AWS Explained: What is RDS?

Relational Database Service, RDS, is a versatile tool for providing scalable, high performing, on demand databases in the cloud.  RDS makes it possible to quickly provision database resources and integrate them into your AWS infrastructure and applications.

RDS supports all major database platforms including SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle.  This, along with AWS Database Migration Service, makes it simple to transition from an in house database solution to one hosted with Amazon in the cloud.

The benefits of running your database platform on RDS include: lowered cost of ownership, reduced administrative burden, and improved reliability.

When your database runs on RDS all of the costs of a physical server are eliminated.  No space is consumed in your data center.  No electricity is used by an on site server.  No wiring for data or power has to be deployed to the server.  

In addition, all administrative tasks that go with patching are handled for you.  No need to employ an administrator to keep on top of server and database updates.  Instead, your DBA can focus on design and development of your database.

So what’s the purpose of RDS?  What makes relational databases so special?

Relational databases have formed the back-end repository for application and organizational data for decades.  They have become the go to means of representing entities and the relationships between those entities.  They are flexible and form the keystone of most data processing systems today.

The database backend of a system or application gives a capability of continuity and state.  Transactional records, profiles, and configurations can all be stored, updated, and retrieved from the database.  While similar effects can be achieved via file storage, the relational feature of these databases takes them to a new level.

Through relationships it is possible to model complex scenarios between entities.  These scenarios can be used for computations during execution of the application or analysis via reporting.  Secondary actions coming from either external applications or triggers within the database can generate metadata on top of the existing records to further enhance computational capability as well as reporting and analytics.

All of these services are bundled and offered on RDS from Amazon.  The ease with which they can be implemented and managed makes it far simpler to implement Relational Databases within your systems than it ever has been before.

If you are interested in learning more about RDS and Amazon Web Services take a look at my free Amazon Web Services Essentials email course.  It covers RDS and how to implement it in a real world use case as well as other Amazon Web Services that you should master to become a true expert at what Amazon has to offer with its cloud based computing platform.

Have a great day!

— Nat

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