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For the modern business enterprise, collecting, processing, and retrieving large amounts of data has always been a major part of the standard operating procedure. However, with the widespread adoption of big data solutions, IoT devices, and cloud computing services, retrieving data and transforming it into something useful is more vital than ever. In this environment, the relational database has become a staple tool for businesses, both large and small.

With the benefit of cloud computing services, businesses can implement sophisticated relational database solutions quickly and efficiently without having to deploy additional hardware or hire additional specialized engineers. A prime example of one of these cloud-based tools is the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which supports several database instance types, including Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle Database, and SQL Server.

This tutorial shows you how to use the AWS console to create and deploy a basic MySQL database using Amazon RDS. Download the free ebook, AWS: 9 pro tips and best practices (free PDF).

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How to create a MySQL database using Amazon RDS

The first step is to log in to AWS using administration-level credentials. Once that is accomplished, use the dashboard to navigate to the RDS page located under the Database section on the list of available services.

On the RDS dashboard (Figure A), click the Databases item located on the left-hand navigation bar. Click or tap the Create database button to start the creation process.

Figure A

The first section (Figure B) is called Easy create. This on/off switch will apply several of your past configuration choices to your current database instance, allowing you to skip a few settings. Turning this feature on once you have a standard configuration is a recommended time-saver, but since this is our first database in AWS, we will leave it in the off position.

Figure B

The next section (Figure C) is where you will choose your database engine. There are a number of standard choices, including MySQL. However, you should also note that Amazon Aurora is compatible with MySQL as well as PostgreSQL. There are actually less compatibility issues when you use Amazon Aurora, so we will choose that one for our example.

Figure C

In the next section, shown in Figure D, you are asked to choose which instance version you wish to create.

Figure D

There are numerous choices based on these categories:

  • One writer and multiple readers
  • Multiple writers
  • One writer
  • Multiple readers – parallel query
  • Serverless

Depending on your version choice, you may have to decide whether to use a regional deployment or opt for global deployment. You may also be asked to choose a feature set for your database instance. For our example, we will choose a regional deployment with the one writer, multiple reader feature set.

The next section asks you to decide whether to use a production or a development template. We will choose the development template for our example.

In the Settings section (Figure E), you are asked to provide a unique name for your database and to choose a master username and an appropriate password. You can also generate a random password if you wish.

Figure E

The configuration you choose in the section specifying database instance size (Figure F) is going to be largely dependent on how you plan to use it. If you foresee a large database, you will want to choose a larger instance size. If you require additional reliability and scalability, then you may wish to click the multi-deployment setting. For our example, we are choosing a base large instance without duplication.

Figure F

The last two configuration sections deal with connectivity and advanced settings. Unless you have a specific requirement to meet under these categories, it is likely best to leave them at their default values.

When you are satisfied with your configuration choices, click the Create database button. It will take a few minutes to allocate and deploy your new database, but when it is ready, you will be able to see it on the Amazon RDS dashboard, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

Click on your database link to get access to management tools like security, monitoring, logs, and user and group assignments.

How to price a MySQL database created with Amazon RDS

In general, there are two ways to determine the cost of your database created with Amazon RDS: On-demand instance or reserved instance.

Under on-demand instance pricing, you are charged by the hour, which makes the pricing tier useful for development, testing, and other short-lived workloads. Our example instance would cost $.29/per hour.

On the other hand, the same database instance reserved for one year will cost approximately $138 per month or $1,656 for the year. The reserved instance tier is appropriate for production-level databases with steady-state workloads.