Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer users a broad range of fully managed database services designed for every major use case. AWS databases are specifically designed to support business-critical, enterprise-level workloads that require a high level of reliability, security and availability. These databases can support multi-master and multi-region replication, and provide users with a comprehensive overview of their data with multiple security levels, including end-to-end encryption and network isolation.
AWS offers relational databases that are approximately three to five times faster than alternative databases. With the use of Amazon’s AWS Database Migration Service, businesses can now migrate their databases to AWS easily and securely with minimal downtime. Before taking the necessary steps to start an AWS database migration, there are a some important items to understand.
A Closer Look at AWS Database
Traditionally, businesses deployed databases on in-house servers which required a team of IT professionals to perform ongoing maintenance and troubleshoot performance issues. This method created a range of issues that cost businesses time and money. Servers had to be equipped with the most up-to-date hardware and managed continuously to check for faults in the system. Application codes must also be continuously improved and new features added to expand the business.
With the release of AWS Database Services, businesses are able to focus solely on their application while the rest is managed by AWS. There is no need to purchase costly hardware for servers or maintain a Database Maintenance team. Instead, companies can focus on core activities that help grow the business.
Top Features of Databases on AWS
AWS offers businesses the widest selection of purpose-built databases designed to meet all of their application needs. Some of the top features that companies can enjoy when they invest in Amazon Web Services include:
Businesses that rely on AWS no longer have to concern themselves with database management tasks, such as backups, configuration, patching and server provisioning. AWS will continuously monitor clusters to ensure that workloads run with automated scaling and self-healing storage. This enables business leaders to maintain focus on application development.
Highly Available & Secure
AWS databases are specifically built to be readily available and highly secure. With multiple levels of security and multi-master, multi-region replication, businesses can keep their data safe and accessible at all times.
Performance at Scale
Businesses that choose AWS can gain access to increasingly fast relational databases that outperform the competition. AWS makes it easy to start small and gradually scale as the application grows making it possible to scale with little to no downtime.
Companies can choose from more than 15 purpose-built database engines, such as key-value, relational, document, graph, in-memory, ledger and time series databases. With an extensive portfolio of purpose-built databases, AWS makes it fast and simple to build highly scalable, use case driven, distributed applications.
Types of AWS Databases
There are several different types of database services offered by AWS. These include:
This type of database stores data in tables with rows and columns. Each row represents an individual record with a unique ID, referred to as a ‘key’. Each column contains data that is related to each single record. Although relational databases have been around since the 70’s, they are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of data warehouse. Most relational databases are managed using SQL programming language.
A document database offers a semi-structured, flexible, hierarchical storage option for use cases including user profiles and catalogs, as well as content management systems such as video platforms and blogs.
This is a type of non-relational database that uses the basic key-value method for storing data. With a key-value database, data is warehoused in key-value pairs with each key acting as an identifier for a value within the collection.
Graph databases contain data not stored in tables, but rather in an interconnected structure that creates relationships between data that needs to be mapped and data that needs to be queried.
An in-memory database is a type of non-relational database that uses memory for storage purposes. This type of database service helps make queries faster by removing the need to access disks.
Ledger databases consist of tables of data, as well as a journal that logs any changes made to data. This creates a block chain record that includes all updates that have been made.
This type of database is used to retrieve and store data points associated with various timestamps.
Benefits of Amazon AWS Databases
There are many benefits that come from AWS. First, these services are highly scalable, allowing users to easily scale their database as their application grows. There is usually no downtime associated with AWS, ensuring that businesses do not suffer the costs and inconveniences associated with extended downtime. In addition, all aspects of the database are fully managed by a team of highly-qualified professionals. From hardware upgrades to ongoing maintenance, all aspects are managed by industry experts.
Another benefit of Amazon AWS databases relates to the infrastructure itself. Businesses that use AWS receive the same world-class infrastructure that is used by Amazon on their massive e-commerce platform. Businesses also save money by eliminating the need for a Database Maintenance team for their organization. Since everything is managed by AWS, hiring on-site employees for maintenance purposes is no longer a concern. When the database and application exist on separate machines, the application also becomes highly fault-tolerant.
Organizations can also enjoy simple migration services that are easy to use. AWS Database Migration Service is available to businesses of all sizes and does not require the installation of any applications or drivers, nor are modifications to the source database necessary in the majority of cases. Once the migration begins, DMS will manage the remainder of the process, including the replication of data changes that present in the source database. AWS Database Migration Service can also be used for continuous data replication.
AWS Database Migration Service supports a wide range of databases allowing nearly any business to find value in the service. Easily migrate data both to and from a variety of popular open source and commercial databases. The service allows for homogeneous migrations including Oracle to Oracle and heterogenous migrations from different platforms, such as Amazon Aurora to Oracle. Data can also be moved between NoSQL, SQL and text-based targets. AWS Database Migration Service is available at an affordable cost; businesses only purchase the resources they actually use for the database migration.
One of the more prominent advantages of using AWS Database Migration Service is its reliability; the service is known to be self-healing and highly resilient. Target and source databases, replication instances and network connectivity are continuously monitored to maintain an optimal operating level. If an interruption does occur, the service automatically restarts and continues the database migration process at the point where it stopped.
Database Migration Process Using AWS Database Migration Service
There are several important steps that make up the database migration process when using AWS Database Migration Service. During a standard database migration, the user will need to create a target database and migrate the database schema. Next, the data replication process will need to be established, and the full load initiated.
Finally, a subsequent change data capture is applied and the process is completed with a switchover of the production environment to the new database. These steps are also the same for continuous data replication with one main difference; the last step, which involves the production environment switchover, is eliminated for continuous data replication. Instead, the data replication task will continue running until it is changed or terminated.
Businesses can choose to monitor the progress of any database migration tasks by reviewing metrics displayed in the AWS Management Console. In the Console, users will find an end-to-end view of the data replication process that includes performance and diagnostic data for each step of replication. If needed, data can even be replicated to, and from, encrypted databases; this is achieved when AWS connects the database endpoints on the SQL interface layer.
Why Use AWS Database Migration Service?
Database migration can be a complex and demanding task that is often performed to change the database software, database vendor or to move a database to the cloud. One problem that is often experienced when going through the database migration process is the ability to complete this process without negatively impacting the application’s user experience or performance.
Migration is not a problem for businesses that can afford to experience some downtime. Once the database is moved to its target location, it can be quickly restored and the migration is complete. However, downtime is a major issue for most businesses as an application needs to be available 24/7, making migration a challenge. AWS Database Migration Service helps diminish this concern by nearly eliminating the risk of downtime.
Speak with a Maryland Database Migration Company
Although AWS Database Migration Service is considered to be a fully managed and automated service, businesses will need to establish a few key items before starting a new migration project. This requires an understanding of AWS Database Migration Service and its various features and components. For assistance with AWS Database Migration or to speak with an experienced Maryland custom software development company about migrating a database to the cloud, contact the professionals at Orases today.