Amazon Web Services Announces Amazon Aurora

New MySQL-compatible database provides the performance and availability of high-end commercial databases at one-tenth the cost

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AWS re:Invent 2014

SEATTLE--()--Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced Amazon Aurora, a MySQL-compatible database engine for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Amazon Aurora provides up to five times better performance than the typical MySQL database, availability as good or better than commercial databases or high-end SANs, superior scalability and security – all at one-tenth the cost of high-end commercial database offerings. With no upfront costs or commitments required, customers pay a simple hourly charge for each Amazon Aurora database instance they use and Amazon Aurora can automatically scale storage capacity with no downtime or performance degradation. To learn more about Amazon Aurora, visit

Historically, customers have had to choose between performance and price when evaluating database solutions. Commercial databases offer high performance and advanced availability features, but are expensive, complex to manage, have high lock-in, and come with punitive licensing terms. While popular open source databases require less capital expense and are easier to manage, customers find that they can sometimes be less reliable and require a lot of work to perform at commercial levels. Amazon Aurora is a new database engine that gives customers the best of both worlds – the performance and availability of the highest-grade commercial databases at a cost more commonly associated with open source. Highly durable and available, Amazon Aurora automatically replicates data across multiple Availability Zones and continuously backs up data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which is designed for 99.999999999 percent durability without performance impact. Amazon Aurora is designed to offer greater than 99.99 percent availability and automatically detect and recover from most database failures in less than 60 seconds, without crash recovery or the need to rebuild database caches. Amazon Aurora continually monitors instance health and if there is a failure, it will automatically failover to a read replica without loss of data.

“Amazon RDS has lowered the cost of managing relational databases for thousands of AWS customers, and as demand has exploded over the last few years, we've added MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL engines,” said Raju Gulabani, Vice President, Database Services, Amazon Web Services. “But, what we've consistently heard from our customers was that they wished they had an easier way to get the performance of commercial databases at the price of open source engines. This is why we built Amazon Aurora. We've spent the last three years working on a MySQL-compatible database that innovates on the engine and storage layers to deliver five times the performance of MySQL at one-tenth the price of commercial database solutions.”

Amazon Aurora delivers these dramatic increases over MySQL performance and availability by tightly integrating the database engine with an SSD-based virtualized storage layer purpose-built for database workloads, reducing writes to the storage system, minimizing lock contention, and eliminating delays created by database process threads. Amazon Aurora storage is fault-tolerant, transparently tolerating the loss of disks and Availability Zones, and self-healing, automatically monitoring and repairing bad blocks and disks. In addition, Amazon Aurora storage scales automatically, growing and rebalancing Input/Outputs (I/O) across the fleet to provide consistent performance without over-provisioning. For example, a customer can start with a database of 10GB and have it automatically grow up to 64TB, without requiring any availability disruptions to resize or restripe data.

“Intuit invests significantly to own and operate high-end commercial databases underpinning our business. Until now, there just wasn’t a real alternative to obtain the reliability and performance our customers need. Amazon Aurora is a game-changer for us: providing the performance and availability features that rival expensive on-premises databases and SANs at a significantly lower price point. The RDS management capabilities on top of Amazon Aurora will allow us to focus our resources and energy on what matters most – building great applications and delighting our customers,” said Troy Otillio, Director, Public Cloud, Intuit.

Coursera’s education platform provides hundreds of free online classes from top educational institutions worldwide to over 10 million students. “Our platform currently serves billions of SQL queries per month using sharded MySQL databases. At five times the throughput of standard RDS MySQL, and providing us the ability to tune our availability and read performance with readable standbys spread across AWS data centers, Amazon Aurora represents a significant opportunity to reduce overall costs and increase reliability,” said Brennan Saeta, Software Engineer, Coursera.

Kurt Geiger is one of Europe’s leading luxury retailers. “We make heavy use of MySQL replication to serve more than a million page views a day, and are always looking for ways to scale and improve the freshness of our product catalogs,” said Adam Bidwell, E-Commerce Systems Architect, Kurt Geiger. “With standard MySQL we were rapidly approaching maximum capacity to serve our expanding customer base. Amazon Aurora’s new, low latency replica functionality will allow us to further scale our product catalogs by 15x while at the same time improving the freshness of our product pages by 40x. And, best of all, since Amazon Aurora is designed to be MySQL-compatible, so we expect to use our applications with little or no changes.”

FacialNetwork is a world leader in cloud-based facial recognition applications. “Amazon Aurora solves the problem of growing our high-volume databases in a straightforward manner at massive scale,” said Josh Rose, CTO, FacialNetwork. “Our rapid growth presents a wide variety of database scalability and management challenges. Amazon Aurora provides us with dead-simple and cost-effective read/write performance at scale, allowing our development teams to focus on delivering the platform and applications our customers want.”

About Amazon Web Services

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services offers a robust, fully featured technology infrastructure platform in the cloud comprised of a broad set of compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services from data center locations in the U. S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore. More than a million customers, including fast-growing startups, large enterprises, and government agencies across 190 countries, rely on AWS services to innovate quickly, lower IT costs and scale applications globally. To learn more about AWS, visit

About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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Release Summary

AWS announced Amazon Aurora, a MySQL-compatible database engine for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

Contacts, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180