AWS Principles: Choose the Right Database Solutions

Some of the AWS design principles pinpoint that AWS has many services to fulfill many different needs. The guidance for choosing the correct database solutions is not to say that you must standardize with one database for your application, quite the opposite. In a previous life, with on-premises enterprise IT, I was told that the database platform for critical production is Oracle. For non-critical, you could choose to use Microsoft SQL Server. There were only two database platforms (both relational) no matter what technical requirements come from your application. It is easy to choose the suitable database for each section of data that your application requires on AWS. There are at least seven different database services on AWS, relational or not, transactional or analytical. There are plenty of options. There are even options that are specialized for recommendations or transaction immutability. Many of these databases are serverless, so you only pay for what you use rather than hourly charges for performance capacity that you may not be using. When the database is delivered as a service, there is a far lower cost to add a different database type to your application. On-premises you would need a team to support the new platform, which might take months and cost thousands. Database as a service allows application teams to choose the right database platform for their requirements and to have multiple different database platforms within one application.

Before choosing a database solution, you need to understand your data structure and quantity and what you will do with that data. A few dozen gigabytes of data that you will use for ad-hoc monthly reporting (SQL, probably RDS) is a very different proposition to storing user profiles (Dynamo) and high scores (Elasticache with Redis) for millions of online gamers. The online game needs both a scale-out SSD-based JSON database for profiles and a RAM-based database for high scores. The application stores different information about the same people in different databases. Without the database choice, it is common to bend one database to multiple separate uses and find that it does a poor job. AWS makes it simpler to use the correct database type for the different data that your application requires. Choose the right database solutions.

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About Alastair

I am a professional geek, working in IT Infrastructure. Mostly I help to communicate and educate around the use of current technology and the direction of future technologies.
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