This content is part of the Conference Coverage: A conference guide to AWS re:Invent 2021

AWS aims to ease cloud database management and migration

The tech giant is looking to help its users to better migrate to, manage and operate cloud databases with a series of new data management product releases and updates.

AWS on Dec. 1 introduced new updates to enable organizations to better manage and operate cloud databases.

The news came during the keynote address at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas delivered by Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Amazon AI.

Among the cloud database moves is a new service called Amazon DevOps Guru for RDS, which brings machine learning capabilities for optimizing deployment and availability for the Amazon relational database service.

AWS also unveiled new support for SQL Server databases as part of Amazon RDS Custom, which enables organizations to have more control over database deployment and configuration. The vendor also updated the Amazon DynamoDB database with a new option for lower-utilization data, called Standard Infrequent Access.

"For DynamoDB, the new pricing tier is a clever way for customers to save money without having to physically move data to a slower tier," said Tony Baer, analyst at DbInsight.

Improving cloud database optimization at AWS

For Gartner analyst Sid Nag, the overall direction that AWS is taking with its cloud database portfolio marks the cloud giant's steady forward momentum in cloud data management.

Screenshot of Amazon AI vice president Swami Sivasubramanian introducing new instance type for DynamoDB cloud database.
Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Amazon AI, introduced at AWS re:Invent a new instance type for the DynamoDB cloud data, for infrequently accessed data, that provides a lower price point for users.

"With these announcements, AWS is extending and reinforcing their position as a database-platforms-as-a-service player, which also happens to be the fastest-growing market for AWS," Nag said. "They are also providing an optimization engine to lower costs that is focused on business outcomes."

With these announcements, AWS is extending and reinforcing their position as a database-platforms-as-a-service player, which also happens to be the fastest-growing market for AWS.
Sid NagAnalyst, Gartner

During his keynote, Sivasubramanian said the goal of the new Amazon DevOps Guru for RDS service is to be able to send alerts to users about database problems, as well as provide the precise guidance needed to fix those problems.

"DevOps Guru for RDS goes beyond simply detecting the issues to actually explaining the causes and recommending fixes for complex database performance-related issues," he said.

Sivasubramanian said DevOps Guru for RDS is powered by machine learning models that have been trained on years of operational data from RDS. He added that the service can automatically identify and analyze a wide range of potential problems  such as resource contention and unoptimized data queries.

Optimizing cloud databases on AWS with new service instances

With Amazon RDS Custom, Sivasubramanian said that AWS is providing organizations with a managed database service for applications that require customization of the database and the underlying operating system.

Amazon RDS Custom was initially launched in October 2021, with support for Oracle databases.

Now AWS is extending that support to Microsoft SQL Server.

Sivasubramanian noted that some organizations are running applications on SQL Server, such as Microsoft Dynamics or Sharepoint, with specific and customized configurations. AWS' goal with Amazon RDS Custom is to support organizations as they migrate custom database configurations to the cloud, he said.

Sivasubramanian also used his keynote to introduce the new AWS Database Migration Service Fleet Advisor as a preview.

AWS previously has had the Database Migration Service on the market for the past five years as a service to help users move from on-premises to cloud databases. 

DMS to date has been a service to help migrate a single database at a time. The new Fleet Advisor scales the service, providing an approach for organizations to automate the migration of a fleet of databases.

"This is going to make it a lot easier for you to modernize your data infrastructure with powerful relational and purpose-built databases," Sivasubramanian said.

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