AWS Database Services – RDS, DynamoDB, RedShift

AWS Database Services Exam Preparation

We can install DB on an EC2 but will need a manual maintenance service like backup,patches,replication,fail over as well all Admin tasks are manual.

RDS will automate all the above Admin tasks.

  • RDS supports six database engines: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, SQL Server, and Amazon Aurora.
  • Isolates DB from main instance (in a different AZ).
  • Supports Automatic + manual snapshots.
  • Snapshot will go into S3.
  • MultiAZ – synchronous replication to decrease RPO and fast failover to decrease RTO.
  • If Multi AZ enabled then primary DB Instance switches over automatically to the standby replica in case of fail over.
  • You can also create read replicas within a Region or between Regions.
  • Encrypted at rest with AWS Key Management Service (KMS).


  • AWS data warehouse service.
  • Columnar storage on high-performance disk.
  • You can enable database encryption for your clusters
  • AWS KMS for key management with Amazon Redshift – master-key, a cluster encryption key (CEK), a database encryption key (DEK), and data encryption keys or HSM.
  • Redshift support CRR snapshots for clusters.
  • Instead of storing data as a series of rows, Amazon Redshift organizes the data by column.
  • Redshift Spectrum enables you to run queries against Exabyte of data in Amazon S3.
  • Dense compute (DC) nodes allow you to create very high-performance data warehouses using fast CPU,’s large amounts of RAM, and SSDs.

Dynamo DB

  • Non Relational DB / Schema less DB.
  • Autoscaling is available for DynamoDB.
  • Through put = 4kb/unit for read.
  • Use Case- Storing user preferences, session details, logs for further analysis.
  • Primary keys are composed of a partition key and sort key
  • A local secondary index lets you query over a single partition, as specified by the hash key value in the query.
  • A global secondary index lets you query over the entire table, across all partitions.
  • Applications can connect to the Amazon DynamoDB service endpoint.
  • Use primary keys & sorty key / secondary indexes for performance.
  • Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) provides a read-through/write-through distributed caching tier in front of the database, supporting the same API as Amazon DynamoDB, but providing sub-millisecond latency for entities that are in the cache.
  • upto 4kb/sec = 1 read capcity units or 2 eventual capacity read units
  • upto 1kb /sec= 1 write capacity units.
  • Data plane operations let you do create, read, update, and delete (also called CRUD) actions on data in a table.
  • Although all reads from a DynamoDB table are eventually consistent by default, strongly consistent reads can be specified.
  • Amazon DynamoDB now supports crossregion replication.

Exam Tips:

  • Supports Read Replica for Mysql, Aurora ,postgressql.
  • Aurora schema changes can be done without downtime.
  • If you see NoSql, select DynamoDB for most of the cases this should work.
  • If you see fully managed, highly scalable & available select Aurora most of times.
  • If you see columnar DB, then its Aurora.
  • Since the endpoint for your DB Instance remains the same after a failover, your application can resume database operation without the need for manual administrative intervention.
  • Existing database cannot be encrypted, encyption can be done during creation of RDS db.
  • You should use a combination of Read Replica’s and Elasticache to help offload the traffic.
  • By default, customers are allowed to have up to a total of 40 Amazon RDS DB instances. *max 10 for each Oracle/sql server.
  • ElasticCache will be a better answer for serving repeated requests or when DB server is underperforming.
  • RDS does not support Autoscaling.
  • Read replicas will have eventual consistency, little lagging when compared to primary db.
  • If you see columnar db and analytics , use Redshift.
  • For Redshift , if you want the LOAD or COPY process via a VPC, then enable Redshift Enhanced VPC Routing.
  • Amazon Redshift stores these snapshots internally in Amazon S3 by using an encrypted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection.
  • Hot and Cold data separation for DynamoDB-Performance. Hot data is accessed frequently, like recent replies in the example forums application. Cold data is accessed infrequently or never, like forum replies from several months ago.

For more on DynamoDB realtime setup, please check this link.