Monitor Aurora RDS Databases

screenshot of solarwinds database performance analyzer's performance report

Continuous monitoring of databases helps to ensure the data is collected and analyzed to debug potential problems. Having an ideal solution in place not only enhances the RDBMS performance but also helps in resolving events quickly through encryption and AWS VPC. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) is a powerful tool to monitor RDBMS performance. It uses machine-learning capabilities to detect potential issues, correlates response time with system resources, diagnoses the situation in real time with the current view, and set up proactive management with automated alerting and reporting for Amazon RDS monitoring. The tool is perfect for monitoring multiple databases.

Although every database is unique in its way, it’s essential to continuously monitor it to enhance its overall performance, speed, and availability. DPA facilitates seamless management and easy troubleshooting across a database environment. SolarWinds DPA is available free for 14 days.

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