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AWS re:Invent 2019 Database Recap

Siva Thangavelu | | December 20, 2019

AWS re:Invent 2019 is now firmly in the rearview mirror, and we’re already looking forward to 2020. The annual week-long conference at the end of the year is one of the biggest events in cloud computing, and it’s always an extravaganza for new Amazon Web Services products and announcements.

 
This year was no different—so it’s time to take a look at what we’ve learned from AWS re:Invent 2019. In this post, we’ll go over some of the biggest takeaways from AWS re:Invent 2019 in terms of AWS database offerings.

A new Amazon Neptune workbench

Amazon Neptune is a fully managed graph database offering from AWS, first made generally available in May 2018. This year’s AWS re:Invent saw Amazon announce the release of a Neptune workbench, making it easier for users to query their Neptune databases using a Jupyter notebook. (Neptune and Jupyter… hmm, are we sensing a theme here?)

For those who aren’t familiar, Jupyter notebooks are web applications that allow you to combine live code with rich graphics, visualizations, and text. Jupyter notebooks are widely used in the fields of scientific computing, data modeling and visualization, and machine learning.

With this new Amazon Neptune workbench, users can quickly and easily spin up Jupyter notebooks and use them to query the contents of a Neptune graph database with the Gremlin and SPARQL query languages. You can also invoke the bulk loader, run query plans, and profile queries—all from within the Jupyter interface.

The Neptune workbench is currently available for all Amazon Neptune regions. Users will be charged while the Jupyter notebook is in the Ready state. To learn more about this new feature, check out the AWS documentation page “Using the Neptune Workbench with Jupyter Notebooks.”

Amazon RDS Proxy now available in preview

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a relational database service that simplifies the process of creating, managing, and scaling cloud SQL databases. First released in October 2009, Amazon RDS now includes support for database engines such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB.

This year at AWS re:Invent 2019, Amazon announced that Amazon RDS Proxy is now available for preview. A database proxy is software that handles questions such as load balancing and query routing, sitting between an application and the database(s) that it queries.

According to the AWS website, Amazon RDS Proxy is capable of reducing failover times for Amazon RDS databases by 66 percent. The benefits of Amazon RDS Proxy include:

  • Improving database availability and lowering the risk of outages.
  • Pooling and sharing database connections in order to reduce compute and memory resource consumption.
  • Increasing security controls with IAM (Identity and Access Management) authentication.

 
The use cases of Amazon RDS Proxy include highly scalable and available serverless applications, as well as SaaS (software as a service) and e-commerce applications. To get started, check out the Amazon RDS Proxy website.

Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service now available in preview

Apache Cassandra is an open-source column store database solution that is highly popular for NoSQL databases. From GitHub and GoDaddy to Instagram and Netflix, Cassandra is widely used among companies who need a fault-tolerant, durable, and scalable NoSQL database solution.

As with many other database solutions, AWS now supports a managed services offering for Apache Cassandra. The Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service is currently available in preview. According to the AWS website, “you can run your Cassandra workloads on AWS using the same Cassandra application code and developer tools that you use today. You don’t have to provision, patch, or manage servers, and you don’t have to install, maintain, or operate software.”

The benefits of Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service include:

  • A fully managed database service that takes many IT maintenance obligations out of users’ hands.
  • Very high performance, thanks to extremely low response times and the ability to serve thousands of requests per second.
  • Table encryption turned on by default.
  • High availability, with data replicated in three different AWS availability zones.

 
Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service is ideal for applications that require extremely low latency, and is compatible with the world’s most popular programming languages: Java, C++, Python, Ruby, Perl, and more. To get started using the Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service preview, check out the AWS website.

Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts now available in preview

Good news for Amazon RDS users: the release of Amazon RDS Proxy in preview isn’t the only big news this year from AWS re:Invent 2019.

At last year’s AWS re:Invent 2018, Amazon announced the release of AWS Outposts, a fully managed service that can run native AWS or VMware environments on-premises. AWS Outposts users can enjoy access to the same AWS infrastructure, software, tools, and services that they have within the AWS cloud.

Now at AWS re:Invent 2019, Amazon has announced that Amazon RDS is available in preview on AWS Outposts. This means that Amazon RDS users can enjoy the service on whatever data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility is most convenient for them. Amazon RDS on Outposts is ideally suited for users who need high performance, scalability, availability, and durability for their low-latency workloads.

As of December 2019, Amazon RDS on Outposts is available for two regions: US East and US West. In addition, Amazon RDS on Outposts is currently compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL. Want to try it for yourself? Check out the Amazon RDS on Outposts page.

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