Amazon RDS Review

AWS RDS is fully managed service and few manual intervention also automated by scripts.


What is our primary use case?

We have cloud infra and development teams and my job with this solution is to move them to a cloud architecture, so I create a migration plan for Database from on-premises to AWS Cloud , co-ordinate with teams to host the planned RDS solutions and provide support for post cloud hosting challenges for better customer experience. 

How has it helped my organization?

Few minutes to launch RDS, DR, HA and monitoring configurations which reduced the administrative task and by the approach of pay for what we use reduced the cost. Performance is good when both Web application and DB are in same cloud. Need to be have In depth understanding of cost, else we are in position to pay more, which makes us to think our own DB is better when cost is very huge amount.  


What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it is a fully managed database, where they handle most of the administrative tasks and leaves the users more time to concentrate on business.

What needs improvement?

The fact that it is fully managed has some disadvantages, as well. I have worked on SQL Server, Oracle, and other RDBMS systems for more than 20 years. In many of these cases, I have been an administrator and required administrative privileges to perform many of the tasks that I did. As I now work on a fully managed and maintained database, it is taking me longer to figure out how to perform these same operations that I was used to doing on-premises. Essentially, having a great deal of experience as an RDBMS administrator has made it harder for me to move forward when working on a database that is fully managed. It would be helpful if they made it easier to migrate from an existing on-premises solution to the cloud-based service.

Technical support could use some improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Amazon RDS for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is good. We did have a couple of problems last year when the database was absconded, but luckily we had snapshots available. They take six backups daily and we were able to easily restore. We did not suffer any data loss.

I make use of this solution on a daily basis, especially over the past few years. We are migrating and I do work on the on-premises data centers, which is our core area. But, from a cost perspective, we are working towards hosting our business entirely in AWS.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of Amazon RDS is very good.

We have between 5,000 and 6,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted technical support over several issues and use cases. We build a use case and they suggest solutions. I do like them, but each use case is different and I have seen a lot of room for them to improve over time.

How was the initial setup?

We initially deployed Amazon RDS on-premises, although we are now migrating to cloud-based deployment. Spinning up a task is very easy and there is no maintenance. There are no administrative tasks involved for us because it is entirely taken care of. This includes monitoring and backup, as well.

The length of time for deployment depends on the size of the database. If they say it is one gigabyte then it will take a few minutes.

What about the implementation team?

We have technical people who are certified and handle the deployment in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Good amount of cost reduction in cloud but we need to have well defined monitoring rules to save cost even after hosted in cloud. You can scale-up and scale-down with minimal duration compare to on-prem DB Servers. Which add more cost benefits. 

We can BYOL (Bring Your Own License), if you already purchased for Microsoft SQL Server or for Oracle and use that during RDS launch. 

If you need to reduce licensing cost in database , we can migrate to 3 open source databases in AWS RDS : MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB

What other advice do I have?

We have reached the stage where all of our critical applications are hosted on-premises, and the rest is hosted with a public cloud provider. We found that at one stage, it was more advantageous to store some of our core data in our own data centers and have the rest managed.

My advice for people who are implementing this solution is to keep in mind that they need to redefine their product. It is not just a copy of an on-premises solution. Rather, it is designed with cloud architecture in mind. We use the term Cloud Adaptiveness. This means that before moving, they need to make sure that the architect of that application, the business owner, and the database administrator all realize that they are going to be migrating to the cloud. They will need to make some modifications before it happens. Otherwise, if they try to do it post-migration, it will be more difficult.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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